Thursday, 9 July 2015

If you can't laugh at yourself you're missing out on so much humour!


My brain

Last weekend I had one of the best laughs I’ve had for months, entirely at my own expense. Had there been nobody else in the house I’d still have laughed out loud, repeatedly, interspersing my chuckles with mumbles about how I do not bloody believe myself sometimes ... what an idiot I can be ... that kind of malarkey.

A friend who’s leaving Galway to move back to the States was visiting and I planned to celebrate the occasion with a nice bit of roast rib of beef on the bone, Yorkshire pudding, the works.

Leaving home to pick up our guest deliberately early, I enjoyed a couple of sunny Saturday afternoon hours sitting on Quay Street, watching the Galway Shuffle. 

What a great place Galway is. I’ve invested very little into the place for years, yet so many faces and friends stopped to chat, a glow appeared inside my soul.

Unfortunately the heat of my love for my fellow humans is always the vanguard of a desire to experience that other glow, the one which arises from the consumption of whiskey. Alas no, I couldn’t. I was driving. While all around me swigged bottles of cider, pints of cold lager and shots of whiskey, I sat nursing my mug of tea.

By the time we returned to my gaff, it’s fair to say the Summer heat and city dust had combined to create a thirst. I had to open a bottle of red for the gravy, so I thought I’d open the Bordeaux to let it breathe, and then, while I was at it, why not open that lovely Californian red too?

‘I mean, come on!’ I thought to myself, ‘It’s 4 in the afternoon and there’s a long night ahead.’

While our friend and the Snapper caught up with all their news in the living room, I peeled spuds and drank a little California red, sealed the meat and slurped, chopped the veg and swallowed a drop more.

As my soundtrack to the cooking, I had the commentary of the big match on the radio. Outside the kitchen window Shaggy the donkey was living up to his name, his member trailing the ground, while 

Brownie, his supposed mate, remained steadfastly indifferent. She waited until he climbed onto her back, then walked a few steps forward, just far enough to let him know to bugger off and leave her alone, without exerting herself unnecessarily.

Donkeys, stone walls and green fields out of the window, roast beef, red wine and live sport on the radio: I was in heaven, with my wife and friend in the other room.

Perchance ‘twas time for another wee slurpeen.

Oh. Oops.

The Californian was gone.

‘Ah well, that’s okay,’ I told myself, ‘We’ve plenty more and I didn’t drink the whole bottle anyway. The roasting pan got a good glug or three for deglazing.’

I reached for the Bordeaux.

Hmmm, lovely drop.

Everything was building to a crescendo. Roast dinners are easy, but there’s a certain amount of stress involved in a Yorkshire pudding. Temperatures and cooking times, which can be adjusted for meat, become rigid and precise.

When the veg hit the heat I know it’s ten minutes to serving time. Time to fly and focus. All my culinary cylinders are Go with a capital G.

The Snapper comes in and says she’s going to take Lady Dog out for a peeper, so that we can eat and relax after dinner.

Perfect my love.

Five minutes later she’s back in to announce the dog has gone. 

During a game of ball Lady took a notion and had it on her legs into the bushes. Experience tells me this is not the moment to wonder aloud why it was a good idea to play a game with the dog at two minutes to dinner, but I want to.

The other two go off to find Lady while I look at the oven and the saucepans and wonder what the hell to do.

The Snapper's mobile on the kitchen table starts ringing over and over again, so I know a neighbour has found our dog and all is well.

The Yorkshire and the meat are burned but edible. The dog is shut in another room in disgrace while we stuff our faces and drink more wine.

Later, after the dishes are done and the dog has been reconciled and forgiven, I decide that in the morning I’ll drop some cut flowers from the garden down to our neighbour, to thank her for catching Lady Dog and saving the day.

Thinking I’m way smarter than I actually am, I explain to my friend that I’m going to write a reminder to myself to do that and put it on the kitchen table, because I know that the day after I’ve had a drink or three, my memory is like a colander.

The next morning I ooze my way into the kitchen to see on the table a piece of paper, upon which is written very clearly and underlined:


For a few minutes the silence of the Sunday morning is broken. Unable to stop myself laughing out loud, I wonder at my befuddled stupidity.

While our guest and the Snapper would doubtless have preferred to sleep longer, there are worse ways to wake up than to the sound of this scribbler mocking his own idiocy.

© Charlie Adley


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