Hollywood Boulevard has street performers, the London tube stations have buskers – Dublin has lunatics! And oh, my god they are funny, as long as you’re not the butt of their ‘crazy’ or their shenanigans. After spending a day that set me on a path of forming solid opinions of the people in the Republic of Ireland, I set off again from Barnacles Backpackers and walked down Grafton Street.
I came across another ‘challenged’ or perhaps just a drunken bloke. I was walking behind him and I was quite amused at his somewhat ‘friendly’ antics. I thought it might have been the same bloke from St. Patricks Park but it wasn’t, he was too short. I was pretty thankful that I was walking behind him after what happened next.
Walking in the opposite direction was a man in business suit. He was most likely on his way to work. The drunken looney stopped right in Mr Businessman path and grabbed him by the front of his suit. He pulled him down to his level, pointed to his cheek and puckered up. Mr. Businessman was mortified and tried to push him away but “Mr. Affectionate” had a quite a strong hold of his suit. Mr Businessman grabbed a hold of one of his hands and prized it off his suit and gave him a shove to get him off him. After the previous day I figured that Dublin had a pretty good level of consistency for crazy OR was it full moon kind of cycle? I would like to stay there longer to see if it was a regular thing.
It wasn’t even 10am and I’d been entertained by the Irish. I was on my way to the Guinness Store house for a tour. It’s a good many years since I did the tour, if they’ve left it relatively the same, I highly recommend a visit. They have the usual old historical memorabilia, old adds and information about how they make Guinness, the things you expect of these sorts of tours. However, in one area they displayed a heap of sporting moments (obviously sponsored by Guinness). They were displayed in a semi-circle type room and the acoustics of the room were like a small eccentric amphitheatre. The only music they played in the room were Irish drums. If you stood in the middle, the drums seemed to take over the rhythm of your heart and it felt like the drums had gotten inside you and were playing from within. My body seemed to sway and move in time with the drums. It filled me up and gave me goose bumps.
One of the funniest sporting tales from the storehouse was a telegram they had on display that was written by a Jockey to his father, this is all it said –
“S.F.; S.F.; S.F.” End.
The Jockeys father was completely clueless as to how to interpret the telegram and he had to wait until his son came home. On his arrival home the Jockey interpreted – “Well Dah tis says – “Started Favourite, Slipped and Fell; Shot the Fecker; Seeya Friday”. Given that telegrams charged by the character, what the jockey didn’t realise he was probably one of the first to come up with text language.
The spoil of the tour is at the top of the Storehouse in the Gravity Bar. It’s one of the best views in Dublin. I claimed my first ‘legitimately’ free Guinness that was complimentary and lent on the bar to check out the Dublin view. A yank named Charlene introduced herself and we struck up a conversation. She was travelling by herself but she was actually teaching English in Egypt and she was on a break from her job.
The barmaid came over curious by our accents and started chatting as well. She desperately wanted to travel to Australia. As the conversation followed, a group of pommy girls came up and said that their tour was leaving and asked if we’d like their pints… Well why the hell not! They gladly handed over their ring pulls (token) and we ordered another. Those pints didn’t last long and another friendly barmaid came up and offered us another four more pints. He said that he couldn’t sell them because they had been pre-poured and were 2 degrees cooler than what they could them sell at. Which didn’t make much sense because they served them two ways… one chilled to a certain temperature and the other at room temp. So why not wait till they were at room temp, OR did that mean they’d be flat by that stage. Given that we’d managed 3 freebies, we tried to con another one but we came up dry. So, we brought another one (the only one). I had nowhere to be until my flight later that night and I had made the executive decision that I’d had to leave the place at about 3.30pm. I think that was the last of my cognitive thought process. I did leave at 3.30 as planned. I walked the teacher down towards the Temple Bar and showed her where to go to get to St. Patricks Cathedral. That alleviate the problem of asking an Irishman for directions. I don’t think it would have been the first time the Cathedral invited a drunk inside, so we parted ways and I wished her well.
I bolted back to the backpackers and grabbed my gear, I managed to ‘filter out’ a fair bit of Guinness in the toilet and made my way to the bus stop. Then bus was forty-five minutes late and I needed to go to the loo again. Then bus got stuck in traffic for almost two hours on the way to the airport. My balder was full and my back teeth were FLOATING!
I started entertaining the idea of wetting my pants just for relief and pretending that the embarrassment would be worth it. In pain and desperation, I went up to the driver and asked to use the buses toilet. “No lass, its locked and I don’t have a key, we’re not allowed to use it”. I arrived at the airport unable to walk straight and my kidneys on the cusp of rupturing. Once I got inside the way I was walking doubled over let me fit in amongst the special Olympics teams that were all departing that same afternoon. I was all manner of DEFORMED by my predicament. I dragged by bags into the airport loo and unleashed. As I glanced up to the back of the toilet door, I read this add – “Dreaming of shopping while having a pee, pull up your pants and buy tax free”.