Friday, 28 September 2012

Francis Begbie's Day Off (How Did You Spend Your Arthur's Day?)




Alarm bells ringin, dinnae give a bloody shite anymore. Another day of lectures on boring crap I don't give two shites about. I've been drifting off the radar more and more recently, racing the whole world down that ladder tae God. I get out of bed, cycle down to tae the gym and get lifting. Meet up with a mate, and it's three o clock looking at the old ticker. We're getting the drink on. A skinny blonde American guy. Has a neckbeard. Studies computer science and is here for the rest of the year on an exchange.

"More beer, dude?"

"Heh, almost definitely! I'm gettin fucken twisted tonight kid!

"This is a special day for you guys? To Alberts!"

He raises his glass and is now unofficially the biggest tit in the bar. Still a legend though.

"No, ye fucken doss cunt! To Arthur!"



"Look at the arse on her..."



"He's a bit of a hero for you guys?"


"A hero? Arthur?"

"Naw, well like, the fucken marketers at Guinness are a conniving buncha fuckers and they managed to convince a buncha tinker son cunts to basically royt, believe a day of pure inebriation is a part of our national idenitiy, that Guinness is a part of our identity, of being Irish, and that we are in the process of conflating a day of getting langers with history, the nightmare we are trying to awaken from, so that's why we celebrate this day, in the same way we do Patrick's Day!"

"How long has this been going on for?"

"Four years. Only the Irish could make up and suck up this bullshit after such a short duration of time..."

"Hehaheh, You guys, are so down on yourselves! Why don't you just lighten up a bit?"


"Hey George?



"Suck my arse"


I'm out on the streets of Dublin, dancing imbibed under the gibbous moon. It's nine o clock and it's Arthur's day. The past permeates my mind. I am haunted, gaunt faced, melancholic. I have already passed a lightly dressed seventeen year old pull up her dress and start pissing in the middle of the street. I have seen a morbidly obese man in a Hawaiian shirt singing "I GET KNOCKED DOWN", to a witchy looking homely lassie in her late twenties, having drinks, tinks, and seemingly innocuous how do you dos with the wailing wall of women. The American and I are in Bernard Shaws, dining out on some crusty meatball pizza. Suddenly, as we are discussing the ins and outs of American Foreign Policy, a group of Asian chicks fill the room. I point them out to the American guy and tell them I'm going to go over and try and see if I could well be in. I down my pint, and I stroll over to them, pretending to be unperturbed by the copious amounts of methane gas that have been expelled by yet another, badly dressed fat bastard in sigh...another Charlie Harper bowling shirt.

"You know, it's not really polite to stare at people like that."

"I wasna stareen at you!"

"I think I'll have to call the police on you...tch...trying taes enjoy de night wih my friend here... and yous had to..."

"I make it up to you, buy u a drink. What's your name?"

"Francis. What's yours?"

"Amanda. Nice two meet you"

She gets down on her knees, kisses my hand, and stands up again. Suddenly, my half arsed attempt at approaching a woman dissolves into warmth and respect. We begin to talk about stuff. Interesting stuff. She's in her mid thirties, (could have sworn that she was at least a decade younger) married with kids, and is working in some human resources place in the north of the city. What can I say? We ended up striking up a conversation about literature, comparing Tolstoy to Homer, and then we end up talking about feelings and shit. My American friend is chatting to a chick from Venezuela dressed in a leper skin attire.

"You have three kids?"

"Yes. 10, 8, and 6 respectively. They are very bright. My husband, and me, moved here. Got job in a chemical company. He's a good man."

"That's cool tae kno like"

"Yes. He may not be George Clooney or your Irish version. But he is a good man. He treats me well. He is a good father. He is, short yes? But in my eyes, he is...what do you say..."

"A legend?"

"Yes. He is a legend."

She smiles. There was nothing sexual about this, I don't think. She brushes her hair back. The American is talking to his girl about his Beach Boys vinyl collection.


"So what about you Francis? Have you girlfriend?"

Usually I'd reply with a smart aleky line like "one for every day of the week" or some shit like that, but then I hold my tongue. I had a bit to drink at this stage as well.

"Not really. I mean, there's a couple of lassies I'd be messin roun with, bu nothin special. To be honest like, the women here, they're very manly like. I mean, they're not exactly fucken girlfriend material, if you get my drift..."

"I see."

"There are lassies my age, who can't cook, are fat and unattractive, and are just not very pleasant people to be around. And I don't think it's just me"


"I see"

The American has been blown out of it with little miss cheetah tits. He comes up to me and says he wants tae find another place to set up base. I decide to head out with him.

"Well Amanda, I best be headen off now, but I wish yous the best of luck in the future"

"Thank you, Francis."




I smile, genuinely. 

I head out with the American into the cold crisp air, beneath a steel sky. We are heading towards Capel Street where we pass another mob of drunken people. I'm lost in thought. I think about the Asian lassie and her general sweetness, when reality brings me back with her claws of cuntage.

"...I wasn't staring at HER."

"You was, ye bleedin perv"

"Who de fuck do you dink yous eare with your little gay beard?"

"I apologize. I'm sorry."

"Ye on somethin? Look at em, e's shaken in es boots!"


"Starin at mah burd? Kick yer fucken bender arse tae de floor."

"Look, I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I'm sorry. Sorry."

I wander in and...

"Howyas. Things cool here?"


"Is everything here a-ok?"

"Dis cunts been starin at my burd"

"You kiddin?"

He points to her in the corner, stupid bitch is loving the attention. 

"He's looken et her chest, wasn't eh?"

"I wasn't. I'm sorry. I wasn't. Really sorry dude."

"Look. It's been a long, shitty night mate. And things go wrong."

"He's eh fuckin wally."

"But when yous have your hand round a burd like that..."

I put my hand on his shoulder.

"You've got something dat will make all that happy shite uncurl in yehs, uhh...what's your name?"


"Right, Ethan. Well, it's just a part and parcel of having a fucken lassie that isn't a moonpig ye kno?"

"Ah rite"

"I mean like, I fucken study in [INSERT SHITE DEGREE HERE] and the fucken birds are ringers for Mary Harney. They're all fucking right lumps of women."


"Except one, and fuck me man, you'd find more mate on a tinker's stick!"


"I kno where yous are comin from. Had a gorgeous burd, a eastern european to myself, and I had tae let her go, and it gets under yeh skin, all dese fuckbats checkin her aout like.."

The tension is easing off. 

"So, look...uh...Ethan..."


"We've had a good night so far, and we'd like toos keep it dat way."

"Me as well."


"We best be off nows. We're headen tae Whelans I think. Where are yous off twos?"


"Ah. Should be a class act. Well take care of yourself, rite?"

"See yous Ethan, and don't make the same mistake I made."

He laughs and is lost in the crowd."

I turn to the American.

"We're going to Whelans. C'mon"


I'm pretending to dance as nonchalantly as possible, but by this time I'm langers. Arthurs Day and Paddy's Day are strange days. People think that yous have more of a shot with women because everyone is getting the drink in, but in actuality the girls are just too wasted to bother with, thus making everyone worse off. There's a bit of prisoner's dilemma stuff here, but none of that matters. I'm fucken gone at this point. It's literally code red, project zero, fucking Houston, you are about to black out. I watch the American. He's talking to a girl in the corner, and he's complementing her on her dress sense. Another moonpig in a TK Maxx outtie. I look, and I see, in that one shot, the death of culture around us. Much has been said about Ireland's drinking problem, when in fact, it's as simple as this. People drink excessively because they are not fulfilled in their own lives. Now, there is some genuine neurology in this (don't ask about the Broadmann shite, it's boring) but all in all, there is a quiet dull drizzly despair to those completely langers in the likes of Coppers or Whelans. Students, forgetting their responsibilities of walking that tightrope into tedium and dead 60's ideologies. No matter how hard they try, the wolf is still at the door.

The American will meet a girl. She will fuck him. He will become attached to her. She will dump him. He will find another like her, and she will have no respect for him, and then kick his arse to the curb once again. The American leaves her for a bit and turns to me. Draw up a Drake equation and shove in the numbers. Man, I can see this guy's life in front of me, like a great meandering river, obscured by clouds. But hey, at leastatleast, he did the right thing.

"You enjoying the night Francis?"

I'm beyond it at this point.

"Is this all we have?"

He ignores me. 

"This place is rad bro!"

"Is this all we fucken have?"


"Is this what is there?"

"You cool bro?"

"Is this all we have?"

"Dude, we should get you home"

"Nah, I'm fine. Just give me a second."

I feel like a fucking pussy. I dislike whining and want to be the best person I can be. But sometimes, this fucken all your cells coalesce and feel like you're going to vomit, where you can't, where you don't have the energy just to get the fuck out of bed.

I walk up to the American. I'm clutching at straws here. 

"Ever hear of Game mate?" I ask.

"What's that?"

"Neil Strauss fella"

"Oh. That's PUA. I heard of that. We call that PUA. That's not cool dude."

"There's a lot of interesting stuff, by uhh... all these people...."

I trail off. I don't care. Neither does he. He's buying another drink for Count Fatarse. I buy another glass of Jack Daniels and down it quickly. Suddenly, I'm lost in the crowd again. Too emotionally autistic for this shite. All of us are. I don't know where The American is. I don't care. And I find myself dancing, and spinning around in a vertiginous spiral, and its glowing and iridescent and sparking and then it's all music and beer and shots and smiling Irish!

And then I woke up.


  1. "We call that PUA. That's not cool dude."

    Never ceases to amaze me how guys who try and fail the hardest with women are so against Game/PUA.

    Not cool, dude! Disrespectful to women! He says as he empties his wallet for women who flounce off, leaving him dick in hand.

    1. He's a smart guy.

      Sees enough of this and I think he'll be a bit more on top of things. Then I might try again.