Sunday 26 May 2019

This woman's life: When a pizza is harder to find than a rare Pokemon

A RARE BEAST: The Pokemon Mamoswine. The Prom in Salthill, Galway, is perfect for a spot of Pokemon hunting
A RARE BEAST: The Pokemon Mamoswine. The Prom in Salthill, Galway, is perfect for a spot of Pokemon hunting

Rita Ann Higgins

So, we are on the prom in Salthill. The three grandchildren and myself. The nine-month-old twins are in the double buggy babbling and spitting. They are called after two Irish saints, Axel and Cooper. Their cousin, my other grandson, Oisin, is seven and like most seven-year-olds he likes to ask a lot of questions.

"Why do people kick the wall, Mamo?"

"It's an ancient thing, something to do with warts, I think. Don't ever let me catch you kicking the wall."

"Okay, Mamo."

We put on the Pokemon gloves he got on holiday, one each. His has an annoying noise which can be activated when we snare a Pokemon.

People go all weird when they see twins. "Ahh aren't they lovely? Are they twins, I knew they were twins." The questioner wants to know when people know the answer, why do they ask the question?

"I don't know, I think it has something to do with warts and walls."

"Are they just wasting words?"

"Yes but we have plenty to spare."

I stopped the practice of using the buggy as a weapon (it's called buggy bashing with menace) when a wheelchair-user locked eyes with me at Heuston Station and made me feel like Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I was bruised and sore for a week, and very resentful. I wouldn't mind but I had lost my favourite coat the same day.

After our Pokemon hunt we were ravenous. The twins were now chewing on the gloves. Nearby hotel, treat, yes please. All settled in and ready for a little banter with the waiter.

"Is the tap water filtered?"

"As in..," said he.

When anyone says 'as in' it's code for WTF are you on about?

I said: "As in, do ye serve it with Cryptosporidium and chips or do ye filter it first and catch all the bad boys?"

"I think they do something with it downstairs," he replied.

We gave him our order, A pizza to share and two glasses of tap water. He came back in a few minutes and said the pizza was off. I asked if it was gone off or just off the menu. It's off the menu, we were told. We were disappointed, the last time we were here we saw people having pizza and it looked nice. We had talked up a pizza on the prom and we were ready.

"Can I see the manager please?"

"I am the manager," he said.

"This is a hotel," I said, keeping my voice low and civil, "could the chef not rustle us up a pizza, we just wanted a Margherita?" (for the love and honour of Christ, I nearly said).

"I'm afraid that is not possible," said the proud manager sticking out his chest toward the Cliffs of Moher. "The chef does not make the base here, we buy it in, but today we are all out of base."

If the base is out, it was clear we were not in with a smidgeon of a chance, so we left.

The twins were down to three fingers on the gloves. The questioner wondered why they had not put a sticker on the menu to say the pizza was off.

We ended up going to Lana, the Asian street food place. I sent the questioner in for chicken noodles. We ate them in the car.

The twins were throwing some carrot-coloured stuff into our hair while we ate. We ignored them completely.

Note to self: Send email to City Hall to find out where my fee is for the lovely poem I spent ages writing for them. If they don't hurry up and pay me that's the last time I'll ever do anything for that shower.

Note to self: Bring back the fountain pen to Powells The Four Corners, it didn't work. Maybe you are supposed to hold it upside down and let the ink drip in like a cannula.

I have a root canal on Wednesday morning. No need for note to self. Oddly, it's not something you forget. I'll take two Nurofen Plus before I go in. That's my answer to everything. Before the Angelus, arragh I'll take two to take the edge off. Before I watch Vincent Browne, arragh I'll take two Nurofen Plus to steady my nerves when I'm listening to Enda's army.

Galway is full of canals, sadly they are not helped by all the gunk and worse that is thrown into them every weekend, according to The Galway Waterways Patrol. Most local politicians don't want to hear about the excrement floating in the canals (i.e. shitty city).

Back to my impending root canal. I tried not to look it up but I faltered after five minutes and Safaried it. It's like liposuction but the hose goes down inside the cavity or canal of your tooth and hoovers the bejasus out of it for about an hour. Then a bit of concrete is put on top of it. You are left weakened and bewildered. As you dander around Galway flaking away, stay away from the canals.

I went back to Powells The Four Corners with the fountain pen. The woman behind the counter was warm and energetic.

She went in the back and ran it under the tap and she came out shaking it like a wan possessed. A drop of water and good shake, she said, it works every time, and it did.

Sunday Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss