Werewolf Radar: The Chaunic 2000
By Nate Balding
Art by Nick Flook
Published Issue 099, March 2022
Duty free shops.
Fries that, instead of being lukewarm slices of wet potatoes served with a salt packet, are well-seasoned, creating an entire new enterprise called normal ass sides.
Every one of these originated with the Irish.
Instead of acknowledging these triumphs this St. Patrick’s Day, many Americans will celebrate by being not Irish and later asking their friends for a tenth time if that was tequila because, you know, agave makes them feel weird. And while we all mourn the back seats of Lyft drivers everywhere, we’ll quietly forget to recall perhaps the most important innovation from the Emerald Isle: Shamanistic Leprechaun Whispering.
One sullen man who escaped from the pages of a Frank McCourt novel still remains as the world’s last and possibly first leprechaun whisperer, able to see and chat with the tiny creatures through a kind of naturistic divinity that, supposedly, all people can tap into if they just try really hard. Kind of a clap to bring life back to Tinker Bell situation that rides in with the bad news that she’s fine but her entire people? Not so much.
According to mystic Kevin Woods aka McCoillte, only 236 members of the once great civilization are currently kicking it underneath the proverbial rainbow that is Carlingford in County Louth where he resides and refers to as the capital of leprechaun sightings. Ireland’s landscape, he believes, is filled with millions of bodies of long rotted leprechauns who suffered an epidemic of famine and disease that destroyed whole cities now lost to the wages of time.
“That’s ridiculous,” you might say, enjoining in every bit of discourse surrounding these claims. But that’s because you don’t know about the caverns.
Woods insists that the deep tunnels of Ireland are the ancient dwelling place of these fey and that they would meet annually on the subterranean plain at Athlone — from which one could be echoed to every corner of the island — to discuss the various ongoings of the leprechaun clans and, presumably, do some magic gold stuff to launch Jennifer Aniston’s career. And he’s not the only believer. Woods has appeared on numerous morning talk shows, podcasts and YouTube programs speaking his truth about the little green men and has been met largely positively. He gives tours of the caves wherein, if you’re very lucky, he produces several coins with the story of the most famous leprechaun finding in Ireland’s history.
In 1989 PJ O’Hare, lately of the Belfast City Council, was spurned to a short hike up Slieve Foy when a horrible scream interrupted his morning gardening. Rushing to the rescue O’Hare discovered the skeletal remains of a tiny figure that, prior to total desiccation, had been wearing a green suit and buckled hat. Searching through the corpse’s clothes he discovered four pieces of gold. Being a prudent man, he of course took all the evidence back into town and enshrined all the bits behind glass in the pub he owned, and after months of telling people they were in fact not a child’s bones, the leprechaun legacy grew. Upon his death the bar was sold but, mysteriously, the gold coins had vanished. Several years after, O’Hare’s good friend Kevin was patching up the old stone wall surrounding his land and stumbled onto a space where someone had stashed a pouch of stolen leprechaun gold.
Holding the coins gave Woods the ability to see and speak to the leprechauns, a discovery that came while he was walking his dog and just happened upon three of them chatting on a rock. He was bestilled by the sight but fascinated by what turned out to be an hours-long discussion of the entire plot to And Just Like That, a sequel to another show he’d never heard of. To this day he’s not sure who Che Diaz is.
Returning home, Woods found through his wife’s castigations that he’d been lost for an entire day. Sometime during the following three weeks while she refused to talk to him he made the decision to become a full-time leprechaun whisperer.
Since then Woods has been an active advocate for the remaining leprechauns. He successfully convinced the EU to declare them a protected species under the European Habitats Directive with the argument that, being unable to prove they do or don’t exist, the entirety of Europe has to assume their reality. Having lobbied the collective governments into believing Darby O’Gill was a documentary, he then convinced just some of Ireland to buy into leprechaun hunting licenses. It sounds bad but they’re only used every March on the Sunday the clocks jump up an hour to forage Slieve Foy for ceramic versions of the creatures that, combined, hold a couple thousand euros.
So as you swallow your green beers and sway to the noise of a band thinking they have a pretty great new take on how to cover “Zombie,” remember that you could be out there on a verdant mountainside hunting for gold and — just maybe — catching yourself a leprechaun.
Erin go bragh!
Have questions about the paranormal?
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @WerewolfRadar.
It’s a big, weird world. Don’t be scared. Be Prepared.
Nate Balding is a freelance humanoid who occasionally manifests in print and can most likely be seen at Werewolf Radar. Should you wish to hear him manifest audibly you can do so at the aforementioned Werewolf Radar’s associated podcast on Spotify and Apple, and if anything ever becomes humorous again, on a variety of stand up stages around the nation. If you’re truly craving further content there’s always @Exploder on Twitter — even if it is only a form of digital self flagellation at this point. His one thing that he considers actually accomplished was this time he was published in the journal Nature and then later collected into a volume called Futures from Nature, still available in places that have things.
Nick Flook aka Flooko is “the O.G astronaut painter” and takes his fans on adventures through original acrylic paintings and animations. This Toronto-based artist specializes in surrealism, space-themed work and impressionistic city and landscapes. See more of his work on his site and follow him on Instagram for more work.