This year there were only two honorable mention spots, instead of four for each category. At points during our reading process I thought about adding one more slot because there were so many good pieces of writing to choose from, but I stuck to my guns and working with the other two judges we finalized our choices. The work below speaks to the unique and truly enjoyable range of writing about FAH and FAH characters that we received.
Statement of Inspiration: This is all about my 1st live show, the build up to it, meeting FAHns and getting to meet the lads unexpectedly afterwards.
A Dream Come True
The day was here, it had finally arrived,
Getting to see Foil Arms and Hog Live
The Foyer was busy, people beaming with glee,
FAHn’s spotting each other shouting “Hey you! It’s me!”
The pig, the set, a wonderful sight to see,
Friends messaging saying how happy I must be
The show was beginning and I was amazed,
Hearing “Please welcome Foil Arms and Hog” to the stage
I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more,
Happiness took over like never before
The show was over and I was in shock,
Two years of pure happiness and my jaw was dropped
Hanging around after the gig,
Chatting to FAHn’s and sharing a jig
Suddenly I gasped, no way it could be,
Foil and Arms were walking towards me
Nerves took over and I was a mess,
But hugging them both relieved all of my stress
Words exchanged, gift received,
The slagging of my accent and some selfies achieved!
The best night ever, still hard to believe,
A moment I’ll cherish forever indeed!
Statement of Inspiration: The inspiration for this poem actually came as a funny thought; does La Bullshat have his own fan-base, people who buy tickets to see all his shows? And then it evolved into a fan writing a fan-mail to him, which then became a fan-poem! Although I thoroughly enjoy reading poetry, I've never tried writing any cuz I have no background in literature or anything. This is my first ever written piece. So thanks to Academicfahn for the opportunity to try my hands at something very new to me! And thanks to FAH for creating such wonderful characters that remain in our hearts to make us laugh and write about! I had so much fun writing it.
An Artistic Enigma
From zero light, shoes squeaking
To seven course meal eating
Found the nichest of niche art
Fell in love with La Bullshat
Stare at a wall? Art, yes
Sneeze? Art, of course
His flair isn't just what it seems
And we know what ‘Art’ backwards means
Nothing can compare
To "Où est le théâtre?"
Where I was lost in the city
Which cost me my sanity .
..And a lot of money
Yea he dresses exceedingly gaudy
Wanna critique that? No! naughty naughty!
Not many appreciate his avant-garde
‘Cuz to grasp his brilliance is mostly hard
There is no other with such charisma
A truly matchless Artistic Enigma
The one and only La Bullshat
Statement of Inspiration: This piece is heavily inspired by Foil Arms and Hog’s video An Irish Summer. I decided to write a piece from the point of view of Anne McCormack. Anne McCormack is a character that stood out to me immediately because of her hair and the physical comedy of having the shortest character being played by the tallest member of Foil Arms and Hog. I feel like she doesn’t have as much characterization or screen time compared to some of the other characters, so writing from her perspective was interesting in that I got add to add to her personality that’s been shown in FAH’s YouTube videos.
Ice Cream Van
By Anne McCormack
Written for Mrs. Murphy’s English class
Assignment: Write a story about one of your early memories
It’s odd what memories stick. Some people swear they remember their parent teaching them how to walk, others can remember their first or second slice of birthday cake, but more others remember blurred bits of memory of their first day of preschool. I’m more towards the second group. I can’t recall any memories before I learned to walk. I remember the ice cream van. One of my first memories is of the joyous chiming songs that could be heard clearly down the street, eliciting a proclamation of, “Ice cream van! Ice cream van!”
All of my memories about the ice cream van but one are good memories. Here is the story of that day, the day I was lied to about ice cream van.
One summer day, Dad was wrestling with the barbeque and Mom was hurrying to make one of her infamous salads-that-never-gets-eaten-and-gets-thrown-away-in-a-week while arguing with Darren about what sunscreen he should be wearing. Granny went around loudly telling everyone her hands were cold like icicles and putting her freezing hands on our arms. It was somewhat chaotic, as my family tends to be. From a road trip to Christmas every year like clockwork, there’s always something going slightly amiss, or some miscommunication, or just lots of shouting.
The ice cream van chimed in the distance. “ICE CREAM VAN! ICE CREAM VAN!” I shouted, shooting my hands in the air. I wanted ice cream. Nobody paid me any attention, so I opened my mouth, ready to shout again. Then my dad said, “No, Anne. That’s not the ice cream van. It’s an ambulance. Someone is very sick.”
I, being about four years old and not knowing any better, believed him. As all children believe their parents. Implicitly. Until they don’t.
If the ice cream van noise was an ambulance, then what was the ambulance noise? I thought about it. Maybe whoever was in charge of ambulances and ice cream vans decided to change it. Ice cream vans sounded so nice so maybe it would be less scary for sick people if those played instead of sirens. There still had to be a noise an ice cream van made though. I realized they just switched it to sirens. That way, both vehicles still made a noise. I felt proud of myself for figuring it out.
Later, I heard sirens, “ICE CREAM VAN! ICE CREAM VAN!” I shouted. My brother, Darren gave me a weird look. “That’s an ambulance, Anne.”
“You’re lying! Dad said that it’s an ice cream van,” I exclaimed, skipping over explaining how I had reasoned it out.
“Kids these days never stop making rackets. You know, in my day children like yourself were seen and not heard,” my Granny cut in.
I felt my face flame and tried to blink back tears. I wasn’t trying to make a racket. I just wanted ice cream and Darren was a liar. I turned around to Darren and pointed at him. “YOU’RE A LIAR,” I cried.
“Huh? What’d I do Anne?” He asked.
Dad came in from grilling. “What’s going on?” he asked.
Mom came downstairs.” I can’t get a minute’s peace to pull out my hair rollers,” she huffed.
Darren’s brows were furrowed as if he were acting confused, a puzzled look on his face. “You’re a liar and you have a liar face,” I told him.
“Anne! Don’t say that about your brother!” my father admonished.
Mom folded her arms. “Darren, explain what’s going on,” she said.
Darren responded,” Um, I don’t know. I said that the siren was an ambulance and- “
“AND HE’S A LIAR! A BIG, FAT, STUPID, UGLY LIAR!” I screamed.
Dad gave me his scary-dad-eyes where the whites are super wide that he only does when he gets super angry. “Anne, go to your room,” he told me.
I stomped up the stairs in a fit of anger. I wanted to show them what they had done to me. How they hurt me by not believing me. I grabbed the door to my room and slammed it as hard as I could, like I had seen my older brother Tom do to his door in the past. Then, for good measure, I did it again.
I flung myself onto my bed. I grabbed my teddy bear named Mr. Buggles and squeezed him tight. I cried and used his ears to wipe away my tears. My tears kept coming so I buried my faced into his soft belly. I dampened it with my sadness and anger.
I found out shortly after that my seemingly perfect logic at the time from which I deduced that sirens and ice cream vans traded songs was wrong. More importantly, this was the beginning of my realizing that sometimes adults are untruthful. I had known from experience that my older brothers lied sometimes, but this was the first incident where an adult lied to me. My unconditional trust in adults had shattered like my hope of getting ice cream from the ice cream van that day.
Statement of Inspiration: I wanted to write a story that would have many different FAH characters interacting with one another. I also love the character of the therapist Dr Horton (as we now know he's called) and thought it would be fun to see why different characters would go and see him.
A Day in the Life of Dr. Horton
I’ve been a therapist for many years. I find it very rewarding to help people through some of the most difficult times of their lives. My office is located in what could be seen a quiet suburb south of Dublin. Each day is different and has its challenges but it has its rewards too.
The day begins at 8.30am when I walk into the building. My receptionist Ciara is already there sorting through the mail and checking the answering phone.
“Good morning Ciara,” I greet her, “how are you today?”
“Good morning Dr Horton, I’m very well thank you,” she replies, with a smile, “here is this morning’s post and your first patient is waiting through there.”
My first patient of the day is a young teenager called Alexi, whose appointments are always early in the day before he starts school. Today his mum is with him.
“Good morning Doctor,” she stands up as I walk into the waiting room, “I would like to, once again, apologise for my husband’s behaviour last time you saw Alexi.”
Ah yes, the viral video incident. Not my finest hour but the man was being insufferably insensitive towards his own son. Observing the woman in front of me, who seems the very definition of well grounded, I begin to wonder how on earth their relationship works.
“Yes, well the videos popularity seems to have waned so we can forget about it,” I reply.
“Well thank you for continuing to see Alexi. He’s definitely doing better since he started seeing you,” she turns to her son, “right Lexi, I’ll be back in an hour to take you to school. Okay. See you in a bit.”
Alexi’s appointment goes well. He’s certainly making progress and now that he has made it clear to his idiot father that he no longer consents to be in his ‘family vlogs’, I believe that he will continue to do so.
After Alexi has been picked up by his mum, my next appointment is with a man called Chris. From the sounds of it he has recently moved house and is unsure that his new housemates are exactly normal.
“I don’t know, it just seems so odd that they don’t seem to go to work at all. It’s weird, if they don’t work then how do they pay rent? I pay mine in cash at the start of every month even though I’ve asked them if they wouldn’t prefer a bank transfer. They always decline and say cash is better.”
“Hmm, I see,” I reply, thinking that Chris may be a little naïve, “you said the property wasn’t in the best condition?”
“No it isn’t. You need swimming goggles to cook! My bedroom ceiling is green but it’s not paint, it’s moss! But I’ve never met the landlord and the others won’t give me his contact information. They never seem complain themselves. It’s like they don’t see it, or don’t care and it doesn’t matter how much I clean it never seems to get any better.”
“Have you confronted them about this behaviour?”
“Well sort of,” he replies, looking sheepish, “but after the incident with Olwyn, I feel it may be best that I don’t do that again.”
“Incident with Olwyn?”
“I don’t really want to talk about that. I just really don’t do well in under pressure situations and I didn’t mean to do it, it was an accident.”
The session goes on like this to be honest. Random statements and mentions of things that don’t make much sense to anyone other than Chris. I quickly come to the conclusion that he just needs someone to talk to who will listen and not take him for every penny they can get out of him. Which is what his housemates seem to be doing to him, in my professional opinion.
After seeing a couple more patients I hear a commotions coming from the reception desk. Deciding to go see what’s going on I soon find Ciara being berated by an elderly woman who I know well.
“Mrs Geraghty can you explain to me why you are harassing my staff?”
She turns to me and gives me a look that would have others cowering in fear but I know her sort and have dealt with her before.
“The silly girl is insisting that I’m late for my appointment.”
“You are late for your appointment,” I inform her, “now you wouldn’t want me to inform your parole officer of this would you. Now if you would make your way to my office we can proceed with what is left of your time.”
As she walks past me she mutters, “well, you’ve changed!”
I decide to let it go and check on Ciara.
“Are you okay Ciara?”
“Yes Dr Horton, thank you.”
Later she brings me a cup of tea, which is very much appreciated.
“Oh and your 2 o’clock are already here and bickering in the waiting room,” she tells me as she is leaving.
Gerald and Stephen are indeed already arguing.
“I don’t understand why you insist we come here,” I overhear Stephen angrily whisper to Gerald.
“Because like it or not you have issues and I truly believe that talking to someone will help.”
“Well then why do you insist on coming with me?”
“Because it’s the only way I can make sure you actually talk about what’s bothering you rather than just slagging other people!”
This arguing carries on throughout the appointment. Honestly, I think they only come to see me so they can have an argument in front of a relative stranger who can give them advise every now and then.
“You know he won’t tell anybody that we come here every week,” Gerald informs me during a heated point of the argument.
“Yeah cause I don’t want to give them any more slagging ammunition.”
“What do you mean ‘any more’?” Stephen doesn’t seem to have an answer for that, “and anyway, I don’t know why you keep saying I’m terrible at slagging. I did it very well when you needed a gym instructor the other day.”
“Oh yeah, after years of trying to make you understand, you finally managed it once. And now you think you’re an expert!”
“And that’s our time,” I inform them, thankful to stop the argument I’ve heard many times. It’s clear they care deeply about each other but they have very different ways of showing it.
My next patient is a new one. Kevin has decided he wants to talk to someone about his very strange dreams, which from the sounds of it are rather intense.
“I just wanted to leave a WhatsApp group, but there were these guys in hoods who wouldn’t let me! They kept telling me all of the terrible things that would happen if I left. And then I did leave and they strangled me! I just wanted to leave the group, the constant notifications were driving me insane! I can still hear them taunting me ‘You can never leave Kevin!’ I’m scared to sleep!”
“Hmm, it sounds like you’re suffering from increased anxiety. Do you have any idea what may be causing it? Anything playing on your mind?”
“Well I have been having a few problems travelling recently,” Kevin tells me.
“What kind of problems?”
“Well I always travel with a friend of mine and for some reason we always get pulled into immigration for questioning. It doesn’t matter where we go we always end up having to answer difficult questions about the country we’re travelling to. I almost got arrested in Australia for having sausages in my bag that I didn’t put there, my mate did! We usually pass the test and are able to get into the country just fine but it’s very stressful.”
“I think that maybe you should give travelling a rest for a while. Or maybe find a different travelling companion.”
Soon the day is done and I have seen the last of my patients. I do find myself worrying about them once they have gone home. I hope Alexi keeps increasing in confidence and Chris grows a backbone and stands up to his freeloading housemates. I wish Stephen and Gerald could communicate with each other better and I hope that Kevin can have a peaceful night’s sleep tonight without any terrifying dreams.
Once I’ve finished up my paperwork and gather up my belongings I go and wish Ciara goodnight. I’ve only just admitted to myself that I am in love with her. I have been for a long time.
“You all done Ciara?” I ask her, seeing her pulling her coat on.
“Yes Dr Horton, all done.”
“Any plans for tonight? Any more dates with newsreaders?” I pray she says no.
“Not after the disaster last time!” she laughs.
I should tell her how I feel, but I don’t. Maybe one day I will, but not today. Today is just a normal day in the life of Dr, Horton.