| 5.3°C Dublin

The Snug: It’s That Time Again

I'm going to die ... and I can't wait" is the dubious headline on this week's edition of Take a Break magazine. To be honest, I kind of understand how the woman feels.

It's Thursday evening and I've been browsing the magazine rack in Spar for what seems like hours now. What in the hell is Aidan doing?

He's at the counter negotiating a delicate purchase. "I'll have 20 Benson and Hedges," he tells the young shop assistant, "a pack of chewing gum and ... [he lowers his voice conspiratorially] a packet of tmm-mms." The shop assistant squints, "A what?" Aidan whispers it again: "A packet of tampons." The shop assistant whips a box of Tampax from the shelf and scans it. But Aidan still looks uneasy. "They're not for me now," he explains, somewhat redundantly.

We cross Dame Street and leg it up George's Street to The Market Bar. I may one day grow up to be a mature adult. But in the meantime ...

"So, you're getting your period then?" I venture. "Piss off," he replies. "They're for Linda." But I'm not letting him off that easily: "I warned you about those Hugh Grant films. I said you'd turn into a woman ... " "Feck off," he says.

"Hugh Grant and the Sex and the City lady in the same film ... Feckin' Mike Tyson would be menstruating if he'd sat through that."

Linda and Tina are at a table down the back. We pull up stools. Aidan plonks the box of Tampax on the table. Linda gives him a look. "No secrets among friends," I offer. "Obviously not," she replies.

Aidan taps me on the shoulder. "For God's sake," he hisses, "no talk about the basketball." I purse my lips. I'm promising nothing. A fortnight ago Tina's basketball team organised a fundraising quiz. I assumed the money was going to some worthy cause, so I stumped up €40. It was only afterwards I found out the team were keeping the money for themselves. Yeah, I'd love to sit here and have a pleasant evening, but ... "So, how are the basketball uniforms?"

"It was written on the bloody invitations," Tina yells. "'In aid of St Catherine's basketball team'."

"Yeah, but I play five-a-side soccer. I don't ask you to pay for my football boots."

"All you heard was girls and booze," she sneers. "You didn't ask too many more questions

"Hey, I know. Why don't I start up St Catherine's Fencing Club? First item on the agenda: fundraising."

"We're not having this argument again," says Linda, shaking her head.

"Oh, we are. You both owe me a sword."

Finally, Aidan slams his drink down on the table. "Shut up," he yells. "All of you. I'm sick to the back teeth of this bickering."

Tina and I exchange bemused glances. "Jesus, someone's a little cranky today," she says.

"Well, to be honest," I tell her, "I think it might be his time of the month ... "

Catch up with Eoin's escapades on www.eoinbutler.com; eoinbutler@gmail.com