Monday, 1 April 2019


In today’s world of pristine polished prose, squeaky-clean speech and super sensitivity, we have learned to sand down spoken rough edges that might cut the sensibilities of the vulnerable.

Let’s face it, if we’re honest, we’re all vulnerable. Who’d want to upset anybody in the course of their regular day?

We keep it clean, not because our souls are shiny, but because we know that we too sometimes feel attacked.

Thankfully we also know that when we’re with others of similar spirit, we can have a bloody good laugh,
telling tales nobody could share in the public domain.

One day last week there was a group of lads, three local-born and one Blow-In, sitting inside on a day when the world was more drenched than an overloaded dripping sponge.

Every outside surface was soaked, the air thick with grey.

A fire roared in the hearth. On the TV You Tube meandered around algorithmic past preferences, choosing a soothing mixture of songs it felt these four Bags of Mostly Water wanted to hear.

Strong hot tea arrived by the mugfull.
Bellies were full of spuds, mince and gravy.
The mood was gentle, light and calm.

“Was walking back from the Prom and popped into O’Reilly’s. Anto took me up to look at the view from his rooftop bar. Tell ye lads, that’s got to be one of the best views you’ll ever see from anywhere in the world.”

“That’s stretching it a bit, eh?”

“Tell ya. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.”

“Did you walk past the Warwick? See the state of the place?”

“Oh don’t even. So sad, it’s all but derelict now, pretty much ”

“Thought they’d sold it?”

“Yeh, there was something about that alright. Didn’t they want to turn it into a nursing home?”

“Yeh, that’s right, but there was an objection and an appeal. Think they might’ve got the go ahead now, though. Not sure.”

“A Nursing home? The Warwick a nursing home. More old people? God but Salthill is getting vey old.”

“Yeh, but hey, let’s be honest, so are we lads.”

“Speak for yourself. I’ll always been a lot younger than you, and never forget it.”

“Older and wiser, I’ll settle for that.”

“You’ve no choice, ye bollix.”

“Just imagine, like, if you end up there. I mean seriously, how many who’ll end up there would’ve started off there?”

“What d’ya mean, started off there?”

“I mean like, how many of us started up at the Warwick, or the Oasis, for that matter?”

“Jeeze, well, seeing as you’re asking, don’t mind admitting, I had my first ride there. Sham gig I think it was. Can’t remember much of it, to be honest. but I do know that it was there, in the Jacks it happened. Some of the other details are a bit blurry, like.”

“What details? You mean details like who it was with, and that sort of thing?”

“Yeh, well, kind of like that sort of thing. That kind of detail. ’Twas a long time ago. A bloody long time ago, and it’s not getting any nearer.”

“Yeh, but come on, seriously, really, you can’t remember who your first time was with? You’ve lost the name on your cherry? Ah come on! Don’t believe it.”

“Buckie was involved.”

”Ah well, okay, fair enough, but, so, if you don’t even know something as basic as her name, how do you know anything happened at all?”

“Some things you never forget, mate.”

Group guffawing ensued, tinged with the tiniest frisson of self-conscious tingling at how incorrect everyone was being.

Standards were about to plunge deeper.

“You had your first ride there, and now you can die there.”

First Ride There - Died There! That’ll be the slogan, on the ads, lads!”

More chesty knee-rolling guffawing.

Everyone was hooked on the roll now.

“Oh my god! First Ride There - Died There. Love it! And and and just think lads, you could be getting your pills from reformed dealers who sold you other ones when you were a teenager.”

“And injections from cleaned up heroin dealers.”

“And the Warwick’s DJs could be running the hospital radio!”

“Oh stop. Stop stop stop, it’s hurting! Like they could have still have all the old club nights. Like Sex Kitchen on Friday nights, getting down and dirty in the saucepans!”

“Yeh and Wednesday Night’s The Reggae Room, when patients are allowed to try alternative therapies. Herbal treatments all round, eh! Very nice, don’t mind if I do. To help the pain, see. Purely medicinal, like.”

“Yeh, and Thursdays could be Naked, with the extra buzz that nobody’d bat an eyelid if everyone just dropped their jammies and boogied down!”.

“Sounds great. Sign me up!”

“Yeh but who could afford it?”

A brief silence of buzzkill fell upon proceedings.

“Jeeze lads, for feck’s sake, we’re not quite ready for booking rooms in the nursing home yet. Get over yourselves, boys, for Christ’s sake. ’Tis a shame to see the Warwick get like that, and maybe it’ll be best to convert it, but hey, shteddy on with the tie me up to a drip stuff. We’ve still got a tiny bit of life to get on with, before any of us are ready to hand over our teeth at reception.”

©Charlie Adley

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