I nearly forgot to mention this little episode, consumed as I was with the Croke Park thing at the weekend. On Sunday morning before we headed off to Mulligan’s, Wrinkly Paddy produced a full greasy fried breakfast for me.
There ya go, Bock. Line the stomach. Set you up for the day. He seemed a bit uneasy. A bit diffident.
What’s up, Pat?
Yes there is. What’s that behind your back?
Oh, it’s just the newspaper.
Give me a look.
No. There’s no news today. Nothing happened. Anywhere. Nothing at all.
Give me a look!
Give me a fukken look for fuksake!
He feinted to the left. I lunged to the right. Fit Paddy came up with a snarl and swung a vicious roundhouse kick in my direction, but I was too hung-over to respond and the kick overshot its mark. So much for being less drunk: there’s always a downside. He crashed through the glass door to the garden, lacerating himself badly, and a limp object fluttered to the floor at my feet.
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
The newspaper, he groaned as he freed his arse from the giant Venus Fly-trap.
But that isn’t a newspaper, I responded. That’s —-
The Sunday Independent, Paddy completed my sentence for me. I know. But it’s all they had in the shop. I’m sorry. I’m so ashamed of myself.
Don’t be, I chuckled. Look at this headline: Top players to quit if Staunton forced out.
Suddenly, my hangover didn’t feel as bad. I was ready for Mulligans.