Monday, 29 March 2010

Two for the Price of None, as Chapter 3, 'Getting Galwayed' wins the day!

Appearing today, as voted for by you, not one but two excerpts from chapter 3 of 'Do I Love Ireland?', the compilation book of my newspaper column, 'Double Vision'.

Yes two for the price of none at all! That's what this colyoom is giving you, my loyal colyoomistas, for taking part in the voting and sharing your thoughts. As ever, the craic will out, and you all want more tales of Galway woe.

For those sticklers among you who need to know, the scores on the doors, please, Anthea!

1st: Chapter 3 - Getting Galwayed.
2nd: Chapter 5 - Balls and No Problem - the Irish Attitude to service.
3rd: Chapter 8 - Brown envelopes, Bertie and old beef.
4th: Chapter 4 - What exactly is an Atheist-Panthiest Jew?
5th: Chapter 11 - Festivals and other frivolities.

Thanks to the Whispering Giant, whose vote/comment inspired me to pick the first clip below. The second one picked itself, for obvious reason.

Hope these 2 make you smile, and some of you squirm in your seats. There's more from the 2nd placed Chapter 5, Balls and No Problem - the Irish Attitude to service, on the colyoom directly below this one

Now on with the show.

July 2001.
Hey, you, leave my memory alone!

‘Everyone deserves a Galway memory!’ claims the latest radio ad.
Explains a lot.
How many of you Galwegians have sat in the bright harsh light of the morning after and complained that you’ve lost your memory?
There are hordes of ye out there, drinking coffee in the kitchens of Shantalla, lying sprawled on the sofas of Knocknacarra, straining your necks down the toilets of Newcastle, desperately trying to remember what the hell you did last night.
You sad memory-theft victims suffer the embarrassment of having to ask
“Was I bad?”, as well as the legendary “Who was she?” and that old classic, “How on earth did I get home in that state?”
This colyoom can now reveal where your memories have gone.
The tourists are robbing them. It said so on the radio: ‘Everyone deserves a Galway memory!’
I'm sure they do, but there’s only so many to go around.
What could possibly be more private and personal than the process of recall, so give us back our experiences, ye shifty holidaying bunch of tea leaves.
We’ve all heard the stories.
“Well, I met this gorgeous French geezer, and then it all goes a bit blurry!”
“I can’t remember a thing after I started chatting to that Yank bird.”
Hmm, methinks another Galway memory nicked by a passing Dub; purloined by a touring pack of Americans; lifted by Franz from Mainz; all taken without permission, back whence they came.
Our only consolation for such vile robbery is the knowledge that at some point down the road, they are going to awake with a Galwegian’s memory kicking around their mind.
Let’s spare a moment for the ultra-swish Parisian accountant, staring out of the window of his minimalist Montmartre loft, wondering what hon hearth means ziss bizarre memory of ‘sheefting a bird in Central Park nahhrtclub?’
Pity the poor 53 year-old Christian fundamentalist from Cookieville, Ohio, who came to Ireland to find her roots and buy Aran sweaters for all 15 of her nieces.
Now back home at a PTA cookout she suddenly ‘remembers’ taking Ecstasy, dancing in Salthill Park through the night and making Lesbian love to a 20 year-old aerobics instructor in Bearna Woods at dawn.
Maybe everyone does deserve a Galway memory. But you can’t go nicking ours.

...and inevitably, just because I know you want it, and yes, sometimes you do get what you want!

July 2009.
Oh yes, you know when you’ve been Galwayed!

I’ve been Galwayed. Galwayed good and proper, that’s what I am right now. I had a double, a double Galway: that’s city and county.
If I’d mixed the county after the city, I might not be feeling so bewildered and crap.
But I didn’t.
So I do.
My head is crushed, my thoughts spinning in negative spirals that I know well to leave alone. This is not about a hangover. Being Galwayed is a combination of sleep deprivation, over-consumption, over-stimulation of sensory experience and a glut of social auld bollox that seems substantial at the time, yet dies into ephemera with the first snore of the semi-comatose night.
Coming or going are concepts you abandon when being truly Galwayed.
As I write this I know that it’s Monday, but it could be Saturday, Flipday or tomorrow.
I’m going to pin the guilt for the whole sad and wonderful day on the sun, which rises so early and sets so late over Galway at this time of year, you wake up three hours before you’ve gone to sleep.
So yesterday, Sunday morning, at 5am, I open my eyes, go for the middle-aged peeper, and realise to my horror that I am quite awake.
I also notice that herself the Snapper is not yet home. A text tells the tale of a well-earned glass or two after a hard night’s work which led to a party, and who could blame her?
I go back to bed but I’m half thinking about herself getting home safely, and half thinking about how that’ll be fine, and half thinking about the blue sky and sunshine and how you can’t have three halves.
So I get up at silly o’clock on a Sunday, and walk the causeway to Mutton Island under blue skies before the shops are open, wondering how to fill my day off. Even when you work for yourself, you have to have days off, where sloth is no crime.
But today is a day for action. Firing up Shaaanny car, I do what I do most naturally, and head west, excited at the prospect of the very early very empty road to Clifden.
Connemara looks jaw-droppingly beautiful as piercing summer sunshine is hidden and released by towering tumultuous storm clouds. The Maamturk Mountains themselves appear to move, as vast black shadows travel at speed across them.
Speeding along but less stunning, your scribbler arrives in Clifden at 10:15, and takes a most excellent breakfast in the Off The Square Restaurant. Great service, fab food, followed by a stroll down to the bridge on the Ballyconneely road, to watch the river cascade a while and build a thirst.
All the serious pubs are shut.
Himself the Goat is not responding to texts, and why would he?
What am I doing in Clifden so bloomin’ early on a Sunday?
Well, now what?
Back in Shaaanny, to drive at a more leisurely pace back to Galway. I pick up a hitcher in Oughterrard. We chat and laugh and then I’m back, aimless and hyper in Rahoon (never a good combination). I call round to Angel, but he’s not about, and Soldier Boy has been out since yesterday fortnight, so I’ll leave him be.
I go home and see the curtains upstairs still drawn. I sit and try to read the Sunday papers but no, not for me, not today. Something is eating me up, so I drive into town not knowing if I really even want to go into town.
Instead of parking in the Claddagh, I drive down Henry Street and for some reason decide to pointlessly pootle in circles around the town centre.
Sitting alone outside Neactain's, watching Sunday strangers throng with cameras, up pops the Artist Formerly Known As Snarly. Off to the Quays, where we talk of religion, fly fishing and zombies in dreams.
Then I wander up to God knows where looking for the Devil knows who, and stumble into Dalooney outside Tigh Coilis, who persuades me to have a pint. Half of me is still in Connemara, half of me still on the road, half of me in bed asleep and the other half suddenly holding a pint that somehow makes sense in a world with too many damnable halves in it.
But I’m driving and have to call it a day, so I walk over the bridge and bump into The Waistcoat, who thrusts a can of Apples into my hand, and feeling bad and reckless and boring and mediocre I sit and chat as we reminisce of 80’s London and great travels and watch the river flow past.
Then, knowing that this is one of only 3 occasions in my long life when I have driven whilst possibly over the limit, I drop the car back to Salthill.
The bedroom curtains are still closed, so I go into the house, have a blissful peeper, and head off, again, into the city, feeling like Martin Sheen going into the jungle in ‘Apocalypse Now’.
Deadly black clouds are hanging huge and low. Me no walky, no be soaky.
Get a bus? But no, there’ll be an age to wait and look at that cloud and ennyhoodyhoo, why are you going in when you haven’t any money you fool and look -yahoo! -there’s a bus!
‘Tis meant to be. ‘Tis written.
Quay Street again, where first I gorge myself on piping hot salty vinegary potatoey heavenly chips from McDonaghs, and then head back towards the motley crew of eccentrics, musicians and gobshites (myself included) hanging outside Tigh Coilis. Dalooney and the Waistcoat show great generosity with the drink, and I know I’m being Galwayed, but I don’t care, because at that moment you care about neither future happiness nor past pain.
The Snapper texts to say she is coming into town to pick up her car, left in town the night before, and would I like a lift home?
Finding myself incapable of texting properly, I realise that thanks to the beauty of Connemara and the kindness of friends, I have managed to make it through this strange day. Hallelujah! Now I must indeed go home.
Later, despite being wrapped entirely in the synthetic warmth of the Chelsea blanket, herself trembles and shivers on the sofa, while I sit mouth agape, dribbling staring unblinking at a procession of godawful Sunday evening white chocolate TV dramas.
We know.
Oh yes. We know we’ve been Galwayed.


The Guru said...

And first past the post "Getting Galwayed". You could always adopt the British electoral voting system of course which would ensure the least popular choice wins - hoorah! Nice one Charlie, and thank for the excerpt.

Hari Om

Charlie Adley said...

Shantih shantih Guru -

Matthew 20:16 "So the last shall be first, and the first last."
Mark 10:31 "But many who are first will be last, and the last, first."
Luke 13:30 "And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last."

Even though they're clearly not sure exactly what 'he' said, those Judeo-Christian lads had similar thoughts to yourself, as well as 'first past the post' electoral systems!