We’re inappropriately dressed for the scorching weather but there was no way I was wearing a pair of shorts in Dublin airport at 4.00 am. I feel like such a paddy in my jeans and Abercrombie jumper. Our hotel room won’t be ready until after 12.00 however I’m more than happy to bask in the sun’s revitalizing rays. It took us a while to find a bar open so early but it was certainly worth the wait-all bottles are only €1.50. I take a sip from what must be my sixth beer as I survey my new surroundings. It’s hard to focus in on any one feature for more than a few seconds without squinting as the sun paints everything a magnificent white. The air smells so fresh that I can almost taste the sea.
“It’s so great to be out of Ireland,” Matt says as if reading my mind.
By the time it comes to check out our hotel I’m already tipsy but the bill was just short of thirty quid. We walk back to our hotel reception and the first thing I notice is how many kids are running around the place. We wait in line until our names are called out by a tanned middle-aged man with thick dark hair who’s probably named Christiano. A few families are called first as I enviously watch on by, my patience getting the better of me. “Thomp-son, An-thony,” he finally says.
“Yes that’s me.”
“Room 145. The bar is open until midnight, and if you need anything just dial 000 for reception. Enjoy your stay.” I quickly search for his name tag before replying.
“Thank you Miguel.” Well at least I wasn’t too far off.
I grab my bag and head straight for the room checking the place out for any potential talent.
“Is it just me or are there a lot of kids around here?” Matt says.
The place does seem to be crawling with midgets except for one bald man, although he’s about 5ft 5” so I’m not technically sure if he’s exempt.
“Yeah it does seem a bit like a Garry Glitter wet dream alright.”
“Suppose, but for 450 we can’t really argue.”
When I open the door I’m quite surprised to see how spacious our hotel room is. There are two bedrooms, one with a double bed, and the other with two singles. We have a large marble bathroom, couch, coffee table, dinner table, cupboards, fridge, and even cutlery. The perfect family room really. I open the window and our room is consumed by noise-pool splashing, screaming, children calling after one another, and parents issuing warnings. Matt’s begun unpacking with most of his shirts already hanging.
“Want to have a quick wander around and stock up?” I say.
“Yeah just give me a couple of minutes.”
I quickly change into a pair of shorts with plenty of pockets and an aertex Inter Milan polo shirt. I throw a load of talcum powder in my Adidas runners so I can wear them barefoot without stinking them out. There’s no way I’m walking around like a fuckin’ culchie with runners and black socks.
We’re on our way to the shops when I hear this strange noise “kiz kiz kiz kiz…”.
“Do you hear that?” I ask.
Matt shrugs his shoulders and we continue to walk until I hear it again.
“Okay I heard it that time,” he says.
For some stupid reason I instinctively look to the sky, while Matt locates the source.
“It’s that guy by the bushes,” he says.
“He probably saw us come from the hotel and wants to lure us into his van with ice-cream.” He shifts around before motioning us to come over with his head to which we oblige.
“You want coca?” he says.
“Nah you’re alright mate,” I say.
I’m already turning away “what about hashish, or grass?” he says.
I wouldn’t mind a bit of grass but I can’t roll so the ball’s in Matt’s court.
“Well what do you think Tony?”
“I don’t mind guv’. Sure we might as well get a bit.”
“Okay so what have you got?” Matt asks.
The guy is sweating heavily which doesn’t make sense considering how tanned he is. He should be well accustomed to the weather by now. He takes a small bag of weed out of his Levis jeans, which looks about maybe 50 quid’s worth.
“120 euro my friend,” he says.
Matt examining the bag says “I only want half that.”
I pull him aside “Matt are you having a laugh? 60 quid for that.”
“Trust me,” he says.
The dealer immediately cuts the bag with his knife handing over half to Matt.
“Okay 60 euro friend.”
“60 euro? Nah it’s okay. That’s not worth any more than 20. Come on Tony forget it.”
We walk away ignoring his strange cat-like call until he shouts out after us “okay okay 40 euro.”
40 euro seems a good price. Matt again fingers the pack before adding, “Sorry mate I’ve actually only got 25 quid on me.” He continues to plead and barter except Matt isn’t having any of it. Eventually, after numerous hissy fits and childlike strops, he gives in. Matt completes the transaction and we’re not even ten feet away when the dealer shouts “English scum”.
“Jesus you didn’t half rape him there,” I say.
“Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out when a sweaty Moroccan dealer is obviously carrying too much weight. I knew once we got him to cut it he wouldn’t take it back.”
We walk straight into the first supermarket we see and it’s refreshingly cool inside. I pick up a basket and within seconds it’s fully loaded.
50 quid later and we’re back in our hotel room taking inventory of our stock-one litre of Vodka/JD/Bacardi, 6 Smirnoff Ice, 24 bottles of Heineken, 6 mixed fruit cider, one miscellaneous green bottle, a bottle of Coke/Sprite, cigarettes, papers and a pack of Doritos in case we get hungry. I’m quite dehydrated from our excursion so waste little time in cracking open a beer. Matt’s already halfway through making a fat frog.
“So what’s the plan for later?” I say.
“Suppose we’ll head out for the game. Kick off‘s at 20.45 over here. Stick on some tunes there Tony.”
I unpack my CD player lashing in the first mix CD I can find. The Chemical Brother’s “Elecktrobank” erupts onto the scene and I can’t help but feel alive.
“I still can’t believe how shit that gig was in the Point,” He says.
“Yeah left halfway through didn’t we?”
“Left? You implied we had a choice. I had to get you out before you got yourself killed. Remember the queues were out the door for the jacks so you just pissed all over the guy in front of you?”
“Well you certainly got your own back on me later on that night when you sent me to Coppers and fucked off home yourself.”
“The best bit was you kept texting to see if I was in the place, and I kept on replying that I was at the bar.”
“Yeah you dickhead I fell asleep in there when I woke up and couldn’t find you I thought something might have happened. I spent the next two hours searching the place looking for you.”
“Haha good times.”
“I did see the Chemicals at Witness though and they were pure class. It was probably just the Point-gigs are always crap there.”
“Why were we even at that gig in the first place? I don’t remember buying tickets.”
“Joanne got them for me as a present.”
“That nut still harassing you?”
I notice he’s now diverted his attention to the grass as he licks papers and begins burning.
“Nah not so much especially since crazyhorse. The cunt tried the whole pregnancy card.”
“Fuck, she used to be sound when I started there, but she was always Mary’s gimp.”
“She’s totally hit the skids since she split up with her ex.”
“Always happens though with people who’ve only ever been in one long term relationship. They come out thinking they’re Carrie Bradshaw and that the world’s their oyster. It’s not until later that they realize they’re just another soiled goods two-a-penny moonpig.”
“Speaking of moonpig’s whatever happened with that oompa loompa from last weekend?” Straight away Matt shoots me a look that could cut ice.
“Ohh sorry are we still not joking about that yet?” This eases the tension and we both burst out laughing.
“I think that she might have been a virgin.” He says sending me into convulsions. Matt remains deadpan but I can’t tell if he’s doing this for comedic effect.
“I’m serious.”
“You actually are?”
“Yeah I am. I got her back to mine and as I soon as I stuck it in she yelped like a dog. I’d get a few pop shots in-not even enough time to find some rhythm and she’d make me take it out.”
“Probably has the clap.”
I intended this as a joke but I can tell by the blank look on Matt’s face that he’s got a serious case of the fears. All joint production ceases and he seems traumatised.
“You don’t really think she has the clap do you?”
Fuck the last thing I need is him tripping before he’s smoked.
“Hardly,” the sincerity of which is so hollow that it will surely fuel his paranoia further. I decide to keep my mouth shut unless spoken to, watching Matt meticulously craft an expert joint.
After he’s done examining his workmanship he slumps back into the couch, taking refugee in each big lung full of smoke. I patiently wait my turn afraid to move in case I disturb his self medicating. When he passes the joint I take a long drag but almost instantly I begin coughing, and spluttering.
“Fuck that shit is strong,” I say but then I always was a greenhorn. I successfully manage a couple of drags before passing it back to Matt, who finishes it off with ease. The strength of the blow leaves me in such a monged state that anytime I grab a beer more of it ends up on my chin than in my mouth.

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