Men of Kerry


Brian Kinney and Justin Taylor were walking in Clemente Park - along the banks of the Allegheny River – across from downtown Pittsburgh. And Brian was explaining a problem and his potential non-solution.

“I am not gonna march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and I’m especially not gonna be carrying any Irish flag – and that’s that,” he was telling his younger companion.

“Well maybe it wouldn’t hurt for you to do this like – one favor for Bill Sullivan, Bri,” Justin pointed out. “He’s one of your very best clients – and he’s a pretty good guy along with that ….”

“He’s a great guy but he’s also an Irish nut, Sweetheart,” Brian insisted. “That Irish lodge of his always marches in the parade. The club has all kind of Irish guys but he only lets the guys from County Kerry do anything important. He’d usually never get away with that - but he pays most of the club’s bills so …..”

“And they carry the flag of Ireland and of County Kerry in the parade,” Justin reviewed. “And Joey Brennen, who has carried the Kerry flag for the last forty years or so is having health problems and can’t do the job this year ….”

”Exactly,” Brian confirmed.

“And there are no other Kerryites available to take his place ….” Justin got the picture.

“Yep,” Brian agreed. “I must be getting through to you all right. Bill insists that Kinneys come from Kerry so I would be a perfect replacement ….”

“And you maintain that Kinneys do not come from Kerry?” Justin laughed unwisely.

“I don’t give a good damn where Kinneys come from, Taylor,” Brian grouched. “This Kinney is not carrying any flag in any St. Patrick’s Day parade ….”

“But you don’t want to disappoint Bill, do you?” Justin queried.

“I don’t want to, Kiddo,” Brian admitted. “I like Bill a lot but if it means marching all over Pittsburgh in a silly green hat and tie - carrying a big heavy flag. Well I guess we could live off your considerable income if we had to. And anyhow, the Irish do not get disappointed – they get mad – and they get revenge - but they don’t get disappointed. That’s not the Irish way .….”

“I guess I should have known that, BK,” Justin grinned. “From my own experience. So what do you want me to do about your current problem?”

“Well if you're half as clever as you’re always bragging,” Brian delivered a challenge, “get me out of this without either my marching in the parade – or getting Bill Sullivan mad at me and losing the account ….”

“Any way at all?” Justin wondered. “You want me to exercise my ingenuity ….”

“Of course,” Brian told him “If you can – but this might even be too much for you...” And then a second later he yelled, “Owie – you deliberately stepped on my foot, you little pain in the ass. If you didn’t want to help ….”

“Gee whiz, Brian,” Justin showed some surprise. “Of course I want to help. That was my first step in that direction. You, Brian Kinney, now have an injured foot ….”

“Well it’s not that bad, JT,” Brian told him. “I’ll survive.”

“Damn it Brian Kinney from Kerry,” Justin told him back. “It’s hard to help people who won’t help themselves. I refuse to step any harder on your foot than I did so if that wasn’t enough ….”

“So what’s step two, Baby,” Brian had to laugh in spite of himself. “I don’t see how ….”

“There’s this Irish guy at the Institute, Bri,” Justin explained. “His name is Jimmy O’Leary and he actually comes from Ireland. He loves all that Irish crap too – and he’d be thrilled to march in the parade ….”

“And he’s from Kerry?” Brian hoped.

“Nope,” Justin replied. “County Sligo – but he’ll be from County Kerry if I tell him to. So you have a foot problem but we have this hale and hearty Kerryite who will be glad to carry the colors in the parade ….”

“And I’m supposed to call Bill Sullivan and tell him that I’m crippled but I have this replacement who will be happy to ….” Brian presumed. “It just might work ….”

“Maybe we better not take a chance on that, Mr. Kinney,” Justin offered another option. “I know Bill too so maybe I should call him. I’ll tell him you really wanted to participate but I don’t think you should take the chance – and I’ll talk him into using Jimmy O’Leary – and that will be that for the next couple of years anyhow – unless Joey Brennen makes a complete recovery – but that won’t affect us ….”

“What if Jimmy’s Sligo accent doesn’t sound like Kerry, Sunshine?” Brian began to worry. “Bill will know right away ….”

“Damn it, Brian,” Justin complained. “Do you really think I can’t take care of the little details?”

“Sorry, Mr. Taylor, Brian apologized, “I should know that you never mess up a convoluted plot – since convoluted plots seem to come no natural to you. You hungry?”

“Sure,” Justin told him, “There’s a new Irish restaurant downtown – just across the Rachel Carson Bridge.”

“I was actually thinking Chinese, Babe,” Brian told him. “OK?”

“Whatever you say, Boss,” Justin laughed. “I wonder if there’s a Kerry Province in China – where the Kin-Yees come from..”

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