It has only taken a lifetime to find that dream job but I’m finally here – in the merry old land of blogs. But before blogs there were bogs and in that hot summer of ’84 I got my first real job…
At twelve I had a lot going for me (well two things – I was small and I was flighty) and back in some mid-eighties Irish border village, small flighty kids were highly sought after in the illustrious world of agriculture and undertaking. Real whizz kids, we zipped effortlessly between hayfield and burial house, pot of scalding tea in one hand plate of hang sandwiches in the other feeding herds of farmers and sorry people. Like good kids we dared not complain – not one word – about the dismal pay and safety hazards as we ran ragged between the gimpy old farmers with their rural gawking at all things calf bearing and the endless candle-lit wakes.
Finally during that hot summer of’84, before beginning a six-year stretch in the local convent I got my lucky break. My brother had quit his turf turning stint at the nearby bog to go work at the local poultry factory which left an opening. According to my friend Rainey as she helped me into the boot of my new boss’ Avenger that very first morning – the best place on earth to get a tan was at the bog. Like a bog hopping Pied Piper my new boss gathered every nimble looking local child he could and off we chugged to that big dirt playground participating in an involuntarily game of Twister to keep us from falling out of the orange rust box.
Having a hearing impairment the boss was easy pickings as even the boy in the front seat could shout, ‘I said you’re nothing but a deaf bollix!’ And we’d laugh as he tried to control both the steering wheel and his temper at the same time, ‘What ya say? What ya say?’ Whatever was said he knew it couldn’t be good. But it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who’s deafness was borne from some clownish terrorist attempt at blowing up a little backwater petrol station. That day I too would be recruited to some waspish dying cause – as I joined Rainey as a look-out for any British helicopter flying overhead. Like a giant bluebottle it hummed in the far distance and instantly we would yell and run to alert our boss oblivious and bent over some damp turf row. Seeing our wild-eyed and flushed faces like a hunted fox he would scarper aimlessly then find a ditch to dive into until the helicopter flew off again.
At times there would be no helicopter but nonetheless we’d still cry so. And while the boss cowered under some ditch the boys would fight the boys in our own little turf war.
…without conflict there is no story. No purpose. No need for resolution. Technology evolves and we discover new methods of storytelling, blogs, vlogs etc. But story is story. It can only change so much and yet changes entirely with slight amendment or the addition of one letter. Bog to blog. World of a difference when it comes to story.