John Healy (2012 ) The Grass Arena.
Posted by celticman on Wed, 13 Nov 2013
I thought I’d read this before, my memories pickled. Maybe I just lived it. My brother was an alcoholic. Dead. His pal’s Jas, Tommy, Billy. Dead. Dead. Dead. There’s more casualties. Drinks a funny thing. It builds you up and knocks you down. Healy knows that better than anyone. Violence is always a background hum. His Da tried to beat him into submission. The army tried to beat him into submission. The police lifted him and a regular beating was the equivalent of fingerprinting. Nobody likes a Jake, an Alky (or a Junkie), least of all themselves. There’s so much here to admire. Sketches of pickpockets that know psychology. If, for example, you touch a young woman’s bum on a crowded tube, she’ll block with her bag. Easy money. The most shocking violence is not the razor, knife, broken brick or bottle. Nor is it the institutionalised beatings of the prison system. All those poor buggers that died falling down an institution’s stairs. For me the biggest con comes from the medical profession –no surprise there.
‘We all know Smithy died from a heart attack,’ I said. He shook his head, “That fucking quack always puts “Heart Attack” on an alky’s death certificate when he’s pumped full of Antabuse before being force-fed a bottle of Scotch. And it’s all legal, ‘cause I bet you’ve already signed a form on admission agreeing to take part in his little aversion treatment “experiment”.’
There are different forms of abuse. The Antabuse scam takes some beating. He’s the type of doctor that probably went on to greater things and work for Atos Healthcare.