Interview: Javelins O'Callaghan

Today Rum and Monkey interviews the renowned sportsman and adventurer, Javelins O'Callaghan. He arrives at the café before we do, in fact before we arranged the interview. We arrive late, some weeks after writing this piece. Javelins does not mind. He despises punctuality in all its forms. In fact he invites us to return five minutes later on grounds of good form. We have left our camels running and so gladly comply. On our return, camels now conscientiously parked in the camel park, Javelins is in deep thought. On the table in front of him lies a severed arm of a plump young brunette. The waiter motions us away. We retire to sell our camels to the Germans. When we re-enter the café the arm is not there. Javelins is not there. Neither is the café. We realise we are in the wrong establishment. The assembled bishops watch us mutely as we make our excuses and leave. On our return to the café the arm is not there. Javelins is not there either. He returns later - not earlier. On the table in front of us the places the severed brunette of a plump young arm. She apologises, she has an appointment, we understand, it is quite all right. She leaves. The interview can begin. It does just that.

R&M: Javelins O'Callaghan, hello.

JO'C: Yes..

R&M: What would you like the first question to be?

JO'C: "What would you like the first question to be?", please.

R&M: Good.

JO'C: Thank you.

R&M: You're welcome.

JO'C: No, really, you're too kind.

R&M: OK. You're not welcome.

JO'C: Thank you.

R&M: You're welcome.

JO'C: Thievery...

R&M: What?

JO'C: Have you read much Seneca?

R&M: No.

JO'C: Me neither.

R&M: Nor us.

JO'C: Neither have I.

R&M: It's probably bilge.

JO'C: Yes..

R&M: Do you consider yourself a literary man?

JO'C: Yes, quite often.


JO'C: Three times a week - four if time permits.

R&M: And does it?

JO'C: Yes, quite often. It's very permissive.

R&M: Yes, we've heard about your time-travelling escapades.

JO'C: I haven't.

R&M: Well, of course you haven't. Not yet.

JO'C: I see. That gives me an idea.

R&M: It does, eh?

JO'C: Yes.

R&M: Would this idea be the possibility of minor fluctuations in the fabric of time being harnessed, by means of a differentialised array of particle emitters and receivers integrated with a strong electromagnetic field, for a man's purposes, bringing him to the brink of an understanding of its implications and potential so complete that he could calibrate it so finely, so minutely and with such deep comprehension as to allow him to travel back a short but significant chronological distance, perhaps even of the order of five minutes?

JO'C: No.

R&M: Aw, dammit.

JO'C: Wait.

We wait.

JO'C: Yes.

R&M: Yippee!

JO'C: Excuse me.

He leaves. He returns a few minutes earlier.

R&M: Next question. You play poker?

JO'C: Indeed.

R&M: And write avant-garde novels?

JO'C: Yes.

R&M: Are you a git?

JO'C: No. I am a professional.

R&M: A professional poker player?

JO'C: No.

R&M: What, then? A lawyer?

JO'C: Yes.

We consult our notes.

R&M: Really? That isn't in our notes.

JO'C: Those are banknotes.

This is true.

R&M: This is true.

JO'C: Thievery...

R&M: What?

JO'C: Nothing.

R&M: That's bollocksed up our interview a bit. Tell us something we don't know about you.

JO'C: What like?

R&M: Anything really.

JO'C: Anything?

R&M: Yes. To be honest we aren't entirely sure who you are. We thought we were here to interview Dana International, but she turned out to be an airport. You're kind of an afterthought.

JO'C: Very well. I have a number of unique talents.

R&M: For example?

JO'C: I can talk in stage directions.

R&M: Can you?

He demonstrates.

R&M: That's cool. Anything else?

JO'C: Thievery...

R&M: What?

JO'C: Nothing.

R&M: Uh, OK. Next question.

JO'C: Four.

We confer amongst ourselves.

R&M: Yes, we'll accept that answer.

JO'C: Is this going to go on for much longer?

R&M: What?

JO'C: I have an appointment with a brunette at four.

R&M: We don't understand.

JO'C: That means you have time for two or three more questions, unless you have another brunette I can use.

R&M: Interviews end?

JO'C: Customarily, yes.

R&M: Are you sure?

JO'C: Customarily, yes.

R&M split from the gestalt entity that is our normal form into the Owen and the Iain. This makes a noise very much like SCHLOMP

The Owen: We'd better tell Ben then. He's been in that room with David Hasslehoff for almost a year now.

I take a close look at the Iain.

The Owen: Wow, that's what you look like.

The Iain: Thievery...

JO'C: What?


R&M: Nothing.

JO'C: Uh, OK.

R&M: So, you busy this weekend?

JO'C: Yes.

R&M: Doing what?

Javelins moves to the middle distance.

JO'C: Thwarting...

R&M: What?

JO'C: Nothing.

He returns.

R&M: How about the weekend after that?

JO'C: Thievery.

R&M: Ooh, lovely.

At length we drift away like the autumn leaves. It is to be a hard winter: in a few weeks the Germans will come, disrupting the quiet ways of the town and touching every aspect of our lives, obliterating the past under the tread of the new, the old people's failing memories the only relics of a time, ever more distant, disappearing like grains of sand upon the restless air... all of us, in our own ways, are learning now something of the perpetuity of change: it embraces us, hurts and heals, binds us together; it nurtures us; and all the while, unnoticed except in rare moments of insight, it bears us helpless into the vagueness of half-remembered history.

Javelins O'Callaghan lives with his wife and children in Southampton. He enjoys chess and travel, as well as gardening - when the weather allows!

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...