My shrill warning comes just in time for my brother to leap out of his seat and clear a path for the monstrosity in an ill-fitting aquamarine satin dress behind him (let's call her Sonya), teetering perilously close to the top of his head with a desperate hand to her mouth and ominously bulging cheeks. The contents of her guts are spilt inches from my feet instead. There's always carrots, isn't there?
Seats are vacated to accommodate the ensuing acid, acrid stench, but this pub full of demon drunks and festive finery allows us no quarter to move our group to, and the night is too cold and too far on to be seeking a fresh hostelry.
Lady Sonya of the Sickly Stomach is briefly escorted away by her friend, only to rapidly return with a fresh drink in hand, looking more chipper than ever, holding court and administering fulsome hugs unashamedly close to her oozing pool of vomit being trampled all over the pub by those oblivious to the feel of chunky slime beneath their feet. As it happens, there is but one degree of separation between us, a degree who arrives not long after, spies me, and foists an introduction to Sonya upon me."Oh my God!!! HI!!!"
I am generally cuddlier than Barney the motherfucking Dinosaur, but I visibly flinch as she lunges toward me with arms open and pursed lips.
Sonya is celebrating her 28th birthday and is having a brilliant night, as are her friends. In some countries they call a blasé attitude to adults puking publicly a problem. In Ireland the government celebrate its place within our culture in its Budget.
The Fiancée and I leave before kicking-out time, 28 too, and tired. We pick our way through the throngs of George'sWexfordCamden Street liberated by the First X-factorless Saturday of Advent. It is one long tracking shot of a scene midway between the last days of Rome and the last night of Oxegen. We fail to enjoy our solitary stale Spanish cigarette, we talk ourselves away from the hotdog van. I think of Essex Dogs as we hopscotch over streams and puddles of the generosity of Brian Lenihan.
The smell of puke and piss on your stilettos.