Johnny Kelly is from Mayo.

He is 25 years old.

He lives in New York.

 

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Banjaxed is a “coming-of-rage” story set during turn-of-millennium Ireland; it portrays teenager Seanie Carolan's burgeoning consciousness and explosive journey through secondary school, culminating in an all-out student revolt. At its core are questions of authority and freedom, tyranny and democracy, as well as the relationship between the individual and society.

Banjaxed A Novel by Johnny Kelly

Title                                   Banjaxed

Author                                Johnny Kelly

Subject classification          Fiction

Format/extent                    140x216 mm, 254 pp

Publication date                December 2011

Price                                 €12-00 PB

ISBN                                 978-1-907017-09-4

About Johnny Kelly

                                      EXCERPT

"Do you know something, it's a right pain in the bollocks being a ciotóg . Christ above. I'm fit to eat iron with these scissors. Would it kill them to make a few thingamajigs with us lefty loosys in mind? Crack, you bastard, crack. What good is it buying a new pair of gloves if they're imprisoned inside the packet? Throw-in is set for one o'clock. Anything else to get out of the way? The prayers are prayed. Three Weetabix swallowed. Is the bowl in the sink? It better be or the Weetabix will be welded to it and Mam'll get cross. My gear bag is packed: boots, togs, towel, banana, agus a bottle of Lucozade.

--Seanie Carolan, centre halfback, sticks to a good forward like shit to a blanket.

The county final, we're up by a single point, one of their forwards breaks free from his man with a clear path to the goal. Looks like this is it, game over for Ballybar Crokes. Just as he belts the ball, out of the blue dives myself, arms outstretched like Superman. I somehow, miraculously, block the would be killer shot. The crowd let out a slow sigh in relief as we retrieve the ball and run out the remaining minute. When the ref blows the final whistle, everyone roars and legs it onto the pitch as happy as Larry. My team-mates hoist me up over their shoulders and chant,

--THERE'S ONLY ONE SEANIE CAROLAN! ...ONE SEANIE CAROLAN...

Flash-Flash-Flash. The photographers snap like mad, bedazzling the bejesus out of my eyes. Next thing I'd be giving the victory speech, in English agus Irish, thanking the fans for their unwavering support throughout the roller-coaster ride of a season.

--Three cheers. Hip, hip, HOORAY! Hip, hip, HOORAY! Hip, hip, HOORAY!

Bingo. The fecker of a packet finally cracks. A good pair of gloves are hard to find, I'm a fan of these ones though, they're a perfect fit and have a savage grip when the ball's all wet. Christ, I can't wait. The pre-match nerves are going full tilt, not the shit your trousers type, the good ones, the zippy nerves. I just have to put a bit of blue Dax Wax in the hair and I'm ready for off. Jesus, look at the cut of me, to the right of my fringe I have a rebellious enough oul cowslick. I won't let it get the better of me. No siree. The blue Dax Wax will put the skids under it.

“Mam, are you right?”

Kililea Park, here I come. Tis a fine size of a stadium so it is. If it was pushed, I suppose it would seat a good twenty thousand arses. The majority of under-twelve matches are played on a smaller pitch, but we get to have at it on the full size for the final show-down. A few weeks ago some hardware shop or something painted their logo onto a couple of the seated stands. After a match it was gas altogether, when the supporters rose up, they had yellow arses from the paint. I nearly died laughing so I did. There was a big article about it in the Connaught Post with the yellow arses on show for all to see."

                                         *   *  *  *  *

 

"I'm a nice ginger puss with a pretty pair of white paws, front and back. My bright white breast and striped ginger and white tail are well kept in sound times and sad. My whiskers are impeccably straight. I always make sure they're nice and neat after din-dins or after lapping up a saucer of creamy bainne . I'm a fairly young puss, no longer a kitten, but still not a full grown feline. My eyes are as curious as could be. I saunter around greeting and flirting with those whose pawpaths I cross.

--Meow, mews myself.

Up against my new friends' legs I graze my ginger striped cheek and chin.

--Well look at the cateen, they say.

--Meow, meow.

I beam up at them.

--Howya, puss? Hasn't he a lovely faceen on him?

They fawn all over me.

--Meow.

I roll onto my back in the form for play-acting.

PURR. PURR. PURR. PURR...

--What's the craic with ya at all at all?

PURR...

--Meow.

Was it Shitler or the Jesuits who said?

--Give me a child until seven years of age and I'll give you the man.

If there's any truth to that, I reckon I'll be a grand-master in the field of boredom endurance by the time my arse starts sprouting hair. Why in the name of God Almighty do they have me sitting here listening to teachers ramble on about the hardship and the poverty and the misery of the rural island people?

--Blasket anyways.

If things were so bad why didn't they stop sucking their mam's tits and feck off to America like half the country? Tis mind numbing beyond belief. Why not give us something of interest? Something we can relate to? Tis no wonder I have to imagine myself as a fecken puss while they blather on about stuff I've no use for at all at all. Irish is the best time for day-dreaming, not because of the lingo itself, but the forceful boredom we're subjected to every other day. I actually don't mind the language, at times it's fairly interesting, when they aren't on about verbs and tenses and people on fecking islands. I remember when I was learning to spell my name in English agus as Gaeilge . The English is handy enough, but if the version as Gaeilge was any longer it'd be late. What is it again?

--Ó C.E.A.R.B.H.A.L.L.Á.I.N.

Sure ­t'was no wonder the Brits made us ­anglicise all our surnames. My cousins have neighbours and their last name is Mc'Kittrick, unfortunately for the Mc'Kittricks, Mc'Kittrick as Gaeilge is ­Mac'Shitrig .

--Howya, I'm Seamus ­Mac'Shi trig from Ballinashite.

The Brits must have taken pity on them when they were changing the ­Mac'Shitrig s' name.

--Bloody hell, I say, that's a rafher unfortunate name.

--Let's help poor Paddy out, change it to somefhing else.

--How about a K in there?

--Sounds jolly good, governor.

Who was it I wonder that got to make up the words as Gaeilge ?

--Wanking.

-- Fe­­intruailliu.

­--Self-pollution.

Whatever eejet invented that word was clearly inexperienced in the act of self-pollution. You're not really polluting yourself, more so the designated rag or sock. Really it should have been something like rag-pollution or sock-pollution. They seem to have been always trying to one-up each other as well.

-- Dia duit .

-- ­Dia is Muire duit.

It's like a fecking gang bang.

--God to you.

--God and Mary to you.

--God and Mary and Jesus to you.

--God and Mary and Jesus and Joseph to you.

--Everyone to you, times infinity. Now, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Look at Costello there, out of it so he is. It's amazing how some of us can go into a sort of half daze, we nod when we should and stare at the floor for the rest of the class like spuds. Some days I get restless something shocking. What to do on those days? Well, either I can act the maggot and risk getting a sceal or dream a dream till the bell dingalingalings. Sometimes I take a rubber and with blue biro draw a nice big cock on it, I keep going over it till there's plenty of ink on the outline. Depending on who's around me I might stamp the back of their necks gifting them with a little prick. I try to make sure I don't hit their shirt collars though. I don't want their oul ladies coming in to biff the head off me for getting ink on sonny Jim's school shirt. Especially ink in the shape of a willy. Look at Dwyer there, he has a bit of a bird in him for sure, like one of those tall birds with the long legs that strut about the marshes. Everyone has some likeness to some sort of cratureen or other. Dwyer's a bird, and I'm a wee cat."