My name is Mick Payne and yes, there are some things that I will admit to. Yes, I can be arrogant but what’s the point in being the best if you can’t tell anyone else about it. Yes, I’m really good looking, what do you want me to do, self-harm my face so people that aren’t good looking feel better? Sometimes it’s not easy being me but I have to say that I am comfortable in my own skin and not a lot of guys can say that. Does it rub people up the wrong way that I seem to be this ‘perfect being’? I’m sure it does but don’t go throwing that shit at my feet, I don’t ask for the admiration, I don’t seek out the compliments, they just come my way. Men want to be me, women want to be with me, I don’t have an issue with that, it’s other people that can’t seem to get their heads around it. When I look into the mirror, I see a winner and a really, really good looking guy, someone that’s not afraid to say it as it is and in my job, that’s essential. I started like all the rest of my colleagues as a recruit in a place called Templemore in Ireland. That’s where we trained and were introduced to law enforcement. I started on the beat as every recruit must, a street cop, well not a cop, in Ireland we’re called Gardaí, don’t ask me why, we just call some things different names over here. Anyway, it wasn’t long before I got promoted from my first station in Dublin and then again from a station in Cork and again from another station in Dublin, one in Carlow, then Longford and two more in Monaghan and Cavan. That was a busy eighteen months but my popularity was proven over and over again with each going away party. Then came my big break.
Being selected as the top recruit in the country came as no surprise to me, obviously. The prize for this accolade, a six month training stint with New Yorks finest then six months with S.W.A.T. and finally a month with the Navy Seals. I had a great time in training, the Americans loved me and my humour and in fairness to them, they didn’t show any favouritism towards me while training. In fact, I could actually say that if anything they were tougher on me than the rest. I should probably just take it as a huge mark of respect. So I’m sitting on this plane, first class may I add with my new colleagues. A team selected from the best of the best in the world of crime fighting. Our mission is simple, to curtail and stop drug trafficking and other major crimes around the world. Our base, and get this, this is definitely the best part, is in my hometown of Kilkenny in Ireland. We will run our operations from there, watch the trafficking from around Europe and keep an eye on America and South America, which I’m nearly certain is the same place. We have shit cool jackets just like S.W.A.T. or the C.I.A. in dark navy with S.T.D.S. wrote in bright yellow on the back. The Super Trained Detective Squad is up and running, hello world!!
There are five of us in the squad, let me introduce you to the team. The boss is John Kidding, former U.S. marine, hard ass, field combat and weapons expert. Next we have from China, Ho Lee Fook, expert in interrogation and disguise and from Germany Hans Olo, expert in all things explosive. From London England we have Miss Gloria Sass, formerly of MI6, a communications expert, a stunner and there’s a real, obvious sexual tension between us. Last but in no means least, yours truly, the face and body of the operation. So here we are flying back to Ireland and already the air hostess is giving me buckets of glad eye. ‘Can I get you something to drink?’, she’s asking with a large smile and a short skirt. I’m there, ‘I’ll have a martini and shake the shite out of it’, as secret agentish as I can muster. She’s giggling like a schoolgirl on prom night as she leaves. I think that the mile high club will be stamping my membership card tonight. It must be said that I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, in fact I don’t play any musical instrument but when it comes to crime prevention and the ladies, I’m without question, top dog. It’s only a short while ago that I was stepping out of Templemore as a fresh faced Garda cadet, ready to face the world and now look at me, flying first class, an important member of the S.T.D.S and voted unanimously by my peers as Irelands pick to go forward for this coveted position. My Superintendent used to say to me, ‘Payne, if there was work in the bed, you’d sleep on the floor’, sound man, always boosting my confidence and showing just how far I would go to get things done. The going away party I had at that station was second to none, what a session. Being the great guys that they are, they refused to keep in contact with me when I left, too emotional for them and I can see why, Mr. Popular leaving and all, great guys those guys, just great guys.
So I’m giving the air hostess, Polly her name turns out to be, the old who began it in the jacks when the pilot starts making a racket and banging on the door. ‘We are going to be landing soon, if you could take your seats’, he’s shouting, a bit aggressively for my liking. I answer with my hand over Polly’s mouth, the old training kicking in already, ‘yes I’m in here on my own’, I go, winking at her while still on the job. I can still hear the pilot outside, ‘you fly the plane’, I go, ‘I’ll be out in a minute’. His presence outside is starting to affect my performance. ‘Ok’, he goes, ‘I would just like a word with my wife’. Jesus Christ, I look at Polly and she just nods and shrugs her shoulders, well that’s me done then, soft as a football wrapped in barbed wire. There’s a serious amount of banging and clanging as I try to get the old trousers back up, the jacks on airplanes are so small, restricted airspace like. I open the door slowly and hope that the old hubby isn’t still loitering around outside. I venture out and it’s all clear, thank Jaysus. Ho Lee starts the round of applause, fair play to him and the rest join in. I’m grinning from ear to ear now, giving it loads of, ‘who the man?’, when suddenly it’s gone quiet. The clapping has stopped and I’m wondering why? Then it hits me or rather the pilot does.
When I wake up, we’re hurtling down the M50, me, Ho Lee and Gloria in the back of the jeep, Hans and Kidding up front. Ho Lee is on me like a hot snot when he sees that I’m awake, ‘you goh sucka punched’, he goes. I look at the smily fucking head on him and try to remember what went down, when I finally remember, I come back with a classic, I’m there, ‘I hope she was involved in giving me that round of applause’. Sometimes I wonder, do I appreciate the gifts that I have been given enough?. ‘More like she gave you the clap’, Gloria weighs in with, obviously gutted that I was with another woman. ‘You’ll get your turn soon’, I go and give her my trademark, ‘join the queue’ wink. She stares back at me and points her finger, ‘you ever try anything on with me and I’ll break your facking neck’, she goes, all serious like. I love that London accent, I think I am attracted even more now that she’s angry. I’m just about to roll out another classic when Kidding in the front pipes up. ‘Ok boys and girls’, he goes and I know that there’s a load of military bullshit coming our way, that’s just the way he talks. ‘We are nearly at our destination, when we arrive, you will be shown to your quarters, get some sleep, we will meet again at o six hundred hours’, there’s the military shite, ‘where you will be briefed in full on what our first mission is to be’. By the way it’s pitch black outside and he’s wearing sunglasses, never takes them off. So here we are at last, home sweet home, Kilkenny.