Tommy Guns –

 

At the station, the Guard said: ‘What do you want the gun for?’

‘We’re doing a Play, and there’s a gun in it.’

‘What’s it about?’

‘The Play?’

‘Yeah.’

‘It’s about the curse on the Mayo team.’

‘Ok, you’ll need a licence.’

‘How’ll we get that?’

‘Take this and call down to Tommy Guns.”

‘Who’s Tommy Guns?’

‘Runs the gun shop in town. And his name is Tommy. So we call him Tommy Guns.’

‘Will he be there?’

‘He’s always there. Never leaves the place.’

Tommy wasn’t there. Paddy was. He was working on putting some worms into a Tupperware box.  He said: ‘Tommy’s not here. I’m Paddy. I can help you. What kind of a gun are you looking for?’

It was a place that also did fishing tackle, camouflage clothes and lots of pen knives.   I looked at the form, it said: ‘Simpson – Decommisioned.’

‘Hang on, I’ll get the paperwork.’ He said.

He went upstairs. Made a lot of noise.

I checked out some Leatherman knives and camping equipment while I waited.

Then he came back. Breathing heavy.  Metallica T-shirt. Too small. Jeans too loose.

Right, he said, show me what you have there.

I gave it to him. He read it, asked: ‘ Where will the gun be stored?’

‘In my house.’

‘Where’s the house?’

‘Across the road.’

‘Is that in County Galway?”

‘It….is.’

‘Definitely?’

‘Definitely. You can see it out the window.’

‘Ok. I’ll take your word for it. Last fella I trusted took a gun and robbed a Topaz in Tipperary.’

‘Really?’

‘Oh stop, made a pure prick out of me. I’m trying to help Tommy run a professional outfit here like and the likes of him coming in and ruining it for everyone…’

‘Did they catch him?’

‘They did.’

‘How?’

‘He had stole a load of Scratchcards and won €50 and tried to cash it in Rosscrea. And sure they caught him on the camera then.’

‘Was he local?’

‘One of them Polish lads from Slovakia.’

‘Shtop.’

‘What’s the Play about?’

‘The curse on the Mayo team.’

‘Is that true?’

‘It is in the Play anyway. Dunno about anywhere else.’

‘I might go and see that. Any free tickets?’

‘I’ll comp ya if you gimme a discount on the gun.’

‘Will ya fuck?’

‘I fuckin will.

‘Sound,  herself loves all that shite. We better get you this licence so. What’s your own name?’

‘Mick….’

‘Spell Mick.’

‘Spell Mick?’

‘Yeah, spell it.’

‘Like M-I-C-K?’

‘Thanks. ‘What kind of gun did you say?’

‘Simpson.’

‘Spell Simpson.’

‘S-I-M….’

‘Slow down, slow down, for fuck sake. S….?’

‘I….’

‘I….?’

‘M….’

‘M….?’

It went on like that until we got to the end of Simpson. Another customer came in. Wanted some worms. Paddy obliged with the Tupperware box from earlier. Then he turned to me  and asked: ‘Ok, when do you want it for?’

‘Monday.’

Monday he said  and spelled out- M-U-N-D-E-Y – then asked: ‘And when are you bringing it back?’

‘Sunday.’

Sunday, he said, and spelled out S-O-N-D-E-Y.

Ok, he said, haven’t done this much writing since sixth class. Sooner Tommy comes back the better.

‘Sure it’s all paperwork now.’

‘Gone ta fuck sure. This is like writing an Essay.’

‘Are we nearly finished?’

‘One last thing.’

‘What’s that?’

‘What’s the name of the Play? Nothin too fancy now I hope. My hand is sore from writing.’

‘Do you really need the name?’

‘Yeah. Can’t give you the licence without it.’

‘Do you want me to write if for you?’

‘No you’re grand. I’m in the zone now. What is it? Come on, I’ve worms to finish.’

‘Ok, you ready?’

‘Yeah!’

‘Ok, it’s called – Shortcut to Hallelujah – ”

Ok, he sighed, spell Shortcut….

**

 

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Hypnopaedia – Smartphone Mind Control.

‘They do it in your sleep.’

‘What do they do?’

‘Plant ideas.’

‘What kind of ideas?’

‘Think about it – were you ever walking down the street and then suddenly some app, or piece of software on your phone just activates for no reason.’

‘It happened to me last week. Radio App just opened and started playing music.’

‘See this is what I’m talking about.’

‘I still don’t understand.’

‘Hypnopaedia.’

‘Which is…..’

‘Did you study any languages at school?’

‘French. German. Irish.’

‘And did anyone anyone ever advise you to take a tape, like a French tape, and play it while you were asleep?’

‘No, what would be the point?’

‘They reckon when you’re asleep – and dreaming – your subconscious is wide open. Your conscious mind is asleep but that only accounts for 10% of your brain power anyway. The other 90% per cent is never used.’

‘I heard about that. Some geniuses are said to be able to tap into it.’

‘Yeah, and mystics, and magicians, and telepaths and people that can move things with their mind.’

‘What’s this got to do with learning French?’

‘If you play a tape when you’re asleep, and the door to the unconscious is open – then the other 90% of your brain power can absorb the language and when you wake up, you understand it an awful lot better. It becomes easier to learn, simpler to understand and speak, because the software has been pre-installed.’

‘Like computer code.’

‘Exactly. It’s the difference between using an App and having to make the App yourself. Hypnopaedia – Sleep Learning.’

‘Sounds like a good process to me.’

‘It is – great. But what if it’s being used for mind control?’

‘How? If you don’t put in a mind control tape then they can’t mind control you?’

‘On your fuckin phone.’

‘What?’

‘You sleep with your phone beside you, right? Like on the locker, or under the pillow, or on the ground beside your bed?’

‘Yeah?’

‘Yeah, so. Take some basic GPS Photography, Heart Tracker Monitors or even just a Microphone to listen to your breathing and someone with access to your phone can tell you’re asleep….’

‘Maybe.’

‘No. They can. They can even tell your phone hasn’t been touched or checked for hours. This has all been worked out.’

‘And what do they do?’

‘They whisper….into your subconscious.’

‘What do they whisper?’

‘Anything they want. Ever wake up in the morning and think – maybe I need glasses? And you check your phone and there’s a Specsavers advertisement? Or you’re unhappy with your car and suddenly you start seeing ads for cars everywhere?’

‘I thought that was targeting – like they profile you on your Apps and Online behaviour and conversations and then decide what you might like?’

‘And that’s ok with you?’

‘No. But. What – my phone comes on in the night and talks me into buying stuff?’

‘Yeah.’

‘And what if there’s someone else in the room – can they not hear it?’

‘It’s low, it’s a whisper. Like a dog whistle. Even if someone else could hear it – what would they do? Get up and turn it off and forget about it.’

‘So we’re all manipulated consumers?’

Exactly. They used to do it through the water. Chemicals that would reduce your impulse control but they kept getting the mix wrong and people were always dying. And dead people can’t buy anything, right? And then there was the planes….’

‘What happened with the planes?’

‘Chemtrails. Aircraft spraying mind altering chemicals on the population but that got kinda obvious after a while….and expensive. Basically they had to kill every pilot, and everyone involved, and it was a nightmare finding new staff….so now it’s cheap and cheerful Smartphone Manipulation.’

‘We can always switch them off.’

‘No you can’t. They’re indispensable now. And Smartchips are already rolled out in Scandinavia. Kids will be born already integrated.’

‘But if we know. We can do something about it.’

‘Free will is long dead. Think about it – Elections, Referendums, Lone Wolf Assassins, Billionaires with huge influence on the stock market….all directed by one tiny voice in the night.’

‘And who is the voice? Who’s on the other end?’

‘It’s the new God, brother. Talking through the technological cosmos. We had a God and we killed him. And this is the best of what’s left….’

*
hypnopaedia | ˌhɪpnəʊˈpiːdɪə | (US hypnopedia) noun [mass noun] learning by hearing while asleep or under hypnosis.
Oxford English Dictionary.

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Need Inspiration? -Dead Cert for the Grand National tomorrow –

Got this yesterday – see how she goes.

(Last time I had a Dead Cert I got a Play and Film out of it – Radio Luxembourg and Tiger Raid.)😂)

***Disclaimer: Horse didn’t win 🙄

El Niño NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK FROM AMAZON! CLICK HERE!

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***Buy El Niño in Paperback now!***

El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster
of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. Her
father named her El Niño because the night she was born there was a storm, and he said it signified the way she was to live her life. And right he was. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough chick ideals. This is Noir
at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps him up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.

Pick up El Niño on Amazon today! Buy El Niño Now!

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Buy Fisherman’s Blues in PAPERBACK now!

Fisherman’s Blues –
is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book
sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant
moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And
if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone?

Click here to buy Fisherman’s Blues today!

Read more about Mick on http://www.mickdonnellan.com

The Vatican and the Virgin Mary –

‘Ring Dan Brown there.’

‘How’ll I ring Dan Brown?’

‘Do you not have his number?’

‘No. Where would I get it?’

‘Aren’t ye at the same craic – writing and all that?’

‘Eh….’

Haven’t you books out?’

‘I do.’

‘You do. Sure I read the fuckin things.’

‘Did you like them?’

‘They weren’t bad. The second one was cracked entirely.’

‘Twas.’

‘Would you be as rich as Dan Brown now?’

‘No. Not yet.’

‘I was in the Vatican myself last year.’

‘Did you like it?’

‘Twas alright. Horrid dear.’

‘Do they have the Euro?’

‘Some kind of Vatican pound.’

‘Did you see the Pope?’

‘I think so.’

‘Would you not recognise him if you saw him?’

‘I would – but see – there was a programme on telly a few weeks later about the Vatican and I don’t know if I saw the Pope on that or when I was there. That ever happen to you?’

‘What? Think I’m on telly?’

‘No. Be not sure if somethin was real or not. Have two memories that get mixed up and you’re sure it’s real but it’s not real at all.’

‘Hmm…’

‘See – I can see myself in Vatican Square. Can hear the tourists and the bells and can smell the candles and all that. But at the same time I can see myself in my kitchen – watching the same scene on the telly. And now I don’t know which is which.’

‘What about the Sistine Chapel?’

‘What about it?’

‘Did you see it?’

‘I did. Is that the one with the big hand in the sky?’

‘I think so.’

‘I remember it. Some fella kept taking pictures and he got ran.’

‘Do they not allow pictures?’

‘Ruins the artwork somehow. Would you not write books about the Vatican? That’s how Dan Brown got rich.’

‘Kinda been done then really.’

‘I wouldn’t mind writing a book.’

‘About what?’

‘I have this idea.’

‘Yeah?’

‘Yeah, it’s about a Canadian family.’

‘Right.’

‘In Canada.’

‘Ok.’

‘They’re Protestants.’

‘Go on.’

‘During the first World War.’

‘And what happens?’

‘Dunno after that. It’s just an idea.’

‘Do you know anything about World War One?’

‘Fuck all.’

‘Or Protestant Religion?’

‘Not a thing.’

‘Ever been to Canada?’

‘No – I was thinking about it though. Weren’t you there?’

‘Yeah, for a year.’

‘What’s it like?’

‘Depends on where you go.’

‘Was it cold?’

‘In winter. Yeah.’

‘See I don’t like the cold. Were you in Niagara Falls?’

‘Went down for a look.’

‘I’d love to go there. Do you have any ideas for a book I could write?’

‘The Pope’s coming to Ireland. You could write about that?’

‘Is he fuck? When?’

‘Soon, sometime. Not sure.’

‘That’s the job so. I’ll write about that. Will you read it when I’ve it written?’

‘I will.’

‘Ok sound. Were you ever in Knock?’

‘Few times. You?’

‘No. But I saw the Virgin Mary a few times…”

‘Where?’

‘At the end of my bed.’

‘She say anythin to ya?’

‘Told me to go the Vatican.’

‘And do what?’

‘Dunno. That’s all she said. Haven’t seen her since.’

‘You could write a book about that?’

‘Waste of time if you ask me. She’s hot and cold like…..’

____

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What would the Buddha do?

‘What are you going to do?’

‘Use it?’

‘Why?’

‘It’s free money.’

‘But it’s not yours.’

‘Who cares?’

‘They’ll know at the shop.’

‘How?’

‘Because it’s not in your name.’

‘Sure they don’t care.’

‘They’ll ask you where you got it.’

‘I’ll tell them.’

‘What’ll you tell them?’

‘That it arrived in the post.’

‘Without your name on it?’

‘I’ll probably leave that bit out.’

‘See – that’s why it’s wrong.’

‘It’s €1.20. It’s not a fortune.’

‘Still – what about the fella that was meant to get it?’

‘It was a girl.’

‘What about her, then?’

‘She doesn’t live here anymore.’

‘What’s her name?’

‘Ciara.’

‘Ciara who?’

‘Solzenheim.’

‘What?’

‘Must have married a Polish fella or something.’

‘You should throw it in the bin.’

‘Sure then it be no good to anyone.’

‘What if she’s missing?’

‘How do you mean?’

‘What if she’s a missing person, and everyone’s looking for her, and then you use the voucher, it comes up in some database and it gives everyone false hope?’

‘What if she has emigrated, living in Australia, and doesn’t care who uses her Tesco vouchers?’

‘What if she’s broke, and really needs the €1.20 and she can use it online and then she tries and it’s like – hey, some dickhead already took it.’

‘Then she should have left a forwarding address, or logged on and told them to send it somewhere else.’

‘Maybe she couldn’t. She might have no hands.’

‘How the hell’s she going to use a voucher with no hands?’

‘I don’t know – I’m not….handless. But still. It’s wrong.’

‘What if it’s the world trying to do me a favour?’

‘A €1.20 favour?’

‘Yeah. I could buy a scratched and win €5,000.’

‘And if you do – will you track down Ciara and tell her?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Really?’

‘Probably not. I could use it to go to Spain. On Holiday. Or buy a car.’

‘And what if the plane crashed? Or the car hit the wall and you ended up blind?’

‘Why blind?’

‘As a punishment. Try writing your books when you can’t see.’

‘For using a €1.20 voucher.’

‘For stealing.’

‘Who am I stealing off?’

‘Ciara Solzenheim.’

‘But she’s not here.’

‘Still – the Buddha would know. Karma would know.’

‘Fuck the Buddha. He’s not paying the rent.’

‘He’s testing you.’

‘You can say that again.’

‘What if she doesn’t want to be found?’

‘Why wouldn’t she want to be found?’

‘What if she’s in the Witness Protection Programme.’

‘That’s only for Americans.’

‘They have it here now too. I know a girl in it.’

‘Sounds secure as hell.’

‘I’m not supposed to tell anyone.’

‘Is her name Ciara Solzenheim?’

‘No – but imagine you go to the Tesco, use her voucher, it comes up as not valid. The cashier asks – who’s Ciara Solzenheim? The security guard overhears it. He’s connected to a local gang in town and tells them she’s back around. Some fella was in the shop. Knows her. Then they come looking for you….’

‘That won’t happen.’

‘How do you know it won’t?’

‘It’s a €1.20 voucher. It’s not going to down planes, crash cars, make people blind or get people killed….’

‘Best of luck so.’

‘What am I supposed to do?’

‘Ask yourself – What would the Buddha do?’


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Touchdown in Toronto –

 

Greyhound bus travels. Travels through the rainy dark and the Kerouac night and on toward the great purchase of a wonderful automobile.

People slept, and watched films on computers, or just stared out the window at the years gone by.

Thrump rump go the wheels and we eventually pulled up in Toronto.

There to meet a fella called Trevor.

He lived in some house somewhere.

You had to take some kinda bus, and get off at some kinda stop and then take a ghostly train from a cold lonely station.

And walk by some kinda shop and take some kinda turn and go up a stairs after going through some kinda gammy door and then you were there.

The whole building had the rickety feel of a film set, real but not real, lived in but temporary.

It was a two bedroom flat with a weird smell of wet clothes.

Sun glared through the window, diamond on God’s finger, spread shadows of light across the carpet floor.

The telly was on, too,  some kinda telly, connected to something.

There was numbers on the screen, like you’d see on a phone. And some kinda animated creature on the bottom corner, looked a bit like Micky Mouse, had it’s arm folded, waiting to be told what to do.

‘That’s my telly, man!’ Said Trevor. ‘I’m trying to make phonecalls with it.’

Trevor was black and had a shape like Shrek or a teenage mutant ninja turtle. He had the car for sale and that’s why I was here.

I dropped my bags and said: ‘Phone calls from the telly?’

‘Yeah, man! You want a drink?’

It was ten in morning. I said: ‘What you got?’

‘Wild Turkey, Jameson, Vodka, Rum…beer.’

‘I’ll have a Wild Turkey and wash it down with a beer.’

‘I like your style. You got here early.’

’18 hours on the Greyhound, I won’t complain.’

‘Cultural experience, huh?’

‘Something like that. What else do I need to buy the car?’

‘You got the money?’

‘Yeah.’

‘You can drive?’

‘I can manage.’

‘Ok, just go get your licence and we’re set.’

‘I have a licence already.’

‘Is it Canadian?’

‘No. Irish.’

‘Oooh….’

‘What?’

‘State says you need a Canadian licence.’

‘Can I not just wing it?’

‘You could – but then I’d be responsible for selling you the car, cops be after me, man. Just Call down the DMV and they’ll swap it for you.’

‘Just like that?’

‘Formality bro.’

Went to the DMV. Told them the craic. The woman behind the counter said: ‘Ireland’s not in the UK, is it?’

‘No.’

‘See, that’s a problem.’

‘Why?’

‘We can only swap Uk Licences. It’s a Commonwealth agreement.’

‘So what do I do?’

‘A highway test.’

‘Sorry?’

‘You have to do a Highway test, and a theory test.’

‘Can I do that today?’

‘No, it’ll take three weeks at least.’

‘But I just bought a car. Can I drive it while waiting?’

‘Absolutely not.’

‘But I need to get back to New York – and then on to Chicago. What am I supposed to do?’

‘Hmm…she said. ‘You could always get the Greyhound?’

—–

 

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Greyhound from Port Authority to Toronto –

Exterior. Port Authority. New York.

Getting the Greyhound to Toronto to buy a car.

Big plans for a road trip.

Pure Kerouac job.

Now. Some fella with a fancy suitcase was after putting money into the vending machine but it wouldn’t work.

His diet coke didn’t come down and he wants to speak to a manager. His wife keeps saying: ‘Forget it about it, honey. It’s just a coke.’

‘I can’t ride all night if I’m thirsty.’

‘Just get the damn bags already!’

Then a woman skipped the queue and another woman said: ‘Hey, bitch, who the fuck do you think you are?!’

‘I was here first.’ She said.

‘No you were not you arrogant cunt, get the fuck back to where you were.’

‘Excuse me,’ she said. ‘how dare you talk to me like that. I’m a physician.’

‘I don’t give a fuck if you’re a fuckin goddamn astronaut, get your bitch ass back to the back of the queue.’

‘Lady, you need therapy for your anger.’

‘I need to kick you where it fuckin hurts.’

‘Ladies!’ Shouted the bus driver. ‘Be cool. Ok. Everybody just relax. You will all get seats.’

‘Greyhound, huh?’ Said an old man beside me.

‘Is it always like this?’

‘No,’ he said. ‘It’s usually worse.’

‘Great.’

Rare silence, then he said: ‘Last year a guy was sleeping on one of these buses, had his headphones on too loud. Guy behind him didn’t like it so he attacked him with a knife.’

‘Was he ok?’

‘Everyone was evacuated. The crazy motherfucker keep going til he cut the man’s head off.’

‘Is that true?’

‘True son. Cops arrived to see him laughing like a maniac, holding the severed head out the window to show everybody.’

‘Lovely.’

Interior. Bus. It smelled like old sick on a carpet.

The driver made a speech.

Said we were now in his territory and it was his rules.

And it was illegal to smoke. And if anyone smoked there’d be serious consequences.

And we should think about the health implications of cigarettes for ourselves and those around us.

And if anyone smoked in the toilet he’d know because he had sensors and he’d take the utmost serious action if anyone broke the rules.

He drove off then and the woman in front of me took a piece of chicken out of her pocket and started eating it.

Then she put on loud music from her phone. Some kind of rap. I thought she might get sprayed with bullets from an Uzi but no said anything and that was a relief.

Down the back, two Japanese were watching films on their laptop and the man across the aisle was mumbling at the window while touching himself. Other than that it was fairly quiet.

This was back when I used to drink so I took out a bottle of red wine and pulled on that and thought about sleep.

Next thing.

There was an almighty blast of alarms and electronic squeals and the overhead lights came on full blast.

The bus didn’t grind to a halt, more like skidded and almost lost control on its way to the hard shoulder. It was hardly stopped before the driver was half way down the aisle en route to the toilets. I was thinking he must have a serious case of the scuts.

He got there and pulled open the door and we all got the choky scent of cigarette smoke mixed with stale piss. Inside sat a very surprised Mexican man half way through a Marlborough.

The driver didn’t say anything, just pulled him out by the collar and dragged him up the bus and dropped kicked him out the door.

Middle of nowhere.

We had to wait for the cops arrive.

When they came, with sirens and full flashing lights, they interrogated the Mexican, then arrested him and left.

The bus took off after and everyone was quiet and no one else smoked.

I thought about listening to some music on my headphones but said I better not chance it just in case.

***

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Apple Controversy in Athenry?

‘Would you like a fried egg?’

‘No thanks.’

‘That’s good cos the eggs are all cracked. Tea?’

‘I’ll chance coffee.’

‘Milk?’

‘No thanks – I’m lactose intolerant.’

‘Milk is sour anyway.’

He went to the kitchen.

I checked out his bookshelf.

Lots of hardbacks on history and philosophy. Glue bound chunks of captured world events and thought.

Schopenhauer.

Lenin.

The Girl in the Picture.

He came back with the Maxwell House, said: ‘Check if that’s too hot.’

It wasn’t. I said: ‘Perfect. Thanks. I like the books.’

‘Keeps me busy.’

‘Good bit on Vietnam there?’

‘I did a Phd on it. Did you ever hear of Agent Orange?’

‘I think so.’

‘The American Army sprayed it over the University of Hawaii in the 1960’s.’

‘Why?’

‘They wanted to see how it worked?’

‘What does it do?’

‘It’s a Herbicide with a lethal component called Dioxin. They were testing it out for use in Vietnam. If they could kill all the vegetation on the trees then the Vietnamese would have nowhere to hide during the bombing campaigns.’

‘Did the army not know it was dangerous?’

‘They did. It was proven to cause Cancer, Leukaemia and horrific birth defects. They could have taken the Dioxin out and just used the plain herbicide but the process was deemed too expensive so they just left it in. They were smart like that. Money smart.’

‘I heard there’s a theory now they spray mind control chemicals disguised as the exhaust fumes from airplanes.’

‘Chemtrails.’ He said.

‘That’s it, yeah.’

‘Would you like a biscuit?’

‘I won’t, thanks.’

‘Good, we don’t have any anyway. Did you hear about Apple?’

‘Yeah, I heard they were building a factory down the road.’

‘Not anymore.’

‘Why not? I thought it was all planned.’

‘It was. but now it’s all gone to Denmark. It was the objections that put them off.’

‘People didn’t want it?’

‘Everyone around here wanted it. Look around you, there’s nothing else. The town is bypassed. Businesses are closing every ten minutes. We needed a boost. One worth 800 million.’

‘Was it the planning?’

‘The planning was accepted. Everything was fine, next thing this crowd started kicking up. People that aren’t even from the area.”

‘What were they protesting about?’

‘Frogs and flowers and all the usual bullshit. What’s a young lad supposed to do around here? There’s no work, there’s nothing to pass the time, no future. All he can do is emigrate. If Apple came there’d be some hope. Do you want a slice of Apple Tart?’

‘No, thanks.’

‘Good. It’s there since Christmas. What do you think about this storm?’

‘The Beast from the East?’

‘Yeah.’

‘Looks like the worst is over.’

‘Depends.’ He said.

‘On what?’

‘The Chemtrails. That’s what’s causing all this. Same as the University in Hawaii. We’re just Guinea pigs. They’re testing out ways to control the weather, and then they can control us using Social Media.’

‘Them Iphones have a lot to answer for.’

‘They do. Sure that’s all you need – fear. Bit of snow and a Red Alert and the whole country can be shut down. That’s where they went wrong with Agent Orange.’

‘Where?’

‘Trying to physically control people. That’s impossible. It’s always been impossible. Taking over their minds is much simpler. Do you want a lift somewhere?’

‘You’re grand I can walk.’

‘No problem. Car’s fucked by the frost anyway.’

***

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Is Bitcoin rising again? Altcoins are the future?

‘So, I’m sitting at home.’

‘You’re sitting at home.’

‘And the news breaks.’

‘What news?’

‘You didn’t hear?’

‘I don’t know, you haven’t told me. What news?’

‘Fuck. Fuckin news. Fuck. About the Crypto.’

‘What about the Crytpo? The Bitcoin thing?’

‘The Bitcoin thing. The Litecoin thing. The Ethereum thing. The whole fuckin thing. And Coinbase.’

‘What’s Coinbase?’

‘It’s the biggest exchange for Cryptocurrencies and people were saying it was hacked – not working – charging people’s cards unauthorised amounts.’

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‘Like how?’

‘Like if you bought a €100 last week, then it duplicated the charge. So now another €100 goes out. And then it does it again. And again. And again. One guy got done for $67,000.’

‘Christ – can people get it back?’

‘Visa said it wasn’t their fault. Coinbase said it wasn’t them. There’s a group of dicks in the middle called Worldpay.’

‘Who the fuck are they?’

‘They set a thing called a Merchant Category Code – which is supposed to assess the risk and dictate the price of a transaction going from buyer to seller. So when you buy Bitcoin – it goes under a certain Merchant Category Code. Different codes for different things, like an online sale, an over the counter transaction or an ATM Withdrawal. ‘

‘So what code does Coinbase go under?’

‘Up to this it was just classed as a regular purchase online. Like buying something from Amazon or E-bay but these stupid motherfuckers at Worldpay fucked it up. They changed the Code so it would be classed as a “Cash Advance” like when you use your credit card at an ATM. So imagine you withdraw €100 from the machine and there’s a fee of €2.50. Now it’s the same when buying from Coinbase. Boom – easy money for Visa and Worldpay. Just like that. But guess what?’

‘What?’

‘The assholes backdated it.’

‘How far?’

‘January 22nd.’

‘What’s that mean?’

‘Means if you bought Crypto on Coinbase after January 22nd it was now liable for a Cash Advance fee according to the new MCC. But since the money had already gone out….’

‘They took it again?’

‘Exactly. They took it again, and again, and again, like a never ending loop til people’s bank accounts were cleaned. Til their rent bounced. Til their loans went unpaid. Til the motherfuckin bank is calling up folks saying “…hey, sir, where’s your dumb mortgage you stupid fuck. Oh, you bought Crypto? What the FUCK did you think was going to happen?!” One guy couldn’t feed his kids, put gas in his car, pay for a bus to work. Nothing.’

‘Was that what that was about? The fella on Twitter, saying he lost everything, his account had been hacked and….’

‘Hacked? Fuck hacked, accounts were robbed, man.’

‘Was it just Visa Credit cards?’

‘No, debit too.’

‘So they just took the money from people’s accounts? Totally unauthorised? And what if the money wasn’t there?

‘Shoved it into overdraft – then guess what, you get charged Overdraft fees too.’

‘Couldn’t people just close their Coinbase account?’

‘Didn’t matter, even when people removed their card details. The charges just kept coming….and coming….and coming….so everyone blamed Coinbase. Cos that’s what showed up in your statement, right? Everyone said they’d fucked it up. Didn’t know what they were doing. 13 million Coinbase customer accounts exposed to this shit.’

‘So where’s it at now? Coinbase took the money? Or Visa and Worldpay took the money?’

‘Visa and Worldpay eventually made a statement. Said it was “Not the fault of Coinbase.”

And admitted the MCC thing, but the “…exact cause is yet unknown….’ so who knows?’

‘Did people get their money back?’

‘Eventually. The charges were reversed. But not the fees, or the unauthorised overdraft charges, or the nasty taste left in your mouth cos all your payments been bouncing for days….’

‘Maybe it was a conspiracy by Visa and Worldpay to get everyone to stop buying Crypto? To make it look Volatile. And unsecured. And financially dangerous.’

‘Yeah – and guess what. It motherfuckin worked.’

‘So you’re not going to use Coinbase again?’

‘Would I stick my dick in a blender? Same answer.’

**

http://bitcoinist.com/breaking-coinbase-confirms-drastically-overcharging-users-debit-credit-purchases-draining-accounts/


“Joint Statement from Visa and Worldpay for Coinbase customers” by @coinbase https://blog.coinbase.com/joint-statement-from-visa-and-worldpay-for-coinbase-customers-9a6f2ff5f3b3

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