A History Of Great Mistakes

The luck of the Irish – pt 4
March 4, 2009, 9:26 pm
Filed under: Dublin | Tags: , , , , ,

(Wait! There’s a part 1, part 2 and a part 3 that all come before this bit – have a butchers if you missed ’em the first time around…!)

I sat just inside the opening of our crumpled green tent, and watched the rain pour down outside.

“So this is Ireland” I said to Gez, sighing. “Looks more like Wales to me.”

“Ah it’s not that bad mate! I mean, at least we know all about rain right? Rain we can deal with!” he replied, smiling enthusiastically.

“I suppose you’re right.” I conceded. “So what’s the plan for tonight lads? Taxi into town and see how it goes?”

“Sounds good to me!” said Lewis, poking his head outside of the tent to check out the surrounding talent.

A bolt of lightning flashed in the field opposite, and the sound of thunder enveloped us.

Lewis retracted his head cautiously and looked at me.

Hail stones the size of gobstoppers began to batter the tent from all sides.

Gez stopped smiling.

“I spy with my little eye…” said Lewis.

Hail stones from The Land Of The Giants

Hail stones from The Land Of The Giants

After three hours of ‘T for tent’, ‘G for grass’ and five million green bottles on a wall, the hail and rain mercifully subsided.

I looked at my watch. “You know what? It’s 4 o’clock lads – and I’ve, frankly, had more than enough of this. I signed on for a relaxing trip – and so far I’m cold, I’m bored and I’m stone cold sober. I’m going to the pub. Anyone joining me?”

“Aye!” “Yep!” said Lewis and Gez, grabbing their coats.

“Right…” I said, assertively standing up and exiting the tent “…where is the pub exactly?”

A local pub, for local people

A local pub, for local people

As was to be expected, the pub we were directed to (by the owner of the campsite) was even further away from Dublin, and so remote that it was only reachable by a bus running every two hours. In the first spot of luck we’d experienced all day – it turned out that one was just about to arrive, and we had almost the exact change leftover from the taxi ride.

Clambering up to the top deck as the bus set off, we sat down at the front to see the sights of Dublin’s surrounding areas.

The journey was quick, but beautiful. We twisted down small lanes, onto hidden estates and along a small section of motorway before reaching Mulligan’s Inn.

We bounced towards the front door as we got off the bus, and laughed as we walked in, expecting to be greeted by a crowd of merry Irish men and women.

The bar, apart from a very drunken man in the left hand corner, was empty. We looked at each other with puzzled expressions.

It was, without a doubt, the quietest Saturday night we had ever seen. ‘And in an Irish pub – of all places‘, I thought to myself.

“Where is everyone?” asked Lewis as he walked towards the bar.

A small barmaid dressed in green appeared from a doorway to our left, and smiled at us. Then a larger barman appeared from a doorway to the right, and grimaced. “Anything I can do for you lads?” he said in a menacing fashion, rolling his sleeves up to show skull and crossbone tattoos.

“Errr… Three pints of Guinness please…” I said, stepping towards the bar. “So – what do you do for a laugh around here…?” I asked, attempting to break the ice.

“We–” began the barmaid – – “Enjoy cards and board games” said the barman cutting in and pointing at a pile of boxes in the corner.

“Right… Nothing else?” I asked.

The barman looked at me.

As we sat by ourselves playing poker in a hidden room just off the back entrance, it slowly became obvious that a holiday ‘plan of action’ was in order.

Rather than working out what we were going to do and when we were going to do it, we aimed instead for a list of things to tick off as we went along.

After extensive debate and another pint or three of Guinness – we had our draft list.

  1. Get laid.
  2. Visit Guinness factory.
  3. Do trip around Dublin.
  4. Go out in Temple Bar area.
  5. Nightclubbing.
  6. Grab a musical. (Gez’s idea – crossed off after Lewis and I mocked him)
  7. Catch a film.
  8. Eat local cusin cuisne food.
  9. Search for cheap hotel.
  10. Get laid again.

Now all we had to do was start somewhere.

The small barmaid came over to clear our glasses as Lewis put the finishing touches on the list, and peered over his shoulder.

“That a list of your plans for the week lads?” she asked in an incredibly sexy Irish accent.

We all looked at her.

“…Yes…” said Lewis, slightly nervously.

“Well then lads, you’re going to want to knock some of these off the list quickly…” she said, looking Gez in the eye “…to get right down to the important things.”

“…Yes…” said Lewis in a hoarse voice.

“…Any ideas…?” I said, looking at the barmaid’s shamrocks.

“Oh I have a few” she said, still looking at Gez. “But I’d start with the trip first…” she continued, looking at the list again “…so you can figure out where the real action is quickly…”

“Yeah, we’ll see how it goes” said Gez, turning away. “Have to work out for ourselves what’s best, but cheers for the advice.”

Lewis and I looked at him in stunned silence.

The barmaid smiled and caught Gez’s eye. “Well lads, don’t forget if you ever need any advice… I’m always here.”

She turned her back to us, picked up our glasses, and slowly walked away – turning briefly to look at Gez in a fashion that I can only describe as ‘longingly’.

“What the… f@£k… was that?!?” I said to Gez, slapping him. “Get yourself up there and talk to her!”

“Yeah… Maybe later” he said, collecting the cards up and putting them back into their box. “The week is young lads – plenty of time for all that…”

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