Blogging in a winter wonderland
Half the population of Ireland is under 30. That makes me a crumbly all of a sudden. Brown Thomas sells Prada and Creme de la Mer, and there are skinflicks in the newsagents. Girls clatter across the damp cobblestones in high heels and glittery boob tubes. Mobiles ring everywhere like Salvation Army Santa bells in New York. The girls sign off with ‘Bye-bye-bye, hon!”
I am mystified. Like Richard E. Grant in Withnail and I I want to roll down the car window and yell: ‘Scrubbers! Scrubbers!’ at this young trollop of a country.
On the bus out to Stillorgan I sat opposite a pair of twenty-year-old part-time barmen.
“D’you mean you don’t have to stock the bar at your place? Or do your own till at the end of the night? Are you serious? You just have to pull pints? Jesus, you lucky bastard. I’d love that. I have to go down to the cellar five times a night, and haul the boxes up, and carry them through three sets of doors, and wipe off the bottles, and stock the shelves, and move the furniture and clean the floors at the end of the night, and count up the takings, and on top of that I’m servin’ miserable old Guards all night long.
“D’you know when they put the money down on the counter instead of into your hand? And you have to pick it up out of the wet? I hate that. I always put their change back down into the wet but they never cop on.
“Some of them get so gone you can say anything to them, though. ‘Now, two pints of Guinness, sir, you old fucker.’ And they say thanks.”
“I don’t know what to get for Mam and Dad. I thought theatre tickets would be good, but it seems a bit…I don’t know. What d’you think? Is it weird to get theatre tickets for your parents?”
“I got this shirt. I don’t know if I can carry it off. Is it a bit E for me?”
They were so sweet and young and good that I had tears in my eyes when I got off the bus. Being home for Christmas has turned me into a sap.
On the Dock Road roundabout in Limerick, the County Council has put up a ‘with-it’ road safety sign.
SLOW DOWN BOYS it says in big black letters. I love it. Makes me picture an eldery local politician in a Wonderbra.