“YELL VOTE FOR ME ”
by Mattie Lennon
Set; A cottage door set in a whitewashed wall with a small window on either side is facing the road .
A nearby telephone pole, to the right, has an election poster attached with a picture of a young handsome man and the caption “Number One for Barton.” Tim, an elderly pipe-smoking man wearing a battered hat is leaning over a half-door, looking towards the poster and talking to himself. He has all the hallmarks of a small farmer and has a habit of spitting mid-sentence.
TIM; I told them in 1937 ‘ vote for the constitution and you vote for your own downfall’. But would they listen? No. Too many of them knew too bloody much. Ah yes,
“ . . . The Irish nation hereby affirms its inalienable and sovereign right to choose its own form of Government . . “ Sovereign right me arse. What right have we now? Sovereign or otherwise. Oh, they may wipe their arse with article33 now. “There shall be a Comptroller and Auditor General to control on behalf of the State all disbursements and to audit all accounts of moneys administered by or under authority of the Oireachtas.” And then , “ . . every citizen without distinction of sex who has reached the age of twenty-one years, and who is not placed under disability or incapacity by this Constitution or by law, shall be eligible for membership of Dail Eireann.” Aye , “eligible”. No wonder we have the shower o’ gobshites that we have above in Leinster House. The lord have mercy on the old people. I remember before the foundation of the State. . .
An overweight middle-aged man approaches the door from the right, Tim’s “blind-side”, He is carrying a number of leaflets and and is wearing a rosette bearing the words; “Vote for Jimmy Miley.”
POLITICAN; Good morning to you Tim. It’s younger you’re getting. How are you getting on?
TIM; (Turning round but showing no signs of embarrassment) Ah, I’m middlen’ Jimmy.
POLITICAN; Isn’t it after been rough old weather. . and. . . . isn’t the cost of living terrible?
TIM; I suppose we can’t do much about either of them.
POLITICAN; Well, a change of government would do something about the living cost.
TIM; An’ what about the divil ye know?
POLITICAN; We had some quare promises made here over the years. Do you remember O ‘Reilly the Labour fellow? When everybody in Kylebeg had to carry water uphill in galvanised buckets he spent his whole career promising to get a well sunk and a pump for them.
TIM; The well always dried up after the election.
POLITICAN; Every one of his after-Mass meetings would finish with the punchline, “An’ the Kylebegs will have their water.”
TIM; That was well put . . .in one way. But sure no one can do anything for anyone now unless they’re told to do it beyant in Europe
POLITICAN; I’m after getting the pension for old Johnny Doyle.
TIM; Isn’t Johnny over 66?
POLITICAN ; No matter what age he is nobody got the pension for him before.
TIM; I suppose it’s better late . . .
POLITICAN; (Cutting him off)If I’m elected I’ll look after the people of Kylebeg. Wasn’t all belonging to me reared in it. I know you’ll give me your number one Tim but do you honestly think I’ll be elected.
TIM; Of course you will; ye’ll walk it.
POLITICAN; Do you think so?
TIM; I do. Sure didn’t you say that it was the poor that elected you the last time . . an’ isn’t there twice as many of us now.