Skeffington J. D’Arcy January 23rd 1901- November 4th 2003

Inventor of the steam-gramaphone, godfather of hippity-hoppity, and first man to conquer Howth Head and Bognor Regis in the same year.

Born into a Longford family of wealthy Anglo-Norman traditional leech wranglers, D’Arcy was educated at Clongowes and both in and behind the Manzor’s Inn in Clane.
By the age of 14 he had mastered the arts of archery, arson and arachnaid gymnastics, and by 15, had received a caution for alleged acts of firemongering, using arrows tipped with spider-poison. An angry mob of Presentation nuns and Cistercian monks presented itself at the funerals of the deceased clergy. Then it was all back to Manzor’s for an old brandy.
At 21, D’Arcy had completed the Grand Tour de Fermanagh, and had filled the family shed with artifacts from his travels. Several items of such exotic cultural value are expected to on sale next month as Southeby’s in order to pay off his extensive ‘Internet-related’ credit card bills.
By the age of 28, D’Arcy had completed his apprenticeship with the aeronautical division of Great Western Railways, and had published a thesis titled ‘The future of Our Railways: Does the Le Chemise de Fer (sic) belong to the Angels?’, an engaging proposition for the introduction of flying steam trains.
After a year’s sabbatical in which he devised in-depth rules for the art of leech-racing, D’Arcy took himself to Africa to study Masai musical techniques. It was here, buoyed up by his adventures and immobilised by dysentry, he developed a method of agitating wax cylinders in order to secure a repetitive effect. He called his effect ‘hippity hoppity’, a method which experienced a brief renaissance in the late 20th century.
After an attack by pygmy elephants had left his bearers dead, D’Arcy injured himself carrying his recording machine across the atlas mountains. It was here, using a camel’s jockstrap, he devised his ‘thinking-man’s truss’, a bumper invention if ever one was seen.
In his later years, D’Arcy, who admitted his ‘addictive personality’, become a recluse, and confined himself to the garden shed with a Playstation and videos of Buttery: The Vampire SandwichMaker. His pay-per-view webcam music interpretations of Sir Richard Burton’s Kama Sutra have become stuff of legend, especially as it had never before been performed within the confines of a barna building.
The cause of his death has not been determined, partly due to the fact that two indentical bodies were found, and both were positively identified by his family.
He is survived by his camel, Jock, his wife, Sharon (19) and his sons, Erstwhile (57) and Mouse (49).
Thanks to Micko’s call for obituaries on >>

Chief Bottle Washer at Blather
Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.


  1. The lead on this story promised Bognor Regis. I’m quite fond of Bognor Regis. Yet no Bognor Regis is mentioned in the article. Why tease the hapless reader with references to Bognor Regis, when you have no intentions of delivering the same?

  2. Lee, I know nothing about Bognor Regis, just like the name. Care to tell us more about the place?

  3. A short company-van ride away from the absurdly charming medieval market town of Chichester lie the faded seaside charms of Bognor Regis, a boardwalk village of early twentieth-century stucco bungalows and late nineteenth-century brick pleasure pavilions.
    On the edge of Chichester, situated by rail station, pub, cinema and entertainment center, and the upscale boutiques of South Street, there stands the recently constructed and beautifully appointed European headquarters of a renowned North American publisher of books and journals.
    And on the edge of Bognor, in a low-lying landscape of mattress discount stores and industrial warehouses, there squats the converted auto showroom that now houses that same publisher’s European IT department and journals’ customer service team.
    A great group of folks they are too, with many bags of chocolate candy and mugs of tea to fill our time of scripting, cycle-testing, and fiddling with a product fulfillment system that was suddenly required by corporate whim to accommodate the North American market. Discretion restrains me from speculating on the thoughts of my Bognor colleagues whenever their single-paned windows rattled under the vibrations of lorries trundling along the road of storage bays and construction supply corporation-yards, and they paused to reflect on the ergonomic opulence where their Chichester counterparts earned a paycheck. And the desire to continue earning my own paycheck from one of its North American branches restrains me from revealing the company name, but by now, surely, the wily reader will have guessed.
    No discussion of Bognor Regis is complete without acknowledging its regal connections, especially as this business was inspired by an obituary. Its helter-skelter, miniature golf course, and tea-sandwiches at the Pixie Café were, perhaps, not the only enticements that drew King George V to Bognor each summer, but vacations there he did spend. And in 1936 when his physician tried to rally the dying Windsor with a promise that he would survive long enough to holiday at the Channel town once again, George, cruising on a parting glass of morphine, reportedly spat back “Bugger Bognor,” expired, and so passed the throne along to his American divorcee-fancying son.

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