Lord of the RamsLord of the Rams

Extract 3 - London's Calling

Extract 3

This short extract, taken from the second half of Lord of the Rams, follows the Rams's adventures on a weekend visit to London. It's a Saturday night and Lisa Hetherton, an old school friend from Munterconnaught who is studying nursing, has invited Rams and his friends to a party at Saint Mary's hospital accomodation in Paddington ...

They didn’t need to be asked a second time. Beer and nurses always formed a genius tag team no matter what way you looked at it.

The lads were well tanked-up by the time they arrived at Paddington. The party was already in full swing and a large number of people were drinking away and enjoying the banter. The boys didn’t take long to make themselves at home. Dowd was chatting away to various people in the sitting room while Goosey and Winston were putting in a bit of groundwork with a small group of nurses in one of the bedrooms. Rams was at the other side of the room, high as Icarus with beer and holding court as only he knew how. As he began telling some girls a story that may have been true but for which he hadn’t yet decided the ending, a bit of a commotion could be heard outside the room.

Rams stood up and strolled over to the doorway. The sight awaiting him at the opposite end of the corridor was completely unexpected. Several members of London’s Specialist Firearms Command, otherwise known as CO19, were walking around the apartment. These guys are London’s equivalent to the SWAT units deployed in the United States. They were tooled up with assault rifles, stun grenades, full body armour, the works, and they definitely looked like they meant business.

The Rams, however, was unfazed and unleashed a loud roar that silenced everyone at the party.

‘There’s a bomb, there’s a bomb!’

There’s an unwritten rule that if you’re at a party in London, which has just been invaded by a SWAT team for an as yet unclear reason, and you have a strong Ulster accent, then it would be rather advisable not to start shouting the odds about there being a bomb on the premises. The Rams, it seemed, was not privy to this rule and had just unwittingly put his life in danger.

Rams returned to the bedroom immediately after his big announcement and calmly took his original seating place on the bed. You could have heard a pin drop in the apartment and then, as if things weren’t bad enough, he sensed an ominous presence to his right. Turning his head in that direction, Rams was slightly taken aback to find three assault rifles pointing at him, their owners ready to take him out if he put another foot wrong.

Waving his right arm about, Rams attempted to diffuse the situation.

‘I was only codding,’ he bellowed.

Three red dots, however, remained firmly fixated on his torso. Suddenly a middle-aged woman arrived on the scene and began investigating what the hell had just gone down. She appeared to be the landlady or caretaker of the building, and understandably she had a face like a pissed-off tiger on her. After a short conversation in the hallway with the SWAT team, she stormed back into the bedroom.

‘Right. You, out,’ she screamed at the Rams. ‘And you too,’ she said, pointing her witch-like finger in Goosey’s direction.

The pair didn’t need to be told a second time. The adrenaline was pumping as they left the building only to spot a helicopter circling overhead, strong lights illuminating their path.

‘You really did it this time, Rams,’ laughed Goosey as the noise from the helicopter rotors faded in the background.

Unsurprisingly, Dowd and Winston didn’t hang around the party, which had by now degenerated into a funeral-like occasion. Indeed, the Rams had come devilishly close to providing the corpse.

Dowd discovered the reason behind the storming of the castle when he bumped into Lisa a few weeks later. Apparently a large group of off-duty cops had been at the party. One of them heard what turned out to be a starter pistol being fired in the vicinity of the apartment. Rather than properly investigating the situation, the gobshite rang headquarters and implied there was a mad man with a gun on the loose at the party. There may indeed have been a mad man on the loose, but he didn’t have a gun—just a loose mouth.

It had been a close shave, but Rams had miraculously escaped punishment for a reckless act of stupidity. But had he at least learned a valuable lesson about when to keep quiet? No is the short answer. In fact, if anything, it was worse he was getting.

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