Thursday, February 25, 2010
"Oh, you must've just missed her," said Sean, pleased with his deception. "A shame, really, that's quite a bum she's got."
It didn't take long for the villagers to get sick of Sean's trickery. A larger than normal crowd attended the next Blarney Creek Council meeting, and shouted their concerns at Mayor Finnigan O'Finnigan.
"The lad's a giant pain in the arse! I say we run 'im out of town!" bellowed a pasty-faced drunk from the back of the hall.
"We can't just deport the boy," answered O'Finnigan. "And besides, you're his father, don't you think you should've had a talk with him by now? How about this . . . let's give Sean a job, maybe teach him some responsibility and at the same time keep him busy so he doesn't have time to pull his pranks."
This idea sounded good to the council, so all that was left was to figure out what sort of job Sean was suited for. After some discussion, they decided he should be a shepherd. Mayor O'Finnigan spoke to Sean the following day.
"So, laddie, how are you this fine mornin'?" asked the mayor.
"Just great, Mayor. Hey, what happened to your shirt? Did you spill coffee or something?"
Mayor O'Finnigan looked down, but could see no stain.
"Ha ha! Gotcha!" giggled Sean. O'Finnigan just rolled his eyes. This kid was a piece of work.
"Sean, we have a job for you. You're going to look after the sheep over on the hill. All you have to do is keep them inside the fence, there's not much to it at all. But you have to stay alert because there are wolves that sometimes try to get to the sheep. If you see one, just ring the bell that's attached to the big gate, yell out WOLF! WOLF! as loud as you can, and we'll come up to give you a hand. Think you can manage that?"
"Sure, when do I start?"
"How about right now?"
Well, anyone who's ever lied to his parents knows what happened next.
On the afternoon of his very first day, Sean decided to have some fun. "WOLF! WOLF!" he shrieked, suppressing a chuckle. The villagers came rushing up the hill, armed with shotguns, clubs, and pepper spray.
"Where's the wolf?" asked an out-of-breath Seamus McCorkle.
"Ha ha! Gotcha! There's no wolf. Just wanted to see how fast you lads could get here!"
Amid grumbles, snorts, and utterances of "That little shitheel," the men returned to the village.
This happened several more times. Seven, to be precise. You might say that the population of Blarney Creek was a bit slow on the uptake.
"Get that, lads?" slurred Will McBroom. "There's a wolf on the hill. We'd better hurry." Nobody moved.
"WOLF! WOLF! WOLF! I'M FLARGIN' SERIOUS! HE'S GONNA GET THE SHEEP!"
"Can you believe the nerve of that little bunghole?" said McGooligan. "Wolf, wolf, my arse."
Everyone continued quaffing their Guinness.
Up on the hill, meanwhile, all hell was breaking loose. Left alone, Sean had no idea what to do. In a panic, he climbed a nearby tree and watched in horror as a snarling wolf ripped apart sheep after sheep in a frenzy of blood, wool and spittle. After devouring the entire flock, the wolf dashed back into the woods where he invaded the homes of three pigs and terrorized a red-hooded, goodie-toting little girl.
Well, I wish I could tell you that little Sean learned his lesson that day and never again told a lie or played a prank, but it didn't work out that way. Being of a generation that deflects responsibility and blames others for its mistakes, Sean convinced himself that he was only doing his job and it was the villagers' fault for not coming when he called. "Flarg 'em if they can't take a joke," was basically his attitude.
A few years later, after growing tired of living in a village that was convinced he was just, to quote Colin McGooligan, "a no-good, wise-arse, lying sack of donkey dung," the eighteen-year old Sean O'Flaherty packed his bags and moved to America.
For the first several years in New York City, Sean's life showed little improvement. The location was different, but the bullshit remained the same. According to his ex-fiance, a dancer named Maria Derosa, "When I first met Sean, he seemed like a wonderful man. He was polite, handsome, and had a great sense of humor. We got engaged, but on our wedding day he was nowhere to be found. Just left me standing at the altar. When I saw him the next day, he laughed it off like it was a joke but he quickly apologized and said we'd get married the following week. The guests returned, the minister was all prepared, and there I was in my wedding dress, ready to marry him. And AGAIN he didn't bother to show up! This happened two more times before I finally gave up on the jerk. Too bad, really, because I was very much in love with him."
Sean's habitual lying also resulted in his inability to hold a steady job. He worked for a while as a 911 operator, but was fired after reporting several "false alarms" to local paramedics and police departments. He was also dismissed as a hotel clerk after taking and confirming reservations but not officially booking the rooms, which created havoc for travelers.
One would think that his failure in the workplace would finally force Sean to change his ways, but it was not to be. Rather than hit rock bottom, he finally discovered a profession that would not only accept him for who he was, but his conniving, deceitful ways would actually prove to be an asset.
The Law Offices of Sean D. O'Flaherty opened in 2003, specializing in criminal defense, and by 2005, Sean's practice was thriving. Representing a wide array of (alleged) murderers, rapists and gang-bangers, O'Flaherty and his associates pulled in an average of fifty million dollars a year. In his most high-profile case, the 2004 murder trial of (alleged) mob hitman Tony "Two Toes" Fenelli, O'Flaherty got an acquittal despite overwhelming DNA evidence, damning testimony of thirty-seven eyewitnesses, and a written confession. After the trial, jury foreman Abby Alvarado told reporters, "There's just something about the defendant's lawyer that makes you want to believe him."
A movie based on his life, entitled The Boy Who Cried Innocent, is scheduled for release in 2011 with David Caruso playing the lead role.
(Author's Note: It was my original intent to interview Sean O'Flaherty and include his comments in this article. I contacted him by telephone and set up a time to meet with him, but when I arrived at his office I was told that he was "away on business." I rescheduled the appointment with his secretary and returned a week later, but lo and behold, O'Flaherty was "meeting with clients." I didn't bother to reschedule again. As far as I'm concerned, the little prick can go flarg himself.)