It seems my readers are more than keen to keep me on the dry for January
The problem with being a lonely, part-time scribbler for local newspapers is, you tend to forget you're writing for a public forum. There you are, sitting at your laptop, typing away about whatever comes into your head, not realising that there are actually people out there who read what you write.
Case in point: Last week I wrote I was going on the dry for January. I wrote that more for myself than anyone else because if it was written in black and white, I couldn't renege as easily. So during a visit to my parents last weekend, my father suggested we go for a spin and my mother suggested we go to the pub.
Now when I was a child, a spin did not involve going to a pub. A spin involved driving to a particular destination, sitting in the car for five minutes on arrival and driving home again. As you can imagine I welcomed my mother's suggestion with open arms.
We went off for our spin, even breaking with tradition and getting out of the car for a breath of fresh air. We then headed for my parents local watering hole for refreshments. While my mother and myself settled ourselves into comfortable seats, my father went to the bar and ordered a pint of Guiness and two G & T's.
The bar man looked at me with his beady eye. God it's a long time since a bar man did that to me! 'I'm not serving her alcohol,' he said pointing at me. For one split second, all my birthdays came together and I thought he was going to ask for proof of age.
My poor father looked aghast. 'Why? What did she do now?' he inquired.
'She wrote in the paper that she was on the dry, so I'm not serving her alcohol' replied the bar man.
Sometimes I wish I'd just keep my big mouth shut. 'Oh for God Sake, do you not know The Rules?' I asked him. 'It doesn't count if you're not in the jurisdiction! And I'm not in the jurisdiction!'
He then proceeded to quiz me on where exactly the jurisdiction was. I informed him another county. 'I didn't make the rules up,' I said sniffily. 'Who did then?' my father asked.
'I don't know really, but they are the rules.' I suspect it was my In Laws who made up the rules. They give up drink for Lent and seem to find an abundance of excuses to visit various relatives and friends outside of the jurisdiction during their 40 days and nights of abstinence.
Eventually we persuaded the barman to give me a little tincture, for my bad back. 'Most people would try physio,' my father muttered under his breath.
Just as I was savouring my first sip my brother walked in and looked at my glass. 'I hope that's Ballygowan you're drinking.'
Some day I will learn to keep certain things to myself.
New Ross Standard