Sunday, April 3, 2011
Thing 351 The Early House
Firstly, to be clear, I've been in an early house before, this is not a new thing. It's kind of a Limerick tradition that after your debs, you head for the Horse and Hound for breakfast and a pint. The difference that makes this a Thing for The Project is that I've never gone into an early house for my first pint of the day. I've been up drinking all night (I've had an adventurous and slightly debauched youth) and gone to an early house, and I've had pints in the morning hours before, but not like this.
One of my pet hates about shift work is that I don't have a Friday night. For those working nine-to-five (and now you're singing Dolly Parton, I just know you are), there's Friday night to look forward to. When I lived in Dublin, Friday evenings in Harcourt Street's bars were just choc-a-bloc with suits as everyone started the weekend unwind. Pints after work. It's an institution. Friday night is where it's at these days.
Since my normal shift pattern ends on a night shift, and can end on any day of the week, my Friday night is usually on a weekday morning at about eight o'clock. It's not fair. I gripe, but no one listens. Ever since I started shift-working I've been promising myself a morning like this one. Breakfast in the Horse and Hound with a few pints. I'll have my Friday night while you're all having your Wednesday morning...
Hee Hee works with me and Token Northy, and he's game for a laugh, so I recruited him to help with the excess. That way I'm not walking into an early house at eight in the morning to drink on my own, which could probably be considered problematic. Thanks be to Hee Hee for covering me on this one.
We were in place in the bar for the eight o'clock news. Outside the door traffic was building up as people started their midweek commerce. Kids were on the way to school, street cleaners were busy making the city presentable and truck drivers were making their deliveries for the day's business. Inside, two clowns were sitting down to a massive feed and a nice creamy pint.
We shot the breeze and talked about this and that like anyone does on a Friday after work, but it just wasn't the same. In fact, it was a little weird and slightly unsettling. We weren't the only ones drinking, which I thought was odd. It's really not a time for it, and the day just keeps getting brighter. We moved on at about ten or half past to another early house not far away.
It was heaving. Wedged with people drinking and chatting. At half ten in the morning. It's just not something I'm used to seeing. One chap with a thick London accent kept insisting he was from Cork and began slagging and berating all the Limerick people. He was beyond drunk and the atmosphere was turning a little unpleasant. I was still trying to compute the amount of people who were drinking heavily by the time half past midday rolled around.
Hee Hee and I headed for Austin's. My favouritest of favourite pubs. At this point I was feeling massively self-conscious. We were passing people with kids, out for their lunch, we walked passed people running errands and taking a break from their working days, and at this point we'd been drinking for four and a half hours.
We had a few more, because, hey, we're out now, we may as well drive on. But it got more and more uncomfortable and less and less fun. The moral of the story? Drinking is only fun when everyone else is doing it. I can safely say I won't be doing that style of "Friday night" again in a hurry.