Wednesday, December 27, 2006


This cartoon is a cautionary message to all of you youngin's who haven't started smoking, and to those of you who are planning to quit.... please do not start or do quit as you will help me achieve my dream of being THE LAST SMOKER.
I will, however, be a very skint smoker as the new smoking tax, $1, yes one whole entire US dollar will be added to every packet of fags after the new year.
To put this all in perspective for you I have written the following film synopsis. It is an...........
Horror Film
The camera slowly pans from the varnished toes of a woman up her shapely legs to her lap where it closely focuses on her hands holding a cigarette case.

Cue shark music from Jaws

The hands carefully open the cigarette case and….. IT IS EMPTY

Cue shower music from Psycho

Music continues as an underlay to woman’s frenetic raving

Woman: What am I gonna do, what am I gonna do?


Now I must get the stupidmarket and buy several cartons of fags before the price goes up.

Have a happy New Year, I'll still be smokin', probably eatin' less though.

Monday, December 18, 2006


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
the scent of nicotine wreathed a wretched old souse
the bottles of whiskey were lined up with care
in hopes that they’d last her till the end of the year
the neighbours were all nestled snug in their beds
with visions of a peaceful night in their heads
when out on the veranda there arose such a clatter
the old bird was ranting, as mad as a hatter
My bloody lighter just ran out of fuel
n’ my fags are all soaked in disgusting cat drool
get me some new fags and get ‘em right quick
or I’ll call for reprisals from nasty Old Nick
then what to her wondering eyes should appear
but a wee tiny man saying
Calm down old dear
I’ve brought you some fags, 200 of More
they should just last you, till you get to the store

she fell on her knees and thanked him with glee
shouting Happy Christmas to you n’ especially me

I trust you all will have a very happy holiday. I miss you and I'll be thinking of you whilst I sit on the veranda on Christmas morning, sippin' my whiskey and smokin' them fags.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I got tired of reading about female detectives who always ate salad for lunch, are they a bunch of rabbits or what? So I wrote a little something myself for the giggle.


It was a gray day in my customary gray life. I had just finished my usual lunch of a double shot of Jameson and ten cigarettes when my door slammed open and a lad stumbled into my office and fell to his knees at my feet. I looked down and said, “so what can I do for you, other than spread my legs?” I’ve always believed that a short, sharp shock is necessary to bring someone to his senses. It worked; he jumped to his feet and looked me in the eye. When I saw his face, I realized this boy was quite beautiful and I was reconsidering putting my question in a more positive vein until I saw the blood on his hands. Damn, I thought, can’t things be simple just for once?

“Okay darlin’ just what is it you think you need from me?” I asked him as I guided him to a chair, offered him a smoke and proffered my treasured skull Zippo to light him up
He replied, “someone just killed my buddy and I know they’ll think it’s me”
“Yeah,” I said, “considering the blood on your hands you’d be my number one candidate. So tell me what happened?”
“Its like this, we were at the local bar havin’ a few drinks the other night when we got into a heated argument and I punched him.” This led to a knock down, drag out fight until the barkeep tossed them both out. They sobered up a bit when they hit the cold, wet pavement, had a good laugh and went their separate ways. That was two nights ago and he hadn’t seen his buddy until this morning. Or more precisely, he’d seen his buddy’s body casually draped over the steering wheel of his car.

“So what kind of car did your buddy drive?” He looked at me stupefied as if I had asked him an idiotic question.
“What difference does it make?” he sputtered.
“I’m looking for a car and figured his was available.”
The lad’s face turned purple and he half rose from his chair shouting at me. “You fuckin’ bitch! He was my friend.” Well, hell you can’t fault a woman for having her priorities straight. If I was gonna chase this case, I’d definitely need wheels.

I poured him a shot, lit him up again and got him back into the chair. “Sweetie, calm down, I’m just trying to cover all the angles.” For the next hour I listened to him as he told me about his buddy, from the day they’d met in prison till that night they hit the bar to celebrate his buddy’s acquittal for manslaughter.

“So honey, tell me when and where you found your buddy this morning?” Turns out they were supposed to meet up at their local gym for an early workout. When he arrived his buddy wasn’t inside so he checked out the parking lot in back where he found his friend’s car. Thinking it was odd that the car was there but his buddy wasn’t he tried to look into the windscreen but it was so filthy he couldn’t see anything. That’s when he decided to try to open the door and where he found his buddy draped over the steering wheel with a bullet right between his eyes. In an effort to comfort the lad I said, “the best way to go is with one right between the eyes, he never felt a thing.”
“Yeah I’ve heard that,” he muttered. He went on to tell me that he moved the body to be sure that it really was his buddy and that’s how he got the blood on his hands.
“Did you call the police?”

“Hell no, I got my ass out of there as fast as I could. I’m an ex-con, they’d be all over me for sure.”
“Do you know anyone who would want to kill your friend?”
“Nah, we’re just small time hoods and the manslaughter thing my buddy was up for was the result of a fight he got into with a neighbor who was roughing up his wife. Everyone hated the guy, he beat the wife and his kids, no one was sorry to see him go.

“There’s one more thing I need to know. Why did you come here?”
“Well, Mom, you’re the detective, where else should I have gone?”
“Damn, kid, is that you? It’s been five years since you bothered to get in touch with me.”
“Yeah, but I was inside for two years and I’ve been laying low since then.”
“You’ve changed, I guess doing time didn’t do you too much harm. Sorry I had to turn you in but I had to draw the line somewhere.”
“Make this go away and I’ll forgive you Mom.”

Kids, they always want something.

© Bette O’Callaghan

Saturday, December 02, 2006


It has been awhile since I’ve written anything here; I’ve been struck by a strange combination of ennui and excitement. Work continues apace, it is lovely to be off the phones and managing a campaign again, but it’s very much of the same old, same old variety. November was notable for Thea’s 35th birthday and Thanksgiving.

My loveliest memory of a special mum/daughter moment on Thea’s birthday occurred when I took her out to breakfast after she came to mine for coffee and the opening of her prezzies. As it seemed to be taking overlong (to my mind) for our food to come, I asked Thea if it would be really rude if I left her on her own whilst I went out to smoke a fag, her reply, It’s okay ,mom, I don’t want to be around you when you come down. Ah, my child (she’ll kill me for using that word) knows me so well and absolutely knows when it’s best to step away from the mother.

We did up the Thanksgiving thing properly this year; there were six of us, just the right number to fit into my bijou studio flat. I cooked the turkey and mashers and prepared the salad with proper French dressing. Melinda cooked the green bean casserole (thankfully) as I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole and as is the case with food I won’t eat, I really don’t have a clue how to make it… no real interest you see. It looked fabulous and everyone said it was excellent. Bazza baked his famous chocolate cherry cake, which we served with pumpkin pie and ice cream and which everyone adored. I also roasted Thea’s tofurkey and she brought her renowned ratouie (I don’t even have a clue how to spell a food that’s made entirely of vegetables) so all in all we had lots of brill food, drink and good company.

I have been troubled of late by a television advert for a firm of lawyers. Their ad is directed towards people who are trying to obtain their social security disability benefits. The gist of the ad is that individuals represented by lawyers constitute a higher percentage of those awarded benefits. Here’s my problem, if one is disabled one is in many cases unemployed, therefore, how can one pay one’s attorney’s fees? It may be necessary to point out to those of you who are not familiar with US law that many lawyers work on a contingency basis, only taking fees from a percentage of the award, if they win the case. Surely it cannot be legal to take part of a client’s disability benefit? Once more the gap between the haves and have nots broadens, I mean think of all of those people who cannot afford an attorney to secure their basic benefits? What a sad commentary on a country. Lest you think I am a jealous, twisted and bitter individual because I am so low on the food chain, might I remind you that I am perfectly happy living a second-hand life, i.e. filling my life with books, clothing and furniture from thrift/charity shops. It’s true I enjoy the occasional foray to the mall to obtain items on sale from Gap and Old Navy and, my real guilty pleasure, rather expensive cosmetics. I’m not slamming the US once more although I am once again disappointed in the extent of the great divide and to my eternal vexation I’ve discovered that I have to wait 5 years longer than if I had stayed in London, to get a free bus pass here. I do, however, get a senior citizen’s discount at Wendy’s so there you go, better than a stick in the eye.

Lastly, today 1st December, is the Naked Kobrinsky’s birthday. She is 29 again, no really she is 29 for the first and only time. Here’s to you darlin’, lets all hoist a few in her honor. We never have just the one, do we?

Postscript: Due to technical difficulties I wasn't able to post this yesterday, on Sarah's birthday, but this does give me an opportunity to add a congratulations to Clare and Jamie on the birth of their son, Liam. I've seen pictures, he's georgeous!