LegalEagleStar

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Posts Tagged ‘African Grey Parrott

A Pint of Harp, Smoking a Cigarette while sitting at The Bar… and criticising Gerry Adams !

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Harp

Image by pwinn via Flickr

Every Tuesday evening, without fail, my pal drove from Terenure to my Office in Fairview,  where we would have a chat, sort out any computer problems, then head across the road to Kavanagh’s Pub or down the road to Meaghers, for a few Pints. Many a time we had to return to the Office to finish off some techie stuff, working through the small hours and, on more than one occasion, we ended up in Jury’s Coffee Dock, Ballsbridge for Breakfast. Those days were in the late 1980’s and come the Drink Driving Laws, we decided it would be safer for him to arrive by Taxi to my house and then we’d walk to my Local. By this stage my pal could not get his favourite beverage, a Pint of Harp, anywhere in Dublin, bar the Airport and used to content himself with whatever lager was on tap that night. He was also a heavy smoker, about 60 plus a day of Non-tipped Players Navy Cut. He said they’d be the death of him. Then the Smoking Ban was brought into law by Michael Martin TD and so he could not have a smoke with his ‘substitute’ Pint. This upset him i.e. the loss of a Pint of Harp and a smoke at the Bar.

On a trip we both took to Texas, he insisted on flying into Houston as there was a Firing Range he wanted to visit. ‘Top Gun’ was the name of the establishment. He was a crack shot and this was clearly in evidence when I observed him in action. The owner of the Range and him struck up a great conversation as they had a lot in common. For my part, I took more interest in their T-shirts and purchased one for my daughter, a bodyguard, to wear on the Firing Range she practises on in Slovenia. We took this trip back when Hurricane Rita was heading towards Texas. The night before, I had explained to him that in Texas they were really proud of their State, so if asked if he’s been there before that the answer was a definite ‘No‘. He’d been to the United States on numerous occasions before but I felt I should warn him. Despite my warning he proceeded to Chat Up the Bar Maid and after her serving me my lovely Pint of Shiner Boch, a good Texan Beer, she asked him what his pleasure was. He hesitated in ordering but continued to chat to her. Then.. ‘Have you been here before’ she asked. He replied  ‘Yes, I had a girlfriend in Santa Barbara (California) for many years’. Upon hearing this she promptly walked away and refused to serve him. I had to order his beer for him for the rest of the night.

The following day, I had a call from a pal who advised me to get the hell out of Houston as The Governor of Texas, Rick Perry was about to order the evacuation of the City. I relayed this to my Pal who insisted on finishing his meal before taking up the challenge of driving us both to San Antonio to be out-of-the-way of the Hurricane. I always enjoyed his company, not his driving so the journey was, well eventful so to speak. But, I move on… Just north of San Antonio is a fantastic Outlet Mall located in San Marcos. After hours of shopping we headed into a Local Bar for a Pint, or two. Imagine his surprise when he saw, that behind the Bar, was a Tap labelled Harp. Well, I decided that I’d be the designated driver while my pal proceeded to drink the keg dry. He was a staunch Irish Republican and did not approve of Gerry Adams at all. He though he sold out Republicans and, whatever my own views, we had many a heated debate and this session was no different. Needless to say he engaged all the locals in this conversation and sang Irish Rebel Songs for hours and we really had a great Night. I though we’d be in trouble though when he called the local American Football Team ‘Pussies’. As he was an avid Rugby fan, he told all that ‘real men didn’t wear all that padding’. To my surprise, we were not ejected or set upon but warmly welcomed by all present. On that trip it became obvious to me that everything wasn’t right with him. He spoke about his ex-girlfriend from California so much so, that I attempted, on more than one occasion, to get him to call her. He wouldn’t and well, he was annoyed that I was trying to bully him into doing so. He was a very private guy and one hell of a friend. The type of friend who would drop all to come to your assistance regardless of how inconvenient it might be for him.

A couple of years ago he phoned me. No, it was not a Tuesday, but a Friday and he asked me if  I’d like a Pint. I was tired after a very long week but said ‘Yeah, I’d love one’. An hour later the taxi dropped him off at my door. He looked great and was in great form. We headed to my local pub where we enjoyed a few pints. He listened to me moaning about the economy; the way that people had changed; that everyone was now a European and had no time for their fellow countrymen; and such like. He was calm and composed and while agreeing with me on most issues, said he didn’t like the way the Country was at all. That times had indeed changed and that he didn’t like living here any more. That the country was a disappointment to him and wondered what those that had died fighting for the country would make of it all. We finished up the night at my house where we had a Pizza delivered; he had the usual chat with my daughters of whom he was very fond and he gave his usual rendition of Republican Songs for the benefit of Lulu, my daughter’s African Grey Parrot, who really loved him. A great night was had by all and the usual Taxi Firm arrived about Three in the morning to drive him home.

Some days later, my cousin, his best pal, telephoned me and asked if I was sitting down. He then told me that our pal was dead, having shot himself through the head. I was numb and still am to a certain extent. My cousin still hasn’t got over this event. I think back and wonder, if there was anything, anything at all, I could have done …

 

 

LegalEagleStar , Wednesday , 22nd. June , 2011.

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