Sunday, February 21, 2016
I'm alive, it's true, although this blog, like the Oilers, is on life support it seems. Part of it is time (we have little of it) and part of it is why would I spend what little of that extra time I have writing about how the Oilers suck once again. A decade of this is hard to take and dog love LT for somehow finding something to write about EVERY DAY for ten years.
Anyways a couple of weeks ago I got back to Dublin. Oh Dublin, I love it. Fourth time for me but first since 2010, it seems like we travel a lot (I guess we do considering the three kids and all that) but the reality for me is that Dublin was a distant bell for me. We get to travel together every couple of years but it's a hard sell to say Dublin again when there are so many places to see and Jenn has been there once and I have been there many times.
I'm fortunate though, eighteen months ago we were purchased by a company out of Dublin. Yep! Lucky, eh? So we had a conference recently and like Brer Rabbit I said oh no don't send me, anywhere but there ;). We worked hard of course but for me it was also an opportunity to go back to some of my old haunts, to me the goal of travel is finding what the locals do, you have to see the Book of Kells and the cathedrals of course but you want to find those old man pubs and hang out with Dubliners and so I've come to the point where I know the city well, it's familiar to me and this is a wonderful feeling.
Flew overnight on Sunday, landed at 520am Monday and headed to the hotel, showered and changed and off to meetings for the day. Hung in there and so having pints in the hotel bar afterwards (conservatively I estimate I had over forty pints of Guinness in five nights so um ... hooray for me? More hooray that there were no hangovers I guess, Dublin Guinness is the good stuff) with two coworkers whose first time it was we decided to get out and enjoy. We were in the suburbs and downtown was forty minutes and a lot of Euros away and we were running on fumes so I cast about for an idea.
Kavanagh's. Or Gravedigger's as it is known. The one place I had always wanted to go but had never gotten to, an ancient pub in the middle of nowhere if you're downtown but just twenty minutes away from our suburban hotel. Into a cab and away we went.
The pub is on the edge of Glasnevin Cemetery, essentially the national cemetery of Ireland. Michael Collins, O'Connell, De Valera, Parnell, Griffith, Casement, Kevin Barry, Constance Markievicz, Behan, Sean MacBride ... they're all there, revolutionaries and poets and politicians and martyrs to the Irish cause. It was black and slightly misty when we arrived and a great stone gate just metres from the entrance to the pub set the mood.
We walked in and immediately were hit by that old pub smell. It's not a horrible smell don't get me wrong, it's a fine one, all worn wood and lived in, hard to describe but you'd know it. Nobody but a half dozen locals having pints on a Monday night and so we retired to the corner to drink our round and then another and then it was my turn to get pints.
I head up to the bar and order my round and there's a big fellow, he's right out of Roddy Doyle, massive in his shiny track suit, with a prehistoric caterpillar monobrow, we're talking Jurassic Period gigantic. He takes a look at me and roars 'Holy feck lads, it's fecking Buddy Holly' at which point he and everyone else in the pub sing Peggy Sue while I stand there like a goof and the bartender grins and says I didn't realize what I was getting myself into when I walked in did I?
They finish singing, laughing and snorting, and your man says to me 'Buddy Holly was fecking great he was!' and I agree and he gives me a derisive sneer and shouts 'He wasn't the King though!' and I nod and smile and then he rips open his jacket to reveal Vegas Elvis, all spangles, and he reiterates just so I know the score 'THE KING!!!!' and I nod and affirm that yes Elvis was (IS!!!), is the King of Rock and Roll and then I take our pints and head back to our corner table where the girls are killing themselves.
What a night. Rolled in at 1am, up for thirty seven straight hours, a new record. And then we did it all over again. And again. And again. And again. I'm still recovering. I'm an old man you know. ;)
Here is where I segue into something about the Oilers.
Unlike John Kavanagh's in Glasnevin, the Oilers suck.
That's all I've got.
Posted by Black Dog at 11:51 AM