It's that time of year again when thoughts naturally turn to Christmas trees and Holly,or to
be more precise,the robbing of them.Even as we speak,the location of likely trees and Holly
bushes have been noted,the better to be "collected" in the darkness of some early morn.We must be in for a hard Winter as the Holly bushes are laden with berries at the moment,but as
you know,a few frosty nights would change all this and berried Holly would become as scarce as
hens teeth.Each year me and the mot* collect all the old wreaths from the graveyards after
Christmas and store them untill nowish,where a few sprigs of fresh holly renders them very
saleable to the oul' wans in Moore Street**.Christmas trees are a different kettle of fish as their
bulk makes them harder to disguise when collecting and transporting them and we nearly came a cropper last year.
The "Jockey",for he used to be an apprentice jockey,had been doing the snags on that new
hotel out in west Dublin and had befriended the general manager of the hotel .This manager had
told the Jockey that he wanted a fantastic-looking Christmas tree for the centre of the lobby for
their first Christmas,no expence spared.No sooner had the manager uttered the magic words
than a price was agreed,a monkey***.Obviously the manager didn't know his onions as he'd
have got a whole fucking forest for a monkey,this is where I came in as the Jockey knew fuck-all
about trees,but knew a man who did.
As luck would have it,I had spotted the very tree during the previous Summer,at Brittas Bay,
while on the way to the beach.This was the best Christmas tree I,or anyone else had ever seen,
the centrefold of Christmas trees,the sort of tree that Chrismas tree perverts might pleasure
themselves over,you know the sort.It was about twentyfive feet high and picture perfect from
every angle,just what we wanted.The only ever-so-slight drawback being that it was growing
in the front garden of a large bungalow and obviously someone's pride and joy,still,Christmas was coming and a monkeys a monkey.
The deed itself took but a few seconds,however, the racket a chainsaw makes at four o'clock
in the morning has to be heard to be believed.Every single fucking light,inside and out flashed
on,dogs started howling and the front door burst open but we were scattering gravel by this
stage.I didn't know if he had got our number but I did know he would'nt follow us,due to the
lack of pressure in his tyres.We were heading out the Naas dual-carriageway,in a mild and
inoffensive manner,when a dirty big cunt of a squad-car pulls alongside and flags us in."holy
gee,"says the Jockey,"we're fucked". "Say nuthin.",I told him.
This big lummox of a guard jumps out of the drivers side of the car followed by the tree's previous owner from the other side,now wearing his full sergeant's uniform."Oh holy g......"
"You've really done it this time,Barney,we have you at last,you stupid fucker.",crowed the piggie
"what are you scutterin' about"
"You know fuckin' well,yis cunts,yis are worse than the knackers,Yis stole me tree.Eighteen
fuckin years I've been growing it ,and youse dirty fucking lousers just took it in front of me eyes,
yis fuckin' bastards.Just wait till I get yis to the station."
Jockey whispered,"I've heard pigs can't swim and I've heard pigs might fly,but I'm fucked if I
ever saw a pig dancing before."It was true,the oul' bollocks of a sergeant was frothing at the
mouth,had steam coming out of his ears and was dancing up and down like a demented Zulu
with rage and temper.We both chuckled in spite of our predicament and ,of course,this made
him worse,even more animated.
"How do you know it's your tree",says I,"we bought it off the knackers yesterday,we're just
dropping it off."
"I can prove it with this."he said,producing a sheet of cardboard with a circley drawing on it.
"Its a template I drew from the stump youse cunts left behind."
"Oh holy g....."."Shutthefuckup."
He went to the back of the truck and tried the template every way possible,up and down and inside out but could'nt get it to match our tree.
"It's not it sergeant,it's not your tree,can't be."said the driver
"I can fuckin' see that,"he snarled,"yis hav'nt heard the last of this."as off they fucked.
I don't know if the piggies were more puzzled or the Jockey for none of them could have known
that I'd sawn another eighteen inches off the bottom of our tree for that very eventuality,and I
hope the oul' bollix is reading this now.
*mot ; Dublinese for wife or girlfriend
**Oul' wans in Moore St. ; Traditional traders,usually women,catering for Dublin's poorer
***Monkey ; Racing parlance for five hundred pounds/euro/punts.
By the time you read this I'll have fuckled off to Cheltenham for the Weekend.I've always wanted to say this, so here goes,
I'm just stepping outside,I may be some time.