The Pyjama Girls
As the pyjama girls, D Da and D Du, walked out the door of their number 7
Janey Macken Street family residence of an early Saturday morning, they could
detect the stale smell of Barristers in the air.
It was trying to infect the essence of the pyjamas that their brother, P.J.
Tips, had ironed for them earlier that morning, in order to be pristine and ready
for their avant-garde poetry meeting in the Community Shack down the road. It
used to be a hall, but now it was a shack due to the recession.
The girls walked forth into the open street in the sartorial eloquence of
pyjamas of their own design. Simple but effective; smiling suns.
P.J. was an expert tailor at the age of 14. But something unbelievable was
happening in his head of late.
"He wants to design his own!" said D Da.
D Du giggled and said -
"I didn't think he'd reach that milestone until at least sixteen. We were
eighteen before we dared create something new. I'm afraid to believe it in case
it slaps our faces red-raw before bursting into nothing like a pin-pricked
"We'll have to go back to stitching our own now D Du."
"Worth it though."
They sneezed at the bad barrister smell wafting.
"Talk about singer-songwriters. He'll be writing poetry next. We should
consider inviting him to the Saturday meeting."
They turned a corner towards Markievicz Park and were thrilled and
horrified in the same breath, when they saw the gang of barristers at the corner.
"Hey girls! Do ye not know the meaning of decency? Did ye forget to
dress or what? Look at the crease in this here trouser of mine. It's so sharp you
could slice turnips on it," said a tall barrister in a black gown with a white wig
sticking out her left trouser pocket.
The girls just ignored and paced on.
Another barrister holding a can of Dutch Gold burst out -
"Girls you're lazy. And you're scum. No respect for decent society. Your
type caused this whole recession. You make me sick. Punks!"
He raised his hand and made to punch them in the face but laughed and
swigged his lager instead at the last minute, before leaning up against the
Ireland-green railings of Markievicz Park behind him. He then took out an
envelope of money, and as the other barristers circled him, he started counting.
The girls were nearly past now, but D Da couldn't hold off.
She said -
"We're not lazy or scum, in fact we're more punk than punk itself."
The counting stopped.
"Oh yeah?" the barristers all chimed together spitting on the pavement in
"Yes. The original punks provoked suchlike reaction back in the 1970s on
the Kings Road in London. But when we wear our pyjamas outdoors it provokes
something ever stronger than that. From people like you."
She was on a roll.
"It's such a sublime statement of the avant-garde, that respectable people
feel compelled towards actually physically assaulting us. You won't understand
what we're trying to say for about a hundred years. So if you're still alive, I
suggest you check out the art history books. We'll be there. And we'll wave
politely at you. We are Duchamp! We are urinal! We are punk!"
The barrister gang whipped off their gowns and charged towards the girls
through a red mist, but fortunately, the bell on the nearby courts went off. They
were due back and couldn't be late as they'd lose money. A few switchblades
flew across the girls heads and into the bonnet of a nearby parked car.
They said -
"Lucky. Only for that bell, you'd be dead and lying naked over in that
there park. We'll be back when we finish our robbing. We never forget a face
girls. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Quick everyone! To the tribunal!"
"For God's sake D Da, you'll get us killed one of these days. Cop on, will
They walked on. The rain stopped and the sun reappeared on their faces.
Charlie, the chocolate poet of Landon Road, was guest-starring at the poetry
meeting that week. He wrote all his words into a notebook with a chocolate
pencil. He liked to read them out to his audience, which was quite large at this
stage. Kind of a superstar. Then he'd lick his chocolate poems off the page
afterwards, with his own tongue. Thus, eating his words in the process every
time. He didn't have an ego, and this was his way of keeping it just so.
Charlie had asked the pyjama girls to perform one of their poems. So the
sun shined as they approached the petrol station.
There was a six-foot high wall beside the station. A gust of foul language
came springing up over it in the guise of six or seven high court judges who
liked to hang out in the green field beyond and gamble.
A bus came up the road but the judges liked to throw stones, perhaps hit
someone inside, if they were lucky, and draw the police to pass the time. The
bus came and went. For the judges were now glued to the pavement when D Da
and D Du passed by. All jaws to the floor when they wore their pyjamas
The judges screamed in high dudgeon -
"You're not allowed girls! You're not fucking allowed!"
"Yes we are! Go back to your toss school and behave like nicey people
now. Don't get in the way of post-modern art. You'll just get your feelings
hurt," said D Da.
The girls tried to pad on. D Du wanted to kill her now. No self-control.
The sky clouded over. Just then another bus approached and the judges put
away their switchblades which had been aimed at the girls' jugulars. They had
killed this way only last week; for in an Irish recession, no one can hear a poor
person scream. The papers said that they were untouchable.
The judges ran over to the footpath to pick up some gravel and fling it at
the approaching bus. It was the red-haired convivial bus driver this time. They
hated him, always smiling without reason. Their favourite. Mere pyjamas
The Community Shack was just two minutes ahead of the girls now as
their stomachs turned and the rain lashed down. They reached the door and were
greeted by Charlie himself. Two hundred people were already inside on grey
plastic chairs and mumbling.
Each time Charlie performed live, he had a section at the end where he
invited volunteers up from the audience to do their own thing, while he wrote it
all down joyously with his famed chocolate pencil.
The show went on and exploded into everyone's face as cheer after cheer
rang out to the rafters of the wooden Community Shack. The time arrived for D
Da and D Du's poetry. Charlie stood up on the stage and knitted his fingers
together, before making a circle with both hands and blowing through it.
"Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce the Pyjama Girls. I've asked
them to perform one of my favourite lyrics of theirs called, The Priest is Gay.
So without further ado- "
D Du began.
"Prologue: This lyric comes from the seminal second album from Eric
and the Earwigs in the late 1980s, Elephant's Goblet. This track touches deep
into their psyche and more audacious still is the fact they got away with playing
it live dressed as ferrets."
D Du continued.
"The priest is gay
is what they say
the priest is gay
is it true?
in every way
he can't forget
that the priest is gay
he can't forget.
Eleven years old and moved to a new school
he wasn't so happy
the brothers ran the school
and it was all boys
he wasn't so happy.
And every Sunday at mass
he impersonated Elvis
a voice like the king
with the hands of the devil.
The priest is gay
is what they say
the priest is gay
is it true?"
in every way
he can't forget
that the priest is gay
he can't forget."
The girls finished and before the applause had a chance to ignite, three knocks
on the three windows of the Community Shack were heard. Loud and resonant.
Faces turned and at each window stood an accountant with wide eyes and an
astonished open mouth looking in.
The accountants started to lick the windows three times each and bang
with clenched fists on the glass.
They said -
"You can't do that! We need to validate and approve it first. This is not
on! This is a disgrace! We'd never have approved of anything involving
pyjamas, it's just not the done thing. How much did those custom made smiling
suns cost? A bloody fortune!
"Scum should all be dressed in awful off-the-peg suits from Guineys or
Pennies. You must be forced to look like us in a very bad way. Only
accountant-like people must wear made-to-measure gear. How else are we to
enjoy our mid-morning scones? How else conversation? We are X-factor. You
The gang of accountants continued to bang and vomit on the windows,
and on the only door too now, demanding entry.
Chocolate Charlie raised his arm and disappeared behind a crimson pair
of drapes to the rear of the stage. He drew a lipstick-red love heart above his left
eyebrow. And he painted three lipstick stripes across his right cheek, like a
native American warrior. One thick red stripe. One thin pastel blue stripe. And
another thick red stripe just like the first. He squeezed into a high-collared
Georgian period black jacket, with a paisley lining, hanging just above the
knees. Moving ever faster, he pulled on his silver breeches and up-to-the-knees
black leather boots. Now he was ready.
He signalled to the girls. They opened the main doors and Chocolate
Charlie danced out towards the spewing accountants who ran to the Community
Shack's front door to use their boots on his lipstick head.
D Da stood behind him to the left and sounded out her best human beat-
box. D Du to the right played abstract noises on a guitar someone in the hall had
thrown at her. And Charlie himself rapped his delicious chocolate words
straight at the accountants full-on in the face.
Black skies threatened from beyond the six foot high concrete wall on the
other side of the road. The accountants laughed at the spectacle in their faces,
almost up their noses now.
This strange Mexican stand-off on Ballyfermot Road was broken only
when three of the high court judges from earlier, in white ruffled wigs, climbed
up and sat on top of the six foot high concrete wall, and pointed at the
The accountants ran across the road. Then up and over the wall together,
with the high court judges they went, towards the green field on the other side.
Behind this grey wall the accountants fought the high court judges until
blood ran red on the pavements, and black rain washed it into the drains.
The rain fell for five minutes as Chocolate Charlie and the pyjama girls
continued doing their stuff on the street outside the Community Shack.
A text came in on D Du's phone.
"P.J. says his pyjamas for this week have been created in his mind
already. The bright idea."