My Days as a Landlord, and How They Ended (long)

This was posted on alt.callahans by Stark Night (aka Sean Roberts).

Starknight looks up from his drink. “I have a confession to make; I was once in jail in Derry. The story of how it came about, though, is interesting…

“You see, one of my relatives (a 3rd cousin twice-removed on my mother’s side of the family) was a landowner in Ireland. He had a small dairy, some pasture lands, and about 10 acres of crops. All in all, a nice little family business, except that he had no family, being a confirmed bachelor. So, when he died, the farm came back to the family.

“Now, somehow this distant cousin knew of me, and decided that I would be the perfect choice to handle the disposition of his estate. Personally, I think he liked my name. So I travelled to Ireland, to look at the farm and see what kind of assets Paddy had to distribute. Arriving at Derry, I asked for Paddy O’Brien’s farm, and was directed there by a helpful milkmaid.

“When I got to the farmhouse, I was greeted by an elderly gentleman with graying red hair and merry blue eyes. ‘Welcome to O’Brien Manor,’ he said. ‘I am Darby, the houseman.’ He proceeded to introduce me to the rest of the household and farm staff, and showed me to the office which Paddy had built on to the back of the house.”

Starknight pauses to take a refreshing drink from his rum and Coke. “Ah, that’s better… Clear those yiors from my throat. Where was I? Oh, yes, just going into the office. Anyway, I spent the next two days going over the financial situation, which was bleak. The dairy equipment needed to be upgraded, the farm was deeply in debt, and the house mortgaged to the hilt. Clearly, I was going to have to liquidate everything in order to pay off Paddy’s debts.

“However, I was a bit concerned about how the staff was going to take the news. The best way to break it to them, I thought, would be to take them all to a pub in Derry and tell them over a few drinks that they were going to be out of work. So we packed them into the farm truck and headed into town.

“In a pub called The Green Bough, we all sat down and had a few pints of ale. I really didn’t want to tell them, but I knew I had to do so, and I managed to stand up and blurt out a few words before giving each of them their walking papers. At that, however, a constable who had been drinking in the corner got up and approached the table. Taking out his handcuffs, he affixed them to my wrists while pronouncing, ‘Yer under arrest, laddie – come along quietly!’

“Believe me, I was much surprised when the judge sentenced me to thirty days in jail for discharging an Eire farm within city limits…”

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