Eoin Butler

25 Dawson Street, Dublin 2

Iwonder should Daniel O'Donnell go to funerals," announces Aidan, out of the blue. Before my brain has had time to transmit a warning signal to my mouth, I respond. Huh? "Seriously man," he says. "Daniel O'Donnell should read the death notices. Turn up to the funeral homes. Press the flesh, much like a politician does."

Well, why the hell would he do that? "To connect with the fans," reckons Aidan. "Old people don't go on Twitter or Facebook, you know. But they love a good funeral!"

I bang my head against the tabletop. Why do I even bother with this nonsense?

Ron Black's has lost something of its lustre of late. (Well, they've let us in for starters.) And that pair of traffic bollards in the middle of the floor is giving the place a kind of student bedsit vibe -- the Celtic Tiger is a distant memory here.

Tonight, our football team is out in force, toasting a rare victory. One of the younger players, Podge, has taken to dubbing Aidan and I the "Scholes and Giggsy" of our side. And it's not intended as a compliment. But we replied in the second half, when Aidan's defence-splitting pass put me in for the winner.

To celebrate, I personally high-fived all three of our fans and kissed the badge on my shirt. (Technically speaking, I only kissed the name of the shirt manufacturer, but I'd made my point.)

In my hour of triumph, I reckon it's time to give the 19-year-old striker a taste of his own medicine. This is the problem with you youngsters, I tell him. You think football is all about pace, work rate and, er, accurate passing. But I'm a thinker. I think about the game.

He sniggers. "Maybe that's what you were doing," he quips, "for their second." I concede the point. Podge notices Aidan's glass of Lucozade. "You're not drinking?" he remarks.

Aidan points to his car keys. Podge thinks this is lame. "Me brudder can drive after a few gargles," he says. Aidan shrugs his shoulders. "Serious," says Podge. "He's at it the whole time. He reckons you pass your driving test, right? You go to the boozer, drink a skinful, come back and do your drunk driving test. Pass that and you're away!"

The younger lads think this is hilarious. Aidan looks Podge straight in the eye. "Your brother is an idiot," he says, seriously. "A cast-iron fool." Wow, this is weird. I've never seen Aidan in responsible adult mode before. He's really good at it! The lads seem to be listening. "Your brother might have been lucky a couple of times," he warns Podge. "But he won't always be. If you don't make him see sense soon, you might not even have a brother no more."

There's an awkward silence. No one knows what to say.

But on the bright side though, I tell Podge, you might get to meet Daniel O'Donnell...

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