With elections looming in the Irish Occupied Six Counties (OSC), and given the inherent hostility that exists between the various parties, I was persuaded into thinking of the manner in which warring forces of the ancient world often chose to settle their disputes.
Rather than have two opposing armies slaughter one another, with resultant massive losses on either side, it was instead sometimes agreed that a champion be selected to represent each, and single combat then be the means of fighting.
I pondered deeply this arrangement and how it could be applied to the warring tribes of the OSC, and it was with great deliberation that I contemplated the most viable method by which the two most powerful antagonists could put forth their champions in mortal combat.
Unfortunately, the two parties in question are the DUP and Sinn Féin, representing Unionism and Republicanism respectively, and their leaders are both (much to the consternation of misogynists and priests) female. Yet I was not to be outdone by the presence of ovaries, and remained determined to tip my hat to the complexities of the feminist (of which I am one) whilst uncovering a path by which these strong-willed members of the fairer sex might proceed, testicles be damned, to pit themselves one against the other.
And I was to succeed.
The answer lay in the gladiatorial arena of… mud-wrestling.
‘Are you serious,’ I hear you screech as you raise your go-cup to throw at the screen. Yet steady yourself and gird your loins, for I will endeavour to entice you.
Picture the scene – the King’s Hall in Belfast (to be renamed the Queen’s Hall for the night) – thousands of ticket-waving attendees screaming their support – the two bikini-clad Amazonians enter the arena and stand by the mud-filled ring (Ulster mud, mind you, none of that imported crap).
Arlene, in the Unionist corner and known now by her stage-name of ‘Snarlene’, poses rather ungracefully in her red, white and blue… and orange, leopard-print wrappings.
Michelle, in the Republican corner, and who has seamlessly embraced her alter-ego of ‘Miss Hell’, glares at the baying, strangely all-male crowd, who resemble a psychopathic troop of gibbering baboons, as she adjusts her sparse green, white and gold (orange abandoned) coverings.
They bravely enter the ring.
Now, if I was a betting man, which I’m not, I would have to take a closer look at both fillies. I’d stay away from their teeth as fingers could be lost, or in Snarlene’s case an arm up to the elbow. I would check flanks, muscle-tone and form.
Snarlene is a good solid farmer’s Daughter, even if she’s not. I would expect to see the red welly-rings around both of her formidable iron calves. She’s of sturdy frame and could easily carry a bullock on her dense shoulders, whilst simultaneously hefting a wet bale of hay under each arm, as she pushes a broken-down tractor up a hill with her ass.
Lil’ Miss Hell is a different matter entirely. More compact and fiery, she is a wiry, intellectual sort, yet used to digging turf down the bogs of East Tyrone, whilst chomping on thin ham sandwiches, drinking cold tea from a lemonade bottle, and singing Geordie Hanna tracks. Quick, agile and astute, Miss Hell’s strengths lie in both rapid movement, and an overwhelming desire to put manners on her opponent.
The fight begins.
Snarlene lumbers across the ring, wading comfortably like a water buffalo through the knee-deep mud, reminiscent of her favourite uncle’s back field (before he built a shed on it and installed 18 solid fuel burners). She moves on her opponent and throws a massive hay-maker that, if connected, could take Carson from his plinth and place him crookedly in Bangor.
Miss Hell moves fast, ducking and weaving. She pokes Snarlene. She nips Snarlene. She goes for the nose and tugs the lugs, further enraging the behemoth Queen of Unionism. The fiery Tyrone pugilist jabs at the kidneys and throws mud in the eye of ‘Her Tragedy’s’ most loyal subject.
Snarlene swings again, narrowly missing her nimble opponent, who steps quickly back but slips up and falls. The Fermanagh ball-breaker sees her chance and charges like a rabid rhino, unstoppable, towards the prone Republican. Yet as she dives, and the terrified crowd go silent in expectation of a flat and messy end, Miss Hell has swiftly rolled and bounced to her feet, just as the Termagant of the Union comes crashing down.
Miss Hell strikes swiftly then, heeding advice from her corner where Francie Molloy looks on in bearded glee, her guerrilla tactics being utilized to great effect as a floundering Snarlene squirms and flails, unable to right herself. Yet still the Unionist doyen struggles stubbornly on, spitting mud from her gasping chops as she screams, ‘No Surrender!’
She rises up, ominously, confidently, her footing now secure as her corner-girl, Sleezy May, has used the mud as cover to slip spiked shoes onto her monstrously hairy feet. Snarlene squares off to the defiant yet petite Miss Hell, who is currently distracted as she frantically tries to pull her bunched-up knickers from out of the shuck of her arse.
Snarlene approaches, certain of victory this time . She knows her opponent now. She can predict her movements. She will unleash her fist of Unionist Fury. She will crumple the Republican opposition with one final, solid blow. She draws back her meaty hand and screams with all the anger of ten thousand Orangemen who have discovered that King Billy was a homosexual Catholic whose favourite colour was green.
But it all goes wrong.
Miss Hell has nipped deftly behind her demented foe and unhooked Snarlene’s substantial bra, which springs forth with tremendous force into the gaping crowd, knocking 5 onlookers unconscious. Snarlene, astonished at such a development, instinctively clasps her dirtied hands to her freed and heaving pendulum breasts as she petulantly states, ‘Hi! There was no need for that you know! That’s not fair!’ She then screams out her well-worn appeal, ‘Sleeeezy!’
But Sleezy can’t come this time, as Miss Hell has dragged her into the mud and is pummelling her relentlessly in the retreating shadow of a deflated and dangling Snarlene. And so it ends.
The referee, Vlad ‘The Bad’ Putin, enters the ring and, raising Miss Hell’s hand while admiring her attributes, declares the champion of the Republican Party to be victorious by a technical knockout. Putin sneaks a quick kick at a prone Sleezy as he heads for the vodka-laden bar.
Hmm… yes… picture the scene…
Anyhow… as much as I would pay good cash-money to see such a contest, I feel that there would be some issues, such as with the venue, the ring, the mud, squeaky Barry McGuigan trying to get a percentage (if he’s not busy washing Lizzie Windsor’s corgi’s), the crowd and, of course, the rules.
Because if there’s one thing that we can confidently state as regards politics in the OSC, it is that there is more chance of Bob Geldoff taking a bath and getting a haircut, than there is of the DUP being prepared to reach a settlement based on mutual respect, regardless of how much mud they continually find themselves covered in.