THE WAR of the   NOSES or, A GAME of SRONES by Perkin Warbeck


As the Mainland had its War of the Roses it is only fitting that its occidental off-shore island should have its War of the Noses, given as it much is to bending down on one knee and sniffing that by any other name to the east.

It is a curious coincidence, not, that while the English war lasted for 30 years (1455-1485) so also did the Troubles aka The Dirty Thirty Year War ( 1968-1998). The olfactory name of the latter is derived from the following pair of factoids:

  1. It was waged in the industrial part of the island of Ire Land which has the greatest concentration of gantries, factory whistles, blue collar workers and redundancy dances.
  2. The soi disant winners are easily recognisable: they look down their noses at the losers (alleged) and brand them as ‘The Killers’.

One was reminded of all that while recently watching one of the very best of the fillum genre known as Film Noir. It featured an actor uniquely qualified to act the lead role: Burt Lancaster, being that it was the House of Lancaster which was symbolised by the Red Rose.

That he was a native of New York reminds us also that it was the House of York which was symbolised by the White Rose. Which is not to say that the parallels are with the War of the Roses alone; indeed, that Burt’s four grandparents were, not at all oddly, Ulster Prods points to the unavoidable conclusion that the War of the Noses is also gamechecked throughout the length and breadth of the thriller. If not, indeed, more so. That Burt’s shoulders were as wide as the average Peace Wall may well be, however, a mere coincidence.

The plot can be served up in a sentence, both consecutive and concurrent:

– Hit men kill an unresisting victim, who skipped ship after a heist, while an insurance Shamus (Edmund O’Brien) uncovers the victim’s past involvement with a beautiful, deadly colleen.

Based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway nonetheless it has a Shakespearean-type motif at its core. Just as the handkerchief embroidered with a strawberry design symbolised for Othello the fidelity of Desdemona (aka ‘the no hanky-panky hanky’) so also does ‘The Killers’ feature a (gulp) silk green handkerchief with little golden harps such ‘as are sold’ as one of the characters remarks ‘by the thousand on New York sidewalks on St. Patrick’s Day’.

In this instance it is the doll who gives the guy the hanky. The doll being (gulp) Kitty Collins (no relation) who is played by Ava Gardner to the guy called Ole ‘Swede’ Anderson, as played by Burton ‘Burt’ Lancaster.

(Ava Gardner it was, of course, who famously gave the biggest name in Show Biz at the time, Sinatra the cold shoulder. And there was FA that Francis Albert could do about it. But all this happened long ago, in a foreign country, when the gentle gender lacked, erm, empowerment and, besides, the wench is dead.)

Halt it there.

Already the echoes with that part of the Emerald Isle, a lot of which is south and a moiety of which is north of the Black Sow’s Dyke, resound (for a pound, like Leo):

– Gardner (Place). O’Brien. Othello Haughey (‘I did the stateen some service’ as the Son of Swatragh reminded the Doll’s House in his swan speech) and of course, Collins (still no relation).

Neither is that part of the Emerald Isle, a lot of which – the Yune part – is the Daily Mirror image on the other side of the Black Sow’s Dyke, neglected:

-Anderson (Town), hit men, the orignal short story was one of the Nick (gulp) Adams series, hit men, and Londonderry which is evoked by one of the hit men. Or rather the act-or who plays one of them, and who actually makes his debut in this film noir:

-William Conrad.

No, he does not evoke Conrad na Gaeilge below the walls of Londonderry but rather an immoveable instrument of ordnance thereon and also, a TV character which he was later to make his own:


Both sides of The Emerald Isle’s obsession with dates and the Film Noir’s fascination with flashbacks are succintly captured in this following sod of Bog Oak dialogue:

Reardon: When was the last time you saw him?

Charleston: Mister, did you say ‘when?’

Reardon: Yes.

Charleston: Mister, when it comes to dates, 1492 is the only one I can remember.


To return to William Conrad (see above); already those former political activists who addressed each other (endlessly) in Gardiner Place, Dublin 1 have long since officially ditched their (gulp) most cherished idylls. Their shtick nowadays if the making of Duckumentaries for TV for which they have already amassed a soapbox full of Quack Doctorates by The Universal University of Orthodoxy. For ‘great production values’, that sorta thingy.

It is rumoured that they will be shooting a remake of ‘The Killers’ in Londonderry, based on the unreported and actual events of ‘Goody, Goody Sunday’. In which the ‘1492’ date will be updeed to ‘1690’.

The Workers, oops, working title of the fillum will be:

-Still throwing stones?

And will be subtitled:

– ‘An Dara Tost Fada’ /’The Second Long Whisht’. Unsrurprisingly, perhaps, it too will also feature a hanky (alleged).

Modestly, it is also being put about by their agents (myriad, oblgiging) in the monominded media on Liffeyside that it will mark the initial movie in a new fillum genre to be know as, erm:

-Film Doir (e).

The soundtrack is confidently expected to be the ‘home’ town of an Orange Man much revered in the town his followers came to love so well:

The man at the end, he’s a very good friend
Of a man who sells cars second hand

Down at the Red Rose Cafe in the Harbour
There by the port just outside Amsterdam 


It is also being consumered that they, the Shtick Screen moguls will embark on a new rewriting of the comic history of the rednose, oops, red rose House of Lancaster, to be entitled (gasp):

-Burt Eile.

Seemingly based on the Shakesperean take of same with this difference: it will be The Great Shakes as it might be screenplayed by Hemmingway. The Immortal Bard was a divil for rewriting history and that’s what (officially) makes him so attractive a camera roll model for those who use the fake fillum making as their saintly shtick to whack ‘The Killers’ these latter days.

They will point to the similariy between the founding fathers of The House of Lancaster and the Free Southern Stateen:

-Edmund Crouchback and Eamon De Scratchback.

And how the humpyback spirit of Richard 111, sadly, the Last of the Lancasrated, regularly fetched up through the course of, erm, West British History. For example, ‘little crooked Paddy from the Tiraloughett Bog’ who famously graced Phil the Futher’s Ball and subsequently, erm, disgraced himself.

Dick the Turd’s full title was actually, Duke of Lancaster and (gasp) Leicester. It was indeed the bones of D the T which were located beneath the dignified location of a shopping mall car-park in Leicester in recent times and Times.

This came about when a new use was accidentally discovered for a JCB. The original purpose of which is, of course, to extract cash from ATM machines but then. Then it was accidentally found to be an extremely refined ‘helping hand’ to revisionist historians in the excavation of historical source material buried for centuries beneath the soil.

Let us hope that will be the last such discovery in Leicester in the years to come! Who knows what bones the Kevin Street Walkers (as opposed to the Gardiner Placebos of Myreland ) buried there.

The Gardiner Placebos (the Kevin Street nutters, not) will have also noticed that the History Rewriter known as the Great Shakes devoted eight of his greatest history plays to the red-rose House of Lancastar


The Duckumentary Fillum Company for whom The Remaking of Irish History is their, erm, Shtick will also remind the world that Don Siegel, the director of the (gulp) Dirty Harry series also directed a remake of ‘The Killers’ in 1964, featuring Lee ‘Garvin’ Marvin, the angelic Angie Dickinson and The Ronald.

And how Dirty Harry 5, oops, Henry V was fillumed during the Hitler-Churchill War in Goatsucker Central, i.e. the environs of Powerscourt Waterfall, Wicklow. Where Larry O orated about ‘once more unto the breach’ while a pair of the spear carriers who looked on went on to become the greatest poet and playwright of the FSS:

-Patrick Kavanagh and Hugh Leonard.

Despite their literary excellence these two were ‘worshipers of the sceptred isle, that Other Eden, that demi-paradise’ and so proved to be the two provincial ends of the same boiled, political turd.

The Shticky Silver Screen Corporation (yes, it has come to that) have indubitably based their Rewriting of History on the (gasp) Bowdlerisaton of Billy Bunter Books.

Thus, anyone who has had the misfortunate to chance upon the contemporary dehydrated editions of the BBB will have notice that ALL ejaculations (considered much too religious in these secular Times) of the Fat Owl of the Remove have been,erm, removed.

-Ouch ! OOOOh ! ouch ! stoppit ! leggo ! you rotters ! Yarooooooooooooo !

-yelled Billy as the boots of Harry (sic) and the Famous Five landed on the rear of the tightest checkpatterned trousers in Greyfriars.

It will not have gone unnoticed to the Shticks either that a particular favourite exprssh of The Bunt would have been:

-Oh, scissors.

Although it is still very much in the realm of speculation nonetheless there is a West Cork Summer School of Thought Control which, erm, posits the view that this is the preferable editorial weapon of choice where Irish Hisotry is concerned.

Whatever the case, there is little doubt but that the pared down way, the Hemmingway, is the only way which can be seen as a bridge of the nose building enterprise. One which does not get up the, erm, nose of or discommode the a la mode.


The Importance of Being Ernest Shakespeare


No adjectives, sir,made to agitate

No adverbs which jade the palate

It is the Hemmingway

It is the Lemming way

This is Di-bernia of the Dehydrate.


  1. The Postal Order is in the Post.

5 Responses to THE WAR of the   NOSES or, A GAME of SRONES by Perkin Warbeck

  1. Brian Patterson August 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm #

    Down with the nez-sayers. Or sieurs. As opposed to THE Peig Sayers.

  2. Perkin Warbeck August 12, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

    Clothes-peg on the Nose sayers?

    Moi, I’m with the Leo Sayers. Son of a daughter of Maguiresbridge.

    No more than that can one say.

    Oh, oh, yea, yea.

  3. Brian Patterson August 12, 2017 at 9:22 pm #

    MAGUIRESbridge.? There was a time when Maguire and Patterson made a good match. But now there are “miles and miles of empty space in between us”
    Or kilometres. Rememeber Leo’s greatest hit, “When I kneed you..”

  4. Perkin Warbeck August 13, 2017 at 7:49 am #

    Alas, that’s one of Leo’s which passed one by. Must have been released during the Mid-Seventies when the One Man Banned was surfing the airwaves down here in the Free Southern Stateen of the Section 31 Twenty Six Counties.

    One Man Banned just about everthing which reeked of the B.O.M. ( Bog Oak Monolith) .Conor Craze O’Brain (for it was he!) was particularly down on the Six Pistols. He, erm, harboured a specific animus for S.F. and the way he might diss the National Tantrum of Antrim even while offensively wrapping the Union Jill beneath his Green, White and Daffodil.

    That was, for course, Syd Fishes. As CCOB was an oath-taking resident of Howth he had a particular bent for the piscatorial and nothing would have given hm greater delight than to dunk this political punk into the brine.

    Fate alas had ordained that CCOB would have to suffer the Purgatory of Paddyland where he was compelled to act as UN Yobserver for more decades that he cared to remember. (Shadows of Jadotville, indeed).

    Still, Cods make their own Self-Importance.

    Till, eventually, by a commodious vicus of recirculation – look up UKUP – the rosy-cheeked Red White and Blue Rosette wearer and former Yobsersver finally fetched up as Editor in Chief of The Observer on the Mainland..

    It wasn’t till then that the magnanimous B.O. Monolithics of, erm, Sayer-Eire at last were made to feel like Dancing in the Streets of Liffeyside in Leo Land to be.. So chuffed were they that Group Captain Douglas Bader of Beann Éadair would finally get to put his one egg-head and both his legs in the one basket-sized cockpit.

    I feel like dancing, dancing (whoo, whoo!)
    Dance the night away (yeah!)
    I feel like dancing (whoo!) dancing, aah!

  5. Brian Patterson August 14, 2017 at 8:08 am #

    Think the chorus goes “I’m in the mood (n.b. not the nude) for dancin'”. Neither is this to be confused with An Mód which is the Scottish equivalent of the Oireachtas or the Eysteddfod. Just sayin’.