Bo-Bo who was born an orphan was never lonely .
In his early days he found a home at Boscos boxing club . The other
members and their families had adopted Bo-Bo as their own .
All the local community became Bo-Bo's extended family who were very
fond of him . Bo-Bo paid back their kindness by throwing himself into
running the boxing club and he did this only for the love of it . He
was it I suppose .
The main man . The bus driver , the trainer, the fundraiser , the
cleaner and whatever else needed to be done . Bo-Bo had a few lads who
helped him .
Sketer, Spider, Lefty, Mo and Charlie supported Bo-Bo in and out of the
The boys at Boscos boxing club trained hard and fought hard . There
wasn't much time to relax during the tournaments and so at the end of
the boxing competitions Bo-Bo loved to go fishing just outside
Ballywalter on his small wooden rowing boat . He enjoyed the peace and
quiet sitting in the little wooden boat about a mile out on the open
sea . It was another world out there . There was no distraction the
emptiness of a lonely cosmos .
He never told anyone where he went which made it even more intriguing
for Charlie who liked to be in Bo-Bo's company most of the time . The
last fight had been fought and won at Boscos and the end of season
party was on again . What a night it was with lots of nice food and
drink . There was raffles and games . Music and dancing and a little
sing song to round the night off .
After the party when everyone went home Bo-Bo and Charlie started to
take down the streamers and pop the balloons . The bold Charlie as
usual was there to help Bo-Bo clear up and put things away . There was
always a lot to do shutting up after the party at the end of the year .
It was always a big job and Charlie always made it even bigger by
asking too many questions and talking far too much for Bo-Bo's liking
Charlie was humming away as he worked . The more he hummed the more
B0-B0 thought Charlie was in pain .
Finally the humming stopped . It was silent for about three seconds
when Charlie said in a confident tone of voice ,
"Bo-Bo I've got an idea ."
"That's good Charlie . "
Said Bo-Bo who didn't know what to expect next .
Charlie continued ,
"When we open next year why don't we have a party then .?
Bo-Bo stopped sweeping up and said ,
"What for Charlie .?
" Because we won't have to clean up all this mess at the end of the
He said with a smugness in his voice .
Bo-Bo shook his head and replied .
"It won't matter Charlie because we'll still have to clean it up at the
beginning of the season . So we'll gain nothing . "
"Ooh I see . Ah well . Don't worry about that one Bo-Bo . I was gong to
say not to have a party at all but then I changed my mind because I
like the sweets and the soft drink . I also like some of the music
Charlie was an innocent big lug of a lad . He started to hum that tune
It went over and over until Bo-Bo couldn't take it anymore .
"Is that you're favourite tune at the moment Charlie ?"
Charlie smiled and said .
"Kind of I think . Do you like it too Bo-Bo ?"
"Do you take request's ?."
Bo-Bo asked .
"Sure what do you want me to sing ."
Charlie said .
Bo-Bo replied .
"How about far far away ?"
"I'd be happy to but I don't know the words, but I can do impressions .
Tell me Bo-Bo look what's this .?
Charlie took off his shoes and squatted down on the floor . Then he
slowly got to his feet and did this pirouette like a ballet dancer
would do and then he jumped in the air with both arms in the air then
as he came down he landed on one foot . Suddenly he let out a loud
squeal which rattled Bo-Bo who flinched and almost threw a right hook
in Charlies direction .
"What the heck's wrong Charlie ?"
Bo-Bo shouted .
"Ouch , I think there's a thumb tack in my big toe ."
Said Charlie .
Bo-Bo went over to Charlie and said ,
"I'll be so glad to get away fishing for a while ."
Suddenly Bo-Bo realised what he had just said .
Charlie almost stopped breathing and said ,
" Did you say fishing?"
Bo-Bo folded his arms and said ,
" Did I ? "
"Yes you did and I'm coming . So where are we going Bo-Bo?"
Charlie replied .
Bo-Bo folded his arms even tighter and said ,
"Its where am I going Charlie ."
" Ok Bo-Bo . Where are you going this year?"
Said Charlie .
"Ballywalter's where I'm going "
Said Bo-Bo .
Where's Ballywalter ?"
Asked Charlie .
Said Bo-Bo .
"That's great . Can I come there too?"
Replied Charlie .
Bo-Bo turned and quickly glanced into Charlies face and said .
"Don't be silly Charlie you're all ready there . Now give over ."
Charlie put his head down and with a sad tone he said ,.
"Ok then if you say so ."
Bo-Bo could see Charlie was a little hurt and felt sorry for him
"Ok then . You can come too all day everyday for a week and a half if
you want . Charlie don't ever ask me why or where are we going ever
Charlie looked up and said ,
"Ok so when are we going ?"
Bo-Bo looked at his watch and said .
" God give me patience Charlie you better be ready when I call .
Set your alarm and I'll come and knock your door at six . Lets go
They put away the brooms and locked up the equipment cupboards .
Then Bo-Bo closed the door of the gym and they both made their way out
to the landing of the second floor of Boscos . Then turning off the
main switch they slowly walked down the stairs and into the street
Bo-Bo locked up the door at the entrance and then they both made their
way through the centre of town and back home to the village .
Next morning Bo-Bo was standing there just before 6am knocking on
Charlies door . So far no one had opened up . He threw a stone up and
hit the upstairs bedroom window . Charlies opened up the window and
stuck his head out .
He was still in his pyjamas and yawning he said .
"Good morning Bo-Bo".
Bo-Bo stood back and shouted .
" Didn't I tell you be ready at six."
"Don't scream at me . Mum set the alarm . It's all her fault ."
Said Charlie who's Mum now stuck her head out the window .
"What on earth are you doing at this time of the morning Bo-Bo ?"
Charlies Mum shouted down .
Bo-Bo replied .
"I've come to bring Charlie fishing as we had arranged ."
Charlies mother went on.
"Yes I know but Charlie said to set the alarm for 8am not 6am ."
"I never ."
Said Charlie who was busy throwing on some clothes .
He rushed out of the house still in his pyjama pants .
Bo-Bo stood there amazed and said ,
"Charlie haven't you forgotten something ."
"Oh yes thanks Bo-Bo "
Charlie replied .
He rushed back inside the house and brought back his electric griller
Bo-Bo stood there curiously and asked
"Charlie , what's that for ?"
Charlie lifted the lid and started to show Bo-Bo all the features of
the griller .
And said ,
"This will cook the fish really nice for us ."
Bo-Bo shook his head and said .
"Why don't you grab the TV while you're at it Charlie and we can watch
of those new movies on the sky channel ."
"Ooh good idea . Now you're talking Bo-Bo . "
Said Charlie who ran back inside the house . A few moments later he
returned with his portable colour TV .
Bo-Bo nearly burst out laughing but restrained himself and said ,
" Now Charlie all we need is a power point in my rowing boat ".
Charlie's mouth dropped and his bottom lip nearly started to quiver
" Oops, ah I'm sorry Bo-Bo."
"That's ok Charlie . You've never been fishing before have you ."
Bo-Bo said .
"How did you know ?"
Charlie replied .
"Just a lucky guess . Now lets go before the days gone ."
By the time they got to the boat shed at Ballywalter it was locked
They checked all the windows and doors but there was no way in .
"Bo-Bo what will we do now . Our whole day is wasted . Two hours on the
train and a six mile walk just to find we can't get to your boat
Then it started to rain . Lying outside the boat shed was an upturned
boat that Bo-Bo decided to would borrow .
" Lucky my friend left his boat here for us ."
Said Bo-Bo .
"Gee Bo-Bo you've got some nice friends here. "
Charlie said .
They lifted the boat and carried in to the waters edge .
A set of small oars were strapped to the insides of the boat and soon
they were making there way out from the shore . The rain was getting
heavy afloat and Bo-Bo suggested that they head under the Bangor bridge
But Charlie who was feeling a little light headed wanted to head back
to the shore .
Bo-Bo opened up his haversack and threw some bait in to the water
Once the fish were around he cast a net into the water and began to
scoop the fish into the boat .
Charlie was getting more and more sea-sick so Bo-Bo began to row back
Once they were on land again Bo-Bo told Charlie it was his job to sort
out the bigger fish from the smaller fish .
Turning the boat upside down again near the boat shed Bo-Bo swung into
action . He threw some of the large fish high into the air and caught
The other open hand . He looked out at people passing by beyond the
steps by the pier and started to make a friendly sound with a yodel and
a yippee yahoo . Then as he had their attention he said with a lilt in
his voice .
" Come and get your fresh fish . Buy one or buy them all . Large and
They're all a bargain at half the price . Just caught for your pleasure
Come and have a look . Cleaned and gutted on the spot . Some are and
some not but they are all fresh ."
Charlie stood back in wonder and watched Bo-Bo start to attract custom
Bo-Bo turned and said ,
"Quick Charlie do something here they come ."
"What am I to do ?"
Charlie asked .
Hum that song or tell a joke or two . Look like you're a man who knows
what its all about . Here put any money in this bag ."
People crowded around the upturned boat .
Charlie said ,
"That's right folks these are fish all right . Straight from the
Ballywalter waters .
Eat them right now or share them around . The taste is well ,let me
sample one for you ."
Charlie grabbed one of the fish and took a bite . Immediately he spat
it out and stood to the side in a fit of coughing and murmurs .
Some of the customers looked frightened and puzzled but Bo-Bo jumped in
very quickly and said .
"Charlie I've told you a thousand times to clean out the guts first
before you take a bite ."
Everyone started to laugh as if it was part of an act . Bo-Bo threw
Charlie another fish and Charlie threw it back . Bo-Bo then started to
juggle a number of fish over his head and pulling out a small
switchblade knife from his pocket he cleaned out one or two as he
juggled them . The crowd were stunned by the speed of Bo-Bo's hand .
Charlie was humming away a tune and made up some words in the process
"Charlie will take five bob for a fish so give me a show of hands until
they're gone ."
The crowd was five deep by now and hands went up by the score .
Some wanted a half dozen cleaned by Bo-Bo . Others wanted the fish as
they were . Charlie took in the cash as Bo-Bo was busy with his
juggling and carving . Some of the customers took photographs of Bo-Bo
and when all the fish were sold Bo-Bo and Charlie said thank you and
closed up business for the day . Then they started to count up all the
money they had made .
There was seventy pounds in total and Bo-Bo smiled and said ,
"That was a decent days takings Charlie . Lets go and get ourselves a
By Paul McCannÃ“