To cut a long story short I will just give you the basic details about Pearl and Paddy.

There was this chick, see. To put it in a nutshell she was no blushing bride. For the almighty dollar, she would be all things to all men. Up to now, Dame Fortune had smiled upon her. But now the bloom of youth was deserting the heartless wench. With grim determination, she vowed to bring order out of chaos. All things being equal she would, at long last, seek connubial bliss.

She decided to make the singles scene. Parents without Partners was out, she was without issue. She had always counted her chickens whenever sex reared its ugly head. Since she had first seen the light of day she had lived in the school of hard knocks and she knew the score.

She cruised the singles bars but all that presented itself was the sordid scene of gay lotharios. She sallied forth to discover new horizons. She joined a new style singles group that shall remain nameless. When she first made the scene her ruby lips parted in anticipation as she cast her gaze over the assembled multitude. From her vantage point, she could observe the serried throng of eager participants.

The macho studs, the crotches of their jeans bulging, flexed their rippling muscles and stuck their thumbs into the belts girding their taut loins.

“Like WOW!” she breathed. Despite her experience as a woman of the world, she had a sneaking suspicion that the irony of life was still wrapped in mystery.

There was one outstanding example. Words fail to express the rapture she felt coursing through her veins when she first clapped eyes on that proponent of the Noble Art, Paddy McChree, the Pride of Erin at the House of Stoush.

His bulging biceps gripped her attention. From her vantage point, she observed that he was the strong silent type. A pale shaft of light illuminated his florid features as he stood in the centre of the squared ring defying all comers.

“My Hero!” she whispered, her eyes widening.

There he stood; straight as an arrow, strong as a bull; a proud example of vibrant manhood. She could envisage him climbing the ladder of success to untold wealth. How could she effect an introduction? With bated breath, she considered her strategy. It was a case of ‘Nothing Ventured – Nothing Gained’. It was All or Nothing!

It was like the meeting of twin souls. When he left the ring, having defeated all challengers, she was there waiting for him. No shrinking violet, she flaunted her charms at our hero. With her own fair hand, she wiped the honest sweat from his brow.

“Ah to be sure,” said he in his rich Irish brogue. “When I’ve spruced meself up we’ll have a Night on the Town. I’ll give you the time of your life and spare no expense!”

She was walking on air. “You are a Prince among men” she exulted. “If only mother could see me now!”

The happy couple soon made an item. They were constant companions. Soon people’s tongues began to wag. The whispers grew to murmured asides as the gossip mongers plied their deadly trade.

One day, at the peak of her happiness, her hopes were dashed and she thought that her world was at an end. Paddy had been moody all week. Frowns creased his troubled brow.

“What is it, Paddy? she demanded. “For us to have a meaningful relationship Honesty is the best Policy!”

“Ah to be Sure,” said Paddy, trailing off into a Celtic silence. He moodily kicked a passing dog which made the night hideous with its protest.

“Don’t you ever say anything but ‘Ah to be Sure’?” protested Pearl petulantly.

“Let’s face it, Paddy. We must put all our cards on the table. We must stand foursquare, put our shoulders to the wheel and bite the bullet if we are to hold a meaningful exchange of views at this point in time.”

“Ah to be Sure,” said Paddy. “It is a fine way with words you have. There’s none to hold a candle to you when it comes to the English,” he said admiringly.

“What is it?” pleaded Pearl, promptly putting the discussion back on the tracks. “What has cast such a shadow on our romantic attachment? Why have you being acting so coldly towards me in recent days?”

“Ah to be Sure” began Paddy. “If it isn’t one thing it’s another!”

“And what is that supposed to mean?” snapped the impatient Pearl.

“Well it is this way y’see. They are ganging up on me. Herself is at the forefront for a start, and behind her is his reverence!” He wrung his hands. “What is a man to do?”

Pearl was aghast. “But I thought Mother McChree liked me.” she wailed.

“Ah to be Sure!” said Paddy, “It is not that. But let’s be practical, ’tis the neighbours. They say that the way we have been carrying on is sinful.”

Pearl was indignant. She knew that proprieties had to be observed and, according to her own code of conduct, her behaviour had been impeccable.

“But we have never slept together at Your house, and whenever we go to a motel I wear a plain gold band.”

Paddy sighed. “Ah to be Sure,” said he, But isn’t it always the way? According to the common herd, you are no better than you ought to be. They are calling you a Scarlet Woman!”

“I’m no Jezebel!” snorted Pearl.

“I’ll not deny I have been troubled,” said Paddy. “I’m glad we have had this little chat.” He straightened his shoulders and appeared to come to a decision. “Ah to be Sure,” said he, And there might just be one way to resolve our differences.

“What is that?” said Pearl with bated breath.

“We could fix the whole part and parcel of them if you would consent to be Mrs  Paddy McChree!”

Tears misted her violet eyes and bedewed her cheeks.

“Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!” she cried joyfully. Her radiant smile like the sun emerging from the clouds.

“We will be happy Paddy, I promise you. I shall cook and slave for you and bear you six children. The patter of little feet will make the welkin ring. The future is before us, and hand in hand we shall tread life’s highway into the twilight of old age!

“Ah to be SURE!!” said Paddy.

Copyright Harry St. V. Beechey 1990~