Denis Lehane: My unlikely role in alien disaster film

Our columnist finds his farm is to be the set of a most unlikely movie.

I had a mighty stroke of good luck last week, indeed it was such good fortune that it almost embarrasses me to tell you about it.

It all started last Wednesday morning, when I was in my yard trimming the dirty tail of a weanling bull. And if truth be told, ’twas a right dirty tail.

Anyhow, what should arrive into the yard only a big black Limousine.

And when I say Limousine, I don’t mean a Limousin bullock or heifer. I mean a car.

“Hi,” says this yank, as he stepped out of the thing. And I knew that ’twas a yank for nobody out here says “Hi” only yanks.

“Your field with the big rock, I’m mighty interested in it,” says he.

“The field is it?” says I, stirred up by his brazenness.

“Are you telling me you are interested in buying the field, yank?” I queried, my grip tightening all the while on the tail of the weanling.

If there is one thing we don’t like out here in rural Ireland, it’s a yank showing an interest in a particular field.

“The field,” says I, staring at him squarely, “is not for sale. Now off with you.”

“Gee whizz man,” says he, “I’m not looking to buy the thing, I just want shoot a movie in it.”

“A movie?” I declared, now taking an interest. “What class of a movie. Is it a dirty one?” I inquired.

“No man,” says he. “It’s an outer space movie.”

“Oh,” says I, as uninterested as any fellow would be in such rubbish, “sure go ahead so I suppose.”

It wasn’t as if the field, which had a few cattle in it, was in hot demand or anything.

Anyhow, within a short while a whole crew of people descended onto the field.

“This rock,” says the yank, now holding a camera, “will be perfect location for an intergalactic battle.”

“Very good,” says I.

“So would you mind moving your steers to another patch?” he asked. 

“They are getting into the shot of this multimillion-dollar epic movie.”

 And begod, for once, I did what I was told. Well, anyhow, the next thing they found themselves short a costume.

“You don’t happen to have a black bucket by any chance?” the yank asked. 

“I have a green bucket” says I, “if that’s any good.”

“God damn,” says the yank in frustration, for he could be the fussy fellow at times,”a green bucket will not do, it has to be black”.

Well there was nothing for it only to call to my neighbour and get a black bucket from him.

And if I did, as soon as I handed it to the yank didn’t he poke a few holes into the thing and then placed it over the head of an actor. It was to be used as some class of helmet I was informed. 

“May the Force be with you,” the actor then muttered from within the bucket.

“And the Force had better be with you,” I roared back, “when my neighbour sees what ye’ve done to his bucket.”

Anyhow the old saga went on all day with the camera moving from one bit of the rock to the next.

And by the evening with rain starting to come down, the yank decided to call it a day.

“Well, Mr Lehane,” says he, closing a rusty gate behind him, “this field was the greatest location in the whole of Ireland.” 

And with that he shoved into my hand the largest fist of fivers that I ever did see.

“Have a few beers on us,” says he and, sure enough, haven’t I been on the greatest spree since they departed.

The whole thing was truly out of this world.


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