Straight Outta Aghalee

I am many things. I am a father, a husband, a son and a brother. I tackle all of these responsibilities with varying degrees of success. I am an exceedingly average distance runner and wannabe blogger and author. I like so see myself as a good friend but all the good and not so good friends I have lost down the years may beg to differ. I am good at a few things but not so good at a lot more things.

I’m a mass of contradictions, a warren of dead ends, a mansion house full of locked doors and dusty attics. We all are really. We excel at some pursuits and are repelled by others. I am many things. But there is one thing I am not. I am not a rapper. I am a 47 year old, married father of three living in rural Northern Ireland with a reasonably important job and an equally reasonable mortgage. On the surface I am the epitomy of respectability. But I wanna be a rapper….

This drives Fionnuala insane of course. When it comes to pet hates of mine, she has many. She could probably write several dozen blogs on the subject but, thankfully, chooses not to. I break out into an embarrassing mish mash of shape throwing and guttural grunts at the slightest opportunity. I drop the mic (usually on my big toe) and spit out lyrics so toe curlingly bad that Tupac must be turning in his grave.

South Central Aghalee is my crib. This consists of quiet residential housing and sleepy farmland. The nearest we get to excitement is when a passing tractor backfires. There was once an attempted robbery at the village shop but the wannabe gang banger ran off empty handed when the owner hurdled the counter and threw a charity collection box at him. We prefer hot tea to Ice-T and M&M’s to Eminem.

The kids are mortified when I break out a la NWA. They want me straight outta the room as opposed to Straight Outta Compton. I have three stock phrases that I periodically repeat over any backing track I care to follow. These are ‘Yeh’ ‘C’mon’ and ‘Awhhh’; all delivered in the poorest of American rapper accents. I gesticulate wildly while doing so, flailing my arms like an out of control windmill in a hurricane. My audience don’t know where to look. You could hear a penny drop. I live in Awkwardsville – Population Me.

I know I’m an embarrassment to my wife and kids but I hope that I’m an entertaining embarrassment. Amidst the eye rolling and pleas to stop there is also the occasional poorly concealed smirk. I have a propensity for melancholy so it’s important that I allow my silly side to emerge now and again. I’ve been the architect of many bad memories down the years so I am relieved when I can lay down funnier foundations. I am using my comedic wrecking ball to smash through the walls of pain and disappointment that have hemmed me in for most of my life.

Silliness is an escape valve that releases the pressures of everyday life which constantly build up inside of us. I was once told I have a dry wit but often that is not enough. You need to throw yourself off the cliffs of conformity and immerse yourself fully beneath the waters of humour and irreverence. There is freedom in fun and farce. I don’t do it enough. They say writers thrive on anguish and despair but if it’s that all I have to feed on then I fear my art will be starved and ultimately snuffed out.

So I will continue to hip and hop and annoy….a lot. I will revel in my rhyming and off beat timing. My raps will be crap and I ain’t all that. But at least our hatchlings will grow up and look back fondly on years of daft antics. I might only be papering over the cracks but at least I’m trying. It’s never too late to start afresh and do your best to make amends. Bad memories can never be erased but if the good ones outnumber them then they lose some of their sting.

I’m trying. My rapping is very trying. But God loves a trier. For now that’s all I can do.

What are your embarrassing ‘talents’?

Melancholy v Mirth? How do you balance them?

42 thoughts on “Straight Outta Aghalee

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  1. Let’s see, first off, you are an incredible writer, so knock it off. My embarrassing talents? I can belch among the best of them (better when I had beer, seltzer does the trick though) I am a man in a woman’s body, and no, it’s not what you think. I like to chase my husband around our local grocery store, singing, pretend crying-you know, whatever it takes to embarrass….AND I am a great mimic, although I once channeled Lady Gaga in American Horror Story and scared the absolute bejeepers out of myself. I think I need a day job. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t THINK I have an embarrassing talent. I’ve never really thought about it.
    But I agree with Michele, you are an incredible writer! I look forward to reading your posts every single day. You know how to capture your audience and you sure do know how to make them laugh! “My raps will be crap and I ain’t all that.” made me chuckle. But you really do have a talent for writing. Keep it up!


  3. this post was brilliant and what it makes it even more brilliant is that is YOU…i m sure your family is embarrassing in love with their rapper.
    I will tell you this,i often naturally unleash my talent of speaking with no filter…….my square mind husband,that is factual himself but much more pragmatically then me,still finds amusing and entertaining then he will never know what it can come out of my mouth as consequence of my thinking …even if,after 20 years i m afraid sometimes he guesses.,.lol

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yep…..๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚because you have never seen my frown ….that is even more embarrassing cause it gives me away without saying a words๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ


          1. Yes!but it is not always been this way……I used to be very proper as my mother taught me ,it took me years of therapy to let my frown and tongue go and now I canโ€™t stop๐Ÿคฃ


  4. But we are loved by the most amazing God that sent His Son , Jesus Christ, to die a death that I deserved, so we may reflect His righteousness before our Daddy !!


  5. You’re a great a writer. If the rap career doesn’t take off you definitely have something to fall back on.
    My boyfriend’s eight year old wants to be a rapper. He makes up his own rap all the time, it’s usually terrible, I completely encourage it. I do my best impression of a back up dancer which probably looks like someone having a seizure while standing. I throw in some “yeah, yeah, throw your hands up!” and try to make what I think are rap noises. At the end of the day I day I think the silliest stuff is what kids remember. I don’t mind embarrassing myself for the sake of a good memory.


  6. My dad used to tell the story of two authors that he knew… one was generally a happy-go-lucky guy in everyday life… he wrote tragedies. The other was very serious and tended to see life’s glass as half-full, he wrote comedy/humor. Interesting thoughts to be found in that, I’m sure. Anyway, I think “silliness” is a gift from God! And it certainly is a Dad’s divine right. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love that you love to rap! ๐Ÿ™‚ Your posts frequently make me smile.


  7. You are phenomenal, an amazing writer! I love your wit and style! I’d have to say that my most embarrassing talent is my twerking. It sends my grandchildren into it uncontrollable laughter and terror when I threaten to do this dance in front of their friends.


  8. Once again I can connect with what you are saying, the one my kids had to endure was ‘Gloria Gaynor, I will survive (which I can still sing without missing a word or hitting a correct note). I had always used music as my tension releaser, and it is something I am trying to organise for myself to aide in my recovery. I know sitting on the bus headphones on and me singing off note, top note those wonderful songs from the 50/60/ and 70s will work wonders for my return to good health. Thank you for your wonderful piece, I giggled the whole way through it!
    I very much enjoy your writing and I look forward to the novel.


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