‘Last Orders, Please!’ by McGuffin

Irish Resistance Books, £8.99, ISBN 0-9539482-0-X

‘Last Orders, Please!’ is the first book published by Irish Resistance Books. Written by John McGuffin it consists of 24 tasteless tales from the ‘troubles’, written over a 25 year period. The stories were written in Belfast, San Francisco, Borneo and Derry. Some have been published in German in ‘Der Mann, der mit Chuck Berry getanzt hat’ and in English in ‘Tales from the Barricades’, a limited edition published in Santa Barbara, California in 1990. This is the first complete and unexpurgated issue and contains seven completely new stories.

In a rare interview at the Frankfurt book festival in 1998 the reclusive McGuffin ‘confessed’ that the worst thing about these reminiscences, apart from the fact that they have no intrinsic merit, is that they are basically all true. Not even the names have been changed to protect the guilty. The genesis of the book dates back to the story of Hector and Ginty. As McGuffin tells it:

Back in the hard times again, about 1973, boys and girls, there were two young Irish patriots, called Hector and Ginty. They lived in Andersonstown. In those days, children, believe it or not, there were a lot of bad men around who carried guns, walked backwards down the streets and said and did rude things to all the local people. Amazingly, some of the local people even associated with these uncouth creatures and gave them cups of tea and information about their neighbours. Accordingly, one would see, just like Nebuchadnezzar did in even older olden times, ‘the writing on the wall’. The writing usually said ‘touts will be shot’. Hector & Ginty were young, and fired with young mens’ dreams and they vowed to do their patriotic bit for Grainne Uaile and get the ould green field back from the Sassenach.
         And so, one morning the natives of Bignian Drive awoke to see proudly written up on the wall ‘Trouts Beware!’ Alas, this occasioned some amusement amidst the would be sophisticates of upper A’town – indeed, next morning some ill intended person had painted ‘Up the Aquarian revolution’ underneath this community message – and so those to whom young Hector and Ginty subscribed allegiance (JC – RIP) summoned the young graffitologists to a convivial meeting in the PDF, there to partake of some refreshments and remedial spelling lessons.
         Hector at first denied any knowledge of the previous nocturnal emissions but when confronted with the mounting body of evidence, which included eye witness testimony, trails of paint to his back door and an abandoned paint pot and brush, broke down and confessed that he had, indeed been the scribe, asserting, however, in his defense that ‘Ginty spelt it for me’.

McGuffin for some obscure reason found this to be humorous. If you do, then you should read the rest of these somewhat bizarre stories. But if your taste is not for monkey sarnies, aliens in Fermanagh bogs, onanistic chat show hosts, incompetent bank robbers, Donegal scam artists, drunks, Nicaraguan peasant revolutionaries, foul mouthed senile delinquents and the horrors of Chicago morgues and Hong Kong hospitals perhaps you should leave well alone – or buy a copy and send it to some bigot whom you really hate.

Retailing at £8.99 you can order ‘Last Orders, Please!’ directly from the publishers via e-mail or from your local bookshop.

To read a sample story from ‘Last Orders, Please!’ click here.

To read the foreword by Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey to the German edition of ‘Last Orders’ (English text) click here.

Foreword  |  Sample Story 'Last Orders, Please!'
Charles ‘Nomad’ McGuinness  |  The Guineapigs  |  Internment

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