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These islands

A runty man who survives by picking through dumps convinces me that to throw away an old horseshoe would be bad luck. I used to think I was rational

By Aarathi Prasad   January 2006

I used to think I was rational. I’m no longer so certain. The week before last Christmas I was in the off-licence in Cleary’s pub buying Power’s whiskey: it was a tenner a bottle. While the barman was picking it out, I looked into the public bar. I saw a little man talking loudly, oblivious of the hush that had fallen and that I, even at a distance, recognised as the harbinger of pub violence.

Suddenly, a woman appeared behind him.

“I told you, Seamus, not to be drinking our money.”

She punched the side of his head.

“And…

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