Dirty Fag or Dirty Fog

“DIRTY FAG! Dirty fag,” hollers two-years-old Seamus.

His sixty-nine-year-old granddad, Woodie Mack, is leaning out the mini-mansion’s back door, with his left-hand stretching along the brick-fronted wall, trying to hide his cigarette from Seamus, his eldest daughter’s youngest, who the brawny old-age pensioner is meant to be baby-sitting.

Freshly awakened Seamus has come stumbling through the kitchen, and into the rear-entrance hallway.

“Dirty fag! Dirty fag!” shouts Seamus when he spots his granddad exhaling a smoky cloud out the back door into the drizzly afternoon.

“Fog, fog, you’re right, dirty fog,” exhales Woodie Mack, dousing his cigarette between his fingers, pocketing the butt as he swirls his big working-man’s torso around to the wee boy, and says, “Fog! Dirty fog! Dirty fog! Look. Fog.”

Woodie Mack lifts Seamus up with his huge hands that resemble shovels, maybe because they have daily handled picks and shovels for fifty-five years. Woodie Mack turns the boy around to see the mists swirling up from the Lough, assassinating visibility and dampening the mid-summer’s Irish day down to a winter’s chill.

Seamus shivers.

“Dirty fog! Dirty fog!” says Woodie Mack. “Dirty fog! Dirty fog!”

“Dirty fog,” weakly repeats the boy, but he smiles widely when granddad offers him a chocolate bar, and both shout, “Dirty fog! Dirty fog!”


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