Denis Lehane: Good advice for my 18-year-old self

You will all agree that there is a big difference between myself and Victoria Beckham. Yerra, we are poles apart, really.
Denis Lehane: Good advice for my 18-year-old self

One of us is a right talented and gorgeous creature, blessed with the voice of an angel, and the other is married to your man David Beckham.

It isn’t too often that Victoria Beckham gets mentioned here, for I have about as much interest in the girl as I have in the crows up above.

I mention her todaybecause she recently penned a letter to her 18-year-old self.

And today, I’m going to do the same.

I’m going to write a letter to myself, giving the younger me some advice, now that I know everything in the world.

Dear Denny,

You’re 18 years old today, and living happily in the wilds of west Cork. You are as green as the grass, as gullible as they come and looking forward to the future.

Well look here, this is a letter from your 46-year-old self, and let me start by saying you’re the greatest fool that rural Ireland has ever produced.

You were a fool at 28, never mind 18. So if you have any sense at all, you’ll heed my words today, because you badly need some straightening out.

Now, the first thing I’d advise you to do is to get out of Ireland. Get the boat to England straight away, and don’t look back.

Slattery Travel should have a bus leaving Macroom every day at about 12 noon.

And for 18 old pounds, if memory serves me correctly, they can ship you out to the streets of London.

Get out, while you’re still young, Denny.

You see, for the next three decades, dear old Ireland is going to be run by a shower of fools, halfwits and buffoons.

Bankers and politicians with money on the brain, and greed in the soul, will ruin everything, and you’ll be left to pick up the bill.

’Twill be a disgrace, I’m telling you.

So vamoose as quickly as you can, and if things don’t work out in England, travel elsewhere.

And while I’m on the subject of the old sod, for heavens sake, stay well clear of farming.

’Twill be the finish of you. The work will be hard, the income will be lousy. It will break your heart. Stay away from the land, there will be no money made from farming.

But don’t worry, for there will be other ways of making a few quid.

For starters, put a few notes on the Fergie Sutherland-trained Imperial Call to win the 1996 Cheltenham Gold Cup. And before that, throw a few bob on the Jim Lynch-owned Ebony Jane to win the 1993 Irish Grand National.

And if Knockrour Slave is still running at the dog track, put all you have on him. He’ll make you a wealthy man. There will be no need for work, if you take these tips on board.

And with regards to women, would you ever stop being so afraid of them. They won’t bite you. At least not unless you ask them to. Drive on with the girls and don’t be holding back, or else ’twill be years before you have any fun.

The years, alas, will pass you by, my naive young fool, and one day, you’ll be old and will have nothing better to do than to be sitting by the fire writing letters to yourself, like Victoria Beckham.

So enjoy your life, and take no notice of Bishop Casey. Sure heavens above, it could have happened to anybody.

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