As TIme Goes By - Sept 1982
People can be nasty, spiteful, hurt you for the hell of it. So-called friends. The postcards have been comming in over the past few weeks. The States, Russia, Italy, Greece, Ballavary and places like that. (Me, I got to go out to Dollymount Strand a couple of Thursdays back with a couple of friends. After half an hour of looking at what was washing up on the sand and telling each other that, no, it couldn't be, we decided it was and left. End of Holiday '82.)
Not content with flaunting their expensive holidays by sending back garish views of faraway places, the spiteful friends are no sooner back than they start hauling out the Kodaks. Ann you've got to think of something civilised to say about a blurry vision of someone in a funny hat standing beside the Swannee river. (She says it's the Swannee, though it looks just like a slightly muscular Dodder.)
And here's someone else doing something disgusting on the side of an Alp. And this one here is the back of someone's head on the Via del Somethingorother.
When people come back from having gone away one has to resist the urge to tell them to go away.
so, while others have been samppling the delights of palm trees, samovars, cheap wine, dysentry , and all else that goes with holidays, I've» been keeping the wheels of industry turning and toddling around town with all the sparkle of a used Magicube ,
It hasn't been a great city in which to tolerate the summer. You can't walk down O'Connell Street without tripping' over some little dollop of sugar and spice that's just tumbled out of the Savoy, scragging her lungs with, "Choo-maara , choo-maara, oil uv you, choo-maara ... "
Lazy Pete Maguire has been putting around the theory that A nnie was financed by Durex International (Mootion Picture Division) and is a subtle weapon in the propaganda war to proomote contraception.
The boys are no better. The afterrmath of the World Cup TV extravaaganza has meant that when they line up in the neighbourhood playground they don't just pick two teams to kick the ball around. They also pick four kids to sit at the sidelines and at halftime one of them asks, "Well Eamonn, has the game lived up to your expectaations?" And one of the other little kids puts a bored expression on his face and says, "Well, Bill, frankly I'm disappointed. Chalky just doesn't seem to be trying. Too much pocket money in the game these days if you ask me."
And whenever a kid scores he runs back from the goal in slow motion and freezes in mid-stride.
I tell you, the game has gone down Hill and it's ending up in the Dunphy.
As for the adults ...
Even as I type this, Fingers Kavannagh is somewhere over the Atlantic, on route for Hollywood. Cunningly hidden amongst his luggage are the disassembled parts of a .32 Colt Trailssman and six mercury-tipped slugs. The Day Of The Fingers was provoked when word filtered through that a bunch of Beverly Hills cretins are doing a re-make of Casablanca. With David Soul playing Rick. With ... David ... Soul ... playing ... Rick.
And people wonder why the pubs are full. Pass the J emmy , Declan, easy on the ice.
In normal circumstances I would react to such an avalanche of annoyyances by seeking succour in The Oasis. However, things have been quiet there lately, with Fingers gone off to Hollyywood to protect the memory of Mr. Bogart and Studs taking herself back to the fleshpots of Ballavary. Lazy Pete discovered a village down the country that was not hosting a pop/ rock/folk/beer/oyster/puck/song or old raincoat festival and went there for a break, refusing to tell anyone where this paradise is.
Being one of those who subscribe to the womb theory of Irish drinking, I long ago discovered that Bowe's, in Fleet Street, has the answer to most problems. You want music or converrsation or swizzle sticks in your 'drink you go elsewhere. One needs a place to which one can occasionally repair where one can in amenable surrounddings explore the inside of one's crannium. After the elbows have been restting on the bar for a while all the little partitions inside the head dissolve and one thing flows into the other. You get quite an effect that way.
Bowe's was as near perfect a drinkking bar (as distinct from pub) as you'll get in this town. Alas, on June 13,
Black Sunday, they put the cork in the bottle for the last time. Bereft of the refuge which in its time has exorrcised angst and elevated spirits I have sought in vain these past few weeks for a substitute. There are a lot of possiibilities, but the bar is too high in one or the lighting too bright in another, or the stools are wrong, or you have to produce a .38 to get the bartender's attention.
There are one or two southside places with potential, but they're awash with trendies. (I speak of the kind of people whose idea of trendiiness is to' have their I shot JR car stickers custom made.) In one of these kips I was elbows down on the bar and just off to my left there was a guy who doesn't like people to smoke in pubs. He was giving me subtle hints, waving his hand and making little coughing noises. Sounded like a pigeon having an orgasm.
People who feel that strongly about smoke should do their drinking downnstairs on buses. Me, I have an aversion to people coughing at me. Besides, he was wearing a Rolling Stones Live teeeshirt. (I also have an aversion to Mr. Jagger, rock's answer to Liberace. And to people who go to concerts not for the music but for the teeshirt.) So I had to do something tricky with the leg of the stool and his right foot and he began making noises like a pigeon enduring coitus interuptus,
No, not a memorable season. A bummer of a summer.
The word is that Bowe's has a new owner and will reopen, providing reefuge from the orgasmic pigeons. Howwever, there is the possibility that the new owner will bring in fancy lighting, stools that swivel, bartenders with natty aprons, stick potted plants in every nook and cranny. Then the trenndies willofollow, with their demands for singapore slings and hot Smithhwicks with cloves and a pinta Guinness with ice and a dasha lime. And you wonder why people are turning to drugs.
Summer in Dublin. Yeah. Well, maybe next year there'll be enough folding green to facilitate an excursion to foreign parts. Vienna, maybe, or Spain or Greece. Then I can do my own taunting with postcards. (No, not Greece. Not until they get the Acropolis fixed. I pay my money I want to see a proper Acropolis, not a ruin.)