Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Who's got the Polo Mints?"

Once, just once, I'd like to be asked for ID when buying a pint or walking into a pub. The last time it happened I must have been 20 in the place that used to be called Drumms.

"Can I see some identification, please?"

"I'm sorry, what?" I laughed in his face. Even then, it had been a couple of years since I'd been required to prove my drinkability.

"Some ID. Please."

"Right, eh, here." And that was that. He produced the liquor and I laughed back to the lads, and it hasn't happened since.

It was doubtless a shit encumberance at the time, but I remember the strategems involved in getting served at 14. I'd be told to walk in with Ronan, he was the oldest and I the baby, and Mick and Kev and Austin would follow us.

"Always make sure you're talking to each other when you walk in."

That was a cracker. As though John P. Beast wouldn't stop us for fear of interrupting an extollation of the virtues of Sartre, or 'Gary Speed v Ryan Giggs: Who's Welsher?'

Sometimes it worked. We did nonchalant as well as we could, and for the rest I had the bum fluff masquerading as serious-grown-up-facial-nonsense.

My first pint was in the place that used to be McGraths. It wasn't known as an underage aleing house, that was Fibbers around the corner, but we fluked our way in. It would have been '93, the autumn of grunge, the summer of Euro Pop.

With 'Mr. Vain' blasting above me I tried to affect to myself that of a serious Guinness drinker, hiding the grimace of porter as a yawn, trying to look cool as fuck in my Pearl Jam t-shirt and hiking boots.

There was no great drama. I didn't fall over, fall asleep, fall in love. Instead we just got the bus home and each pretended we were in a library or a church saying devotions.

My kingdom for such subterfuge, now.

17 comments:

Sarah Gostrangely said...

1. What a lovely last sentence.

2. Hiking boots and Pearl Jam tshirts. Now that's fashion. I feel a revival coming on!

3. You have a friend called Austin? Lucky you, how exotic.

Radge said...

Sarah - Thanks. I love that word. 'Now.'

2. Add some tartan trousers in there for extra individuality.

3. I do, and he's a quality man. A publican, indeed.

Red Leeroy said...

I think my first pint was in the Zoo bar, (Renards now) I can't remember what age I was, 15 maybe, however I was nervous, the ID was fake, the booze flowed.

Radge said...

Red... and the puke??

eskerriada said...

The first time I was drunk, I shouted "Mickey Dodgers" out the window at two Nuns. I don't think they heard me, the silly little prick I was.

Downstairs in The International, Bartley Dunnes and the back lounge in Kehoes.

Radge said...

Holemaster - Wasn't Bartley Dunnes where Break For The Border is now?

narocroc said...

"McGraths... wasn't known as an underage aleing house". Not so sure about that Radge!?!

My first pint was, I think, in the Daniel O'Connell beside O'Connell Bridege. Aged 16 I think. Worst fake ID in the world. Worked a treat tho.

Or it could've been in Clarkes at Hart's Corner.

No it was definitely in a small pub in Blackwater, Wexford. The barman brought over the pint, a packet of crisps and the remote control for the TV. I felt like a king.

Radge said...

Narocroc - Took some poetic licence on McGraths. As for Clarkes, oh mercy. So many drunken teenage nights.

eskerriada said...

Yep Radge, it was a weird mix of rockers, punks, bikers, students and middle aged gay men.


(Name/URL log in seems to be gone? Have to log into my Wordpress account on my blog before being able to comment here. Am I doing something wrong?)

narocroc said...

I echo what the Holemaster says re: log in. Tis a bit of a pain in the h*le having to log in to wordpress every time in order to comment. Fix that there Radge!

Radge said...

Should be sorted now lads.

Radge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B said...

Just scan your passport, edit the year of birth, print out the new one, laminate it, paste it over the old one.

Easy.

Kath Lockett said...

I was a relatively ancient seventeen before I had my first drink - Bundaberg Rum. Three swigs had me dancing like a decapitated chicken and chundering like a sailor about ten minutes later. Not pretty and I've never ever wanted rum since.

Red Leeroy said...

Radge - I would say it was 87% possible that I did hurl.

Conan Drumm said...

The way I remember it you could get a pint quite easily provided you weren't acting the maggot. A gang of us cycled round the country at age 15 and never had a problem getting served. I don't think we were ever drunk, except in Roscrea where we got a bit jarred as we were told tales of the goings on of the pupils in the two big boarding schools in the town... (shagging in the jax, that kind of thing). Ah, the old days...

Holemaster said...

Testing testing 123