I'm off to Ireland for a few days next week and I've been
thinking back to the good old days when I could drink a gallon of Guinness.
remember this bar just below Galway where they have their own oyster bed
just get off a plane and drive for four hours through mind-numbing green countryside,
stopping off for a quick Paddy's and Red in Athlone along the way. I'll explain
that in a minute.
First I must tell you that Athlone is
right in the middle of Ireland and all the English (and - for all I know - Ibicencan)
tourists look on a map and say to themselves that'll be a good place to stop.
So they've seen them all, the English "hoorigans" as the Japanese call
us and the Germans who love going there because no-one hates them. That's because
no-one knows anything about them and their towels.
took the American lap dancer and her sister, having promised them they could kiss
the Blarney Stone though for goodness's sake I think they must have already licked
the American version clean out.
We pulled into this parking
space right by a bar and lurched in and I made the mistake of speaking first.
The place went quiet when they heard an English accent and so I let the girls
do the talking. The Nevada drawl did the trick and that was when I found out that
the Irish have red lemonade. It looks kinda cute in the glass don't it
we motored on to Ballyvaughan, somewhere in County Clare, until we were running
out of petrol. It was getting dark. In fact, the more I tell it, it WAS dark.
then, at the side of the road, I saw two petrol pumps. They were just how you
might imagine petrol pumps should be although the garage was closed for the night.
No matter. I stopped anyway and there was a light coming from the office at the
The man who answered my knock was everything you'd
expect in deepest Ireland in the dark, but he looked at me puzzled when I asked
if he would open up and slip a few gallons my way. Then he came out onto the forecourt
and scratched his head. "Bejasus," he said, and went off to fetch
his friend. "Would you look at that!" he kept saying.
enough, the petrol pumps were there. They had been delivered an hour earlier and
were still in their wrappings. I doubt if, like me, you have ever seen petrol
pumps still in their wrappings. It was to be a petrol station, but connected they
Ireland is a bit like that, all petrol pumps
and no action.
I've just booked a car and I see the email
has been returned marked "not known at this address."
let you know how I get on, with or without the petrol. Or the Guinness.