I was sitting here in the newsroom heading up a major investigation into a tip-off about a triple murder down the far end of the town when suddenly a spray of pebbles shook the window pane and when I opened it and looked down there was Victor Victorious sitting on a pink butcher’s bike with a sign that said: Vote Victor Victorious Your No 1 and No 2.
And sitting up in the basket on the front of the bike was a white Scottish Terrier with a pink ribbon round his neck.
“We’re going all Giro d’Italia this week,” shouted Victor. “We’re going to chase after the Italian vote. There’s two hundred of them comin’ through Dundalk on bikes. That’s 200 votes for me, Heckler.”
“The Italians can’t vote in this election Victor.”
“‘Course they can. If I bag these bikers that will leave me needin’ just another 300 votes. So I’m going to take them on a tour of the town’s cycle lanes and remind them that we Irish and Italians are just the same. How we were starved out of our homes in the black ‘47 and died in the coffin ships before landin’ on Ellis Island with the Sicilians. I’ll bring them down Chapel Street and round the town and home by the Andes.
“You can’t get one bike down Chapel Street, Victor, never mind two hundred.”
“Don’t worry Heckler. I’ll sweep all the broken Guinness bottles off the lanes while Paulo here keeps them talking. He has a degree in political science from Harvard University. Isn’t that right Paulo.”
And suddenly the dog barks:
“Vote Victor Victorious. Your No 1.”
“Victor, that dog is just after talking.”
“I know Heckler, isn’t he great? And he can do the auld Italian too. Go on Paulo, show him what you can say.”
So then the dog starts talking Italian.
“Ma, sul serio, eh?”
“Ah, go on.”
“Give him some of the auld Dante.”
So the dog starts to recite Dante: “Ed egi avea del cul fatto trombetta.”
What do you think of that Heckler? He can do the whole of The Divine Comedy in five-and-half hours without missing a line. And he’s only two-and-a-half. Bet you couldn’t do that when you were two-and-a-half.”
“No, I don’t think I could Victor.
“You should interview him for the paper. The sales of the auld rag would go through the roof.”
“Oh, I don’t know Victor. I’ll have to run it by my editor. We have a story about a dog in every week. If she sees two she’ll go nuts. Besides, they all think I’m barking mad up here anyway.”
“Well, don’t say I didn’t offer. Now, we’ll have to be off. Paulo, say goodbye to the magnificently talented and gifted journalist.”
So the dog shouts up: “Arrivederla, maestro, E grazie.”
“Talk to you next week, Heckler.”