Saturday, December 10, 2011

Research, Relatives and Revelations

I promised you guys my grandfather's life story, didn't I?  Like, a long time ago?  Well, I had a bunch of this typed up, but then, uh, certain events occurred and I kinda forgot about it.  Looking over my blog earlier, I found this partially typed and thought, "Aw shit, I was supposed to post this forever ago!"  So I finished writing it and am now posting it.  Luckily I was almost done, because it still kinda hurts to type thanks to that snowball incident.  My hands are getting better, though, so it's all good~

Now, without further ado, it's storytime.


You guys know I've been digging into my grandpa's past, right?  Try and find out some vague information relating to the guy that taught me to fight and helped me to generally not die while on the run the first time, y'know?  The guy I trusted with my life for so long?

I knew he was a dishonest, conniving, fight-picking asshole, but...well, he left out a things that are pretty significant when he talked about his past...

Here's what he told me.

He was born in Cork, Ireland.  (Yes, County Cork is referred to as the "Rebel county".  Yes, people from it are referred to as "Rebels".  Yes, one of his arguments regarding why I should keep running was that I have "Rebel blood".  This is probably one of the more inane ones, despite being technically true.)

Where was I?  Went off on a tangent there.  Right, yeah, Cork.  He had several siblings.  A few don't matter, died as infants or toddlers, it happened, life goes on.  Terrible, yes, but the story's long enough without me dwelling on it.  I'm only leaving in the essential bits.  He could rant for hours about little details about it, so I'll try not to.  Even though I'm already rambling about not wanting to ramble.  Wow I do that a lot.  SO ANYWAY.  It ended up being him and his brothers Colin and Sam.  Colin was older, Sam was younger.  Forgot by how much.  Doesn't matter.  Grandpa's 67 right now, to give you a rough estimate.  Anywho.  Some Dubliners moved into their building when he was a kid.  They had kids: Sean, Malachy and Kathleen.  They were roughly the same ages - Sean was two years older than Colin and Kathleen was Sam's age.  Malachy was about my grandfather's age.  So the kids immediately all become bros and hang out a lot, since it was back in like the forties or fifties or whatever way back when when you actually had to have social contact to amuse yourself, and you had to go outside, too!  Weird, huh?  But yeah, they were all good friends.  Malachy and Gramps were pretty much inseparable, but then the latter started having feelings that were a bit stronger than friendship for Kathleen.  And since she's his best friend's sister, that could potentially be ugly.  She reciprocated said feelings that were a bit stronger than friendship, so they talked to Malachy (and Sean) about it, expecting a big fight.  Turns out, they were pretty much okay with it.  So my grandpa married the love of his life Kathleen and they lived happily ever after forever and ever the end.

Except no.  Not even a little.

Sean and Malachy gave them their blessing, that much is true.  But see, something happened in the next few months that kinda threw a monkey wrench in their budding romance.

Kathleen was Chosen.  And she Rebelled.

The group naturally stood behind her.  They dug up whatever weapons they could, teaching each other the fighting skills they knew.  Colin and Sean went around to pubs, trying to get people to teach them any Theurgy MAGIC mOtHeRfUcKiN' mIrAcLeS Theurgy they could.  (Apparently this was how you learned pretty much everything in Ireland back then - my grandfather memorized plenty of songs and poems in this manner, too.  Because those things are TOTALLY the same thing. </sarcasm>)  They would then try and teach it to the rest of the group.  In this manner, my grandpa learned pretty much all of the Theurgy he knows.  Which isn't really that much.

But yeah, they had occasional skirmishes that built up to a final showdown on the banks of their own lovely Lee.  (Ten points, my eternal amazement and probably my grandfather's respect if you got that reference.)  The River Lee, that is, which flows through Cork.  It was a rag-tag group of misfits against a number of Enforcers and White Masks that changes every time he tells the story but I'm almost certain is always embellished.  It ended with victory on neither side.  The remainder of the Enforcers got their asses out of there.  Sean was killed.  My grandfather had his right eye torn out.  (He wears an eyepatch now.  The smacks to the knee with a shillelagh I get every time I make a pirate joke are so worth it, SO WORTH IT.)  Colin walked with a limp for the rest of his life.  Malachy's missing the little finger on his left hand.  Kathleen ended up saving my grandfather's life by tackling someone who was about to kill him, ending with them both in the Lee.  Considering that she and the dude she tackled were both Chosen, this went about as well as you'd expect.  Yeah, my grandpa's first love got melted right before his eyes.  Er.  Eye.  Probably one of the reasons that he's such a bitter old bastard now. The group kinda fell apart after that.  They all went their separate ways, aside from my gramps and Malachy.

Fast forward to the Troubles.  They both join the IRA, Malachy as a medic because he's since become a pacifist and my grandfather as a sniper because he's really fucking good at it.  They later found out that Colin had joined the IRA, too.  They found this out after hearing a report of his death from an explosion.  Sam also participated, but for the other side.  He was shot and killed.  War-torn and weary, they kinda ragequitted towards the end of that clusterfuck of a "war".  My grandfather says that most of the reason for his desertion was because he had a growing price on his head and it was getting too dangerous to stay in the British Isles, let alone Northern Ireland.  They decided to go to the so-called land of opportunity, AMURRICA.  I mean America.  That place where I live.  Yeah.  They went their separate ways soon after.  Malachy kinda faded off the map - he hasn't been in contact for years.  Grandpa doesn't even know if he's alive.  Grandpa met my Grandma, and the rest, as they say, is history.

That's what he told me.  I have no reason to doubt any of that, nor do I have any evidence against it.  That's not the whole truth, though.  I've dug up some new, interesting facts.

This first one I knew but never really saw the need to tell you guys.  That name he gave you way back when, C.B. Devine?  That is both accurate and inaccurate.  Charles something-or-other-starting-with-B-that-I-can't-remember-right-now Devine is indeed the name of my grandfather.  Here's the thing, though: the man that taught me to fight, the man that got his ass royally handed to him by WhiteSuit, the man whose ass I had to save from a Commune (with a little *coughormaybealotcough* of help, of course), that man?

He's not my biological grandfather.

C.B. Devine died years before I was born.  After that, my grandmother met a man named Glenn Lynch from Cork.  They ended up getting married.  This is the "Uncle Chuck Norris" we all know and love and/or hate. 

(I'm going to be clear about this.  I still consider him to be my grandfather, even if not by blood.  I never saw him much before the shit hit the whirling device here and I went to him for help, but that's still more than I've seen of C.B.  And maybe he's one of the biggest assholes I know, but he's helped me so much.  I can hold my own in a fight thanks to him, among other things.  And that "Rebel blood" thing is true - some of my ancestors were from County Cork.  On my mom's side, dunno if it was from C.B. or my grandma.  It doesn't matter, really.  I'm getting off topic yet again.  Back to Grandma and Glenn.)

And then, like the good Catholics they are, they got divorced.  There are many reasons for this - because he's an asshole, because he's so fucked up from all the conflicts he's been in, because he never really got over his Dublin girl, because she didn't approve of his profession, even though it really raked in the dough.

That last one is one of the things I just learned.  I knew he had all kinds of shady, quasi-legal connections, and I figured that's how he got his money, but I never knew exactly what he did.

He's a hitman.  A gun for hire.

Can't say I really blame her.  Being in a relationship with a killer who is indifferent-to-happy about his job is probably not a good idea, despite what my own baffling emotions seem to want to believe woah shit ABRUPT SUBJECT CHANGE TIME!

Remember how I said Sam - my grandpa's younger brother - got shot during the Troubles?  He was killed by a sniper.

Three guesses as to who it was.

Yeah.  I'm not 100% sure about that particular incident, but I have some pretty strong evidence pointing in that direction.  They were in the same neighborhood, and I can't find any records of any other snipers assigned to the area.  If it was him, I don't know if he recognized who he was shooting, but...fuck, still.

So yeah.  Sorry to burst your bubble if you thought of him as some crazy-awesome freedom-fighting badass.

(Not that he isn't, but, y'know, perspective.)

Until next time.  Stay classy, world. </Ron Burgundy>

(P.S. I have begun retaliating against Servo's constant sticky-noting with the Tennantface meme.  This is quickly escalating to an all-out war.  Bruce help us all.)

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