There was much rejoicing in Loughmacrory this morning after it emerged that local coalman and animal balloon contortionist, Malachy O’Brien, has been chosen to supply the coal for the papal conclave’s fireplace today. Whilst the world watches on in anticipation for the signal, it will be Loughmacrory smoke emerging from the Sistine Chapel’s chimney which will hopefully spark a mass tourism boost for the beleaguered village.
“I’m delighted,” O’Brien told the assembled media. “I had a bad reputation a few years ago for selling that oul shite coal that burns out in seconds giving no hate (heat) at all. Now the hate is deadly. If you dig deep enough in Loughmacrory you’ll get the good stuff. Still, I didn’t expect to hear Benedict on the other side of the phone. He just asked if this was O’Brien from Loughmacrory and if I’d throw a lock of 20kg bags on a plane before they started the meeting today. I thought it was Red Loughran from up the road and started calling him all the hoors of the day. It wasn’t until I heard the distinctive German brogue coming down the phone when he threatened to ex-communicate me and all that hellish damnation stuff that I backed down and asked for forgiveness. We’ll laugh at it in years to come.”
O’Brien’s coal is burning at the moment but early reports have indicated that a couple of Cardinals have complained about the ‘deadly heat’ and that the coal was spitting a bit when a new batch is thrown on, burning small holes into an expensive furry mat they had made by slave workers in Cambodia. Loughmacrory Coals are investigating whether wetting the coal beforehand will dampen its explosive nature by doing experiments in a disused fireplace on the Drumnakilly Road.