It’s well- nigh impossible to grab a hold of Peggy these nights as she’s out canvassing almost every evening for the YES for Equality side. I’ve accompanied her a few times and I have to say that canvassing is not for the faint-hearted. Take the other night for example. Off we set in Peggy’s 1999 Fiesta to canvass the townland of Beal Balbh, a couple of miles outside the village. Well, those couple of miles might as well be a hundred, ‘twas like a different country out there.
First house we pull up at, four massive mongrel dogs are out with their paws splayed all over the car before Peggy has even a chance to turn off the engine. Then before you could say Jack Robinson, one of them is stretched out in the bonnet with his mouth open in this really fearsome snarl. Jeez, and I thought it was only postmen and postwomen got this treatment. As we sit there imprisoned in the car, I chance to look out the window, well as much of the window as I can see between one of the mongrel’s large ears and I see about six heads inside the window of the house and their mouths back to their ears laughing, they think the two of us being pinned into the car like the Tanáiste was a couple of months ago is only hilarious.
They even had the gall to wave out to us but fair play to Peggy, the woman has the blood of Connolly and Pearse running through her veins. She opens the window a tiny crack and throws out some leaflets at the same time, switching on the engine and putting her foot down on the accelerator – hard. Next thing I see is the three mongrels spinning in every direction and the fourth one slithering down the bonnet and then twirling arse over tip like someone taking a mighty tumble off a treadmill. You couldn’t hear yourself think for the yowls of the spinning canines. I don’t think we killed any of them but I’d say now that they won’t be throwing themselves on any more car bonnets for a fair while. Last thing I see when I look back are two women and a man shaking their fists at us and they trying to get the dogs up on all their four legs at the same time. I tell Peggy, I think we’ve done for the dogs and she says, the devil carry the feckers, that ‘twould be a great day’s work if someone did do for them and it’s a pity we can’t do the same to their fecking owners into the bargain.
After that, we do about twenty houses without any mishap and Peggy telling all the householders that if James Connolly and Countess Markievicz were alive today, they’d be out there pounding the pavements for a YES vote so that all the citizens of the country could be treated equally. Half the people are looking at her as if she’s two heads because of course I suddenly realise that most of them haven’t a bull’s notion who Connolly and Markievicz actually are. Connolly and Markievicz could be two Eurovision hopefuls or a new comedy duo for all they know or care. But fair play to Peggy as I stand nervously behind her, she says the spiel right through till she’s finished and then shoves the leaflets at ‘em and then we make a run for it to the car in case there are any more hungry mongrels around who have a very strong aversion to a YES vote in the up – coming election.
PS: Peggy says that the NO side are flinging enough red herrings around to stock a fish shop. I can’t say I disagree with her now.