Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

For Whom The Bell’s Palsy Tolls

It’s been a busy-busy-busy week for your genial host (right), folks, what with everyday life cranking up a couple of notches, the Electric Picnic gig to prepare for, and Princess Lilyput’s christening to come on Sunday, so apologies for the go-slow on ye olde blogging in the last few days. I’ve also been feeling exhausted, which I put down to the frantic schedule and burning the candle at both ends, but it appears there’s a more sinister reason.
  For lo! I toddled along to the doctor yesterday complaining that my devastating blend of windswept, rugged handsomeness and winsome boyish charm were being undermined a tad by the fact that, during the week, I’d developed a smile akin to that of The Joker. The diagnosis? Bell’s Palsy.
  Now, I don’t know about you, but the word ‘palsy’ gives me the shivering fits. According to the Doc, it’s a relatively common condition caused by the inflammation of a facial nerve, which results in semi-paralysis of the facial muscles. It’s an ‘idiopathic’ condition, meaning that they have no idea why it flares up, and it’s generally a temporary one, providing you diagnose and treat it early enough. So that’s me on a course of steroids for the next week or so, and I’ll probably have to get some physiotherapy on the affected muscles too.
  Bummer, huh? Still, at least it’s not a mini-stroke, which was my first reaction when I caught myself yawning in the mirror. And I’m in good company. Ever wonder where George Clooney’s cute sloppy smile comes from? Yep, it’s Bell’s Palsy. Now all I have to do is get myself properly handsome, steal some talent, become a multi-millionaire and squire half the world’s starlets around the planet, and George and I can hang out on set swapping ‘palsy pals’ gags while the Coen Brothers rush about trying to make THE BIG O as good as George and I deserve.
  It’s only a matter of time, people. You have been warned …