You meet a whole array of characters over Christmas, and none more annoying and amusing as your resident crank, Barry. He filled me in on his typical Christmas at home by the Lee.
Me: Well, Barry, what’s the craic? How was your Christmas?
Barry: Alrite kid! How are you bai? Haven’t seen you in a while? Were you laying low before Christmas? Trying to stay away from town in case you had to buy anyone a pint, I’d say! Some mooch, lad, that’s all you are! Plenty of nights out I could’ve done with someone to buy me a drink. They weren’t serving me anymore. Said I was, “More drink than man” or some dramatic aul shite.
Other than that it was the normal stuff. Drink too much Christmas eve. Get up at about 4 o’clock and plonk myself down at the Christmas table, reeking of fags and booze. Listen to the mother give out that I ruined Christmas. Sure it was only the feckin’ front door that I kicked in. Not my fault that I forgot my keys. Although she is 90 so I should be more respectful and kick in the back door next time. ‘Tis the demon drink that did it to me.
Me: Would you ever give up the drink?
Barry: What the fuck did you just say to me?
Barry: Thought so. Anyways, Stephen’s Day then I’d go down to the long puc and lose about three or four sliotars into the ditch. Some bollox of a feckin’ route they’re after taking the last few years. Down from O’Neills and along the windy road to the Squire. And all the feckin’ cars driving up and down the road as if it wasn’t a sacred day in Rathpeacon G.A.A. I tried to lobby for a tannoy system to be put in place between Rathpeacon and Whitechurch. Local news, announcements and that sort of thing. At least then I could warn the feckin’ rally drivers to stay at home for an extra hour and that their relatives would be safe as long as they stayed indoors away from the stray sliotars. Anyways, the community group shot me down. Miserable pricks.
Me: That’s be a bit much, surely. Would you expect people to enjoy being woken up or scared shitless by random announcements? Were the tannoys just for the long puc or for everyday use?
Barry: Everyday use, lad! Morning announcements and all that. “Pauric Joyce shat himself in the pub last night. Avoid the second stool by the window.” I could set up an aul watch tower over by the pitch then and keep on eye on the surrounding area at night, too. I’d have it hooked up to the pub then. “Lads, the shades are en route. Close the blinds and turn off that feckin’ jukebox.” It’d be fierce handy for G.A.A. matches. “The Whitechurch team bus has just left and will be here in 15. Lock your doors and make sure valuables are out of sight!”
Me: Fuck it, that’d actually be handy. And they shot you down? Can’t believe it.
Barry: I know, yeah. Sure look, can’t win em all.
Me: Any other plans before the New Year?
Barry: Same old, kid, same old. Drink, drink, drink. See some relatives. Talk some shite. Yourself?
Me: Same here. Might write some shite too.
Barry: Do kid. Practice makes perfect.