The adventures of Dr. Archimedes J. Sparkplug – Part the first

Episode 1: The North-side Dublin party…

Original text by Damien DeBarra and Conor Ryan.
Theme music fades out and background noise fades in..
Background noise: pub in full swing, clinking glasses, thumping music, loud chatter, shrieking laughter etc etc.
Dr. Sparkplug: (speaking in a ridiculous pesudo-Attenborough academic tone, all hushed conspiracy and earnest passion)
“Good evening and welcome to the inaugural episode in this new radio series entitled ‘In our World’, with me your host Dr. Archimedes J. Sparkplug.
In this show we shall attempt to probe the anthropological mysteries of life as we know it, in the Ireland of the now. The purpose of this exercise will be to explore the ethnology of the Emerald Isle, to shine the torch of science on the murky depths of the Irish psyche and to apply the rigours of logical investigation to our culture as a whole.
Each week will investigate a unique facet of Irish life. This programme of enquiry shall cover a diverse range of topics from the inconsequential drunken ramblings of a homeless man on Dorset Street to the narrow-minded, crazed and bigoted ranting of a chicken-sacrificing, devil-worshipping Orangeman.
My erstwhile colleague, Professor Dishcloth, who is cunningly hidden just outside the premises we are in, in a Mr. Whippy Ice Cream van, is monitoring the entire proceedings. He is able to keep a close eye and ear on events as they unfold, assisted by a microscopic camera installed in my Science club bow tie. In addition, the ice cream van is equipped with a P45 eavesdropper mark 2.0 digital interception and recording unit, which is connected to a small transmitter, which Professor Dishcloth has surgically grafted to my frontal lobe.
This sends intermittent pulses of information to the satellite receiver, which has been slyly concealed in the rotating ice cream cone atop the Mr. Whippy van. Should anything go awry during the field mission, Professor Dishcloth has taken the precaution of constructing an impromptu power winch which, connected to my girdle, is capable of extracting me via the street side window with a violent wrench. Are you there Professor Dishcloth?”
Professor Dishcloth: Indeed, Dr. Sparkplug, I am ever at the ready.
Dr. Sparkplug: Excellent. Then we shall proceed. This week we shall begin by exploring that famous and fascinating Irish social gathering, the north side Dublin pub, late on a Saturday night. Indeed, we have arrived at just the right time to commence our dissection of the proceedings as, according to the ludicrously expensive 1846 Harrison watch that I have had sutured into to my left wrist, it is now closing in on 12 midnight. This is the perfect hour in which to observe the specimens in all of their primitive glory, distracted as they are after nearly six of hours of kamikaze drinking.
We shall begin by examining the specimen before me who is standing at the bar door. This is a white male, in his early thirties, slightly unshaven, wearing a black suit, white shirt and no tie. No visible plumage. He also seems to be missing his traditional footwear and has instead opted to wear a large pair of novelty fluffy slippers.
Note the contorted facial expressions of the specimen. This may be due to the lateness of the hour and the subject may be wondering where he lives and what his name is However, the near-demonic facial contortions may also be in part due to the near biblical quantity of alcohol and drugs that the specimen has consumed in the last four to six hours. Here and now, he stands almost soporific and ethereal, a majestic creature of the prairie, a sentinel in the night, a beacon of the nobility of mankind. His body sways aimlessly from side to side, reminiscent of a listing galleon. In this condition, his mind is so far gone that he is actually incapable of constructing a coherent sentence. I shall prove this by attempting to communicate with the creature. You sir, I say HOW ARE YOU?”
Scumbag: Bollix to you and bollix to your beard…
Dr. Sparkplug: Yes, lovely. As you can see the creature is so inebriated that even the most elementary form of communication is beyond his drug-addled mind. Note also the extraordinary social behaviour of the creature. He stands here, wobbling like the leaning tower of Pisa, incapable of speech or thought and making hideous gurning expressions with his face. Reduced to an atavistic state of raw barbarity, the creature has succumbed to it’s own baser instincts is now capable of no more than standing upright and attempting to chew its own face off. I will turn now to the next specimen before me who does not seem to be quite so inebriated but is equally distracted. He seems to be speaking with some animation into a small plastic device, which has somehow become stuck to the side of his head…
Fiachra: (into a mobile phone) ya, ya, ya ya, uh huh, reallllllyyy…
Dr. Sparkplug: Hello? Excuse me? I couldn’t help but notice that you have a face like a rutting bison…
Fiachra: “”Yeah, hang on there a minute bro I’m on the phone. Yeah, Chloe can I call you back, ya ya ya ya ya… see ya bye love ya baby, (mwah sound)
Dr. Sparkplug: Hello there and how are you this evening? Would you mind if I impinged upon your exceptionally valuable 100 euros an hour time?
Fiachra: Yeah and you are? Oh I’m sorry are you a friend of Brefnis’? No wait you’re that TV guy. Yeah. Are you here with house and home? Yeah, ya ya ya ya, actually I’ve done loads of work for RTE myself. Ask me anything about gazebos. I’ve just had an outdoor Swedish tub put into mine. Happy to help.
Dr. Sparkplug: (highly patronising tone) Is that right? I see…
Fiachra: …uh, huh, did a course in Trinners. (belch) …yeah, thesis in Media communication and its discourse with the existential zeitgeist…
Dr. Sparkplug: Yes riveting. The specimen has launched into an exceptionally dull and unprovoked discourse on the nature of himself. This will mostly involve flagrant self-congratulation, less than subtle allusion to the girth of his socially superior member and crawling, obnoxious veiled references to his all too easily acquired wealth in the dot com sector. I shall now attempt to provoke the specimen by casting dispersions on his parentage and then insinuating that his female mate is, to use the parlance of the specimens’ eco-system, ‘a bit of a goer’. This will lead the specimen to believe that I have unlawful carnal knowledge of his female mate, which should produce a violent reaction.
(In a loud and highly patronising tone) I say, good man, am I to understand that (rustling of a piece of paper) your mother was a cut price prostitute and your missus has been fucked off more football pitches than Roy Keane”
Fiachra : Chloe? (snorts laughing) She’d ride the handbrake off a Punto. Did I mention that I got a new Beamer off Dad? Ya, yah… Wrote the last one off… Fintan’s horse took a dump in through the sunroof. Have you ever seen what a half a ton of horseshit does to Spanish leather seats? I tell ya the mechanic was less than impressed …
Dr. Sparkplug: Intriguing. Note how the more grandiose the bragging of the specimen gets the more he begins to puff up his chest and bare his immaculately polished teeth… Do you share the opinion that your BMW looks decidedly the poor cousin of my S class Mercedes?
Fiachra: Eh. Hold the phone there chief. Listen, I’m beginning to dislike you, ya know, I tell ya, no offence but you’re starting to bore me. In fact, hang on, I recognise you now, yoh, you’re scientist that was struck off after dubious offshore experiments in the Isle of Man. Yoh yoh, Labrador puppy in fishnet tights, roight?
Dr. Sparkplug: Yes fascinating, now moving swiftly along. Madam, may I say you’re looking like a haddock poking its head out of a black plastic sack?
Female: Oh my hair, yes, I had it done in Toni & Guy’s Tuesday lunchtime, Do you like it?
Dr. Sparkplug: Madam, surely you are in jest, your haircut reminds me of a backcombed squirrel after being anally pummelled by a rabid badger.
Female: What?
Dr. Sparkplug: And subsequently reversed over by a cement mixer. I say, are you married?
Female: Well, I don’t see how that’s any of your business?
Dr. Sparkplug: No. I didn’t think so. In fact, I’d say that in an average week you have more hands working on you than the Dublin port tunnel…
Fiachra: Excuse me? I thought I told you to fuck off. Here, Fintan it’s that git from the science show…
Professor Dishcloth: (sound of a voice as though through a walkie-talkie) “Abort! Abort! Mission compromised!”
Dr. Sparkplug: Er, I, well that is, I suppose I…
Fiachra: (sound of glass breaking) Listen buddy, I’ve told you twice already…
Dr. Sparkplug: Ah yes now would seem like a good moment upon which to make our exit… oh dear… Ehm, Dishcloth old boy activate the extraction device
(Other male voices start closing in and becoming louder)
Dr. Sparkplug: For God’s sake man! Do it now!
Professor Dishcloth: What? What did you say?
(Sounds of a murderous beating with much needless profanity in between thumps and screams of agony…)
Dr. Sparkplug: For the love of Stephen Hawkings balls, activate the extraction device!
(There follows a cacophonous wrenching noise and the sound of several tables and windows being smashed, shortly succeeded by a blood-curdling human scream being yanked backwards across a room)
Professor Dishcloth: (again through walkie-talkie) Hello? Hello? Doctor? Are you there? Hello? Oh my…. Oh good God…. Oh dear God!!! Call an ambulance. Somebody! Anybody! Do something!!! ….
Dr. Sparkplug: this is Dr. Sparkplug, signing off for now… (Wallop) reporting from the north (blam) of the liffey AGGGHHH!!!….”
Theme music…
Fade out….

Damien DeBarra was born in the late 20th century and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. He now lives in London, England where he shares a house with four laptops, three bikes and a large collection of chairs.