Narrative feature

And one more for the road – excerpts from Roddy Doyle’s latest

‘Two More Pints’, by Roddy Doyle

20 September 2014

9:00 AM

20 September 2014

9:00 AM

— See the spacer died.
—Wha’ spacer?
The Sky at Night fella.
—Bobby Moore.
—Patrick Moore.
—That’s him, yeah. Did he die?
—That’s a bit sad. He was good, wasn’t he?
—Brilliant. Very English as well.
—How d’yeh mean?
—Well, like — he’d look into his telescope an’ his eyebrows would go mad cos he was so excited abou’ all the fuckin’ stars an’ the planets an’ tha’. An’ the words —
—They fuckin’ poured out of him.
—Exactly. It was brilliant. But if he’d been Irish, he’d just’ve said, So wha’? They’re only fuckin’ stars. There’s no way it would’ve been the longest-runnin’ programme in the history o’ television if it’d been Irish.
—You might be righ’.
—Think about it. Our attitude is just shite.
—I remember once, but. He was goin’ on abou’ how the light from stars took millions o’ years to reach here and how the light we saw might be comin’ from stars tha’ were long dead — cos it took so long, like. An’ well —
—Maybe he died years ago an’ we’re only findin’ out about it now.


—Did yeh go past my place on your way?
—I did, yeah.
—Notice annythin’?
—It’s still there.
—You’ll need to be a bit more fuckin’ specific.
—Lovely tree.
—Big Santy in garden.
—Union Jack.
—The flag. Hangin’ off the chimney.
—Well, it’s fuckin’ night-time. So no, I didn’t —. Are yeh serious?
—I am, yeah.
—You’ve the flag o’Britain on top o’ your house?
—The Shinners in Belfast voted to get rid of it, off the top o’ the City Hall — yeah?
—The riots an’ tha’.
—Yeah. Except for fifteen days o’ the year. So I bought one.
—A Union Jack?
—Off eBay, yeah.
—Okay, grand. Fuckin’ why, but?
—Show the cunts it works both ways. I’m hangin’ me flag for fifteen days o’ the year. Paddy’s Day, Easter Monday. All the biggies.
—Why today?
—Excitement. When I opened the package, like. I was straight out to the ladder.
—Sure, it’s Christmas.
—What abou’ Continuity Carl across the way? You’re not worried he’ll lob a petrol bomb at yis?
—With his one remainin’ hand.
—No. Tha’ fucker wouldn’t take tha’ hand ou’ of his tracksuit bottoms for an Ireland free.

—Pope’s gone.
—Fuckin’ tragic.
—There’s a thing.
—Wha’ was his name?
—Jesus —. I can’t remember. I never really got the hang of it.
—Gas but, isn’t it? Can you imagine — back at school say? Not rememberin’ the Pope’s name. We’d’ve been murdered.
—Shows yeh how times’ve changed.
—An’ he resigned. I didn’t know they could do tha’.
—He’s frail. I heard a lad on the radio. Why he resigned, like. Wha’ d’yeh think tha’ means?
—He’s gay.
—Ah stop it. You’re not usin’ your imagination.
—That’s wha’ she says, at home.
—We won’t go there. He’s frail.
—Yeah. But what’s it mean?
—Go on.
—Say — tonigh’. We have a few pints more than the normal. How will yeh feel tomorrow?
—Grand. An as well as tha’ you’ll feel a bit—?
—Good man.
—So, you’re sayin’ he drinks.
—It’s a theory.
—He’s one o’ the lads.
—Far-fetched. But is it impossible?
—After work, like. He puts on jeans an’ a jumper.
—An’ has a few cans.
—But he can’t cope anymore.
—Mass in the mornin’s.
—Meetin’ African nuns.
—Fuck it, he says.
—In German.
—I’m out o’ here.

—See Ireland is the best country in the world for business.
—Fuck that drivel.
—It’s official — it was in a magazine.
—Yeh know wha’ that fuckin’ means then? Just change ‘best country’ to ‘country where you can do what yeh want and no one’ll give much of a fuck’, then you’ll know why we’re top o’ the list.
—Ah now, that’s a bit cynical.
—‘Young, educated workforce’ means ‘no tax’.
—Okay, okay — sit down. Where are we on Nigella?
—We’re not on Nigella. That’s the problem. She’s a great young one.
—She’s fifty-three.
—She took cocaine.
—Even better. I love her. Anyway, she only took the cocaine when her first husband was dyin’.
—So she says.
—Yeh doubt her? Yeh cunt. When my first wife died —
—Hang on, hang on — fuck. Wha’ first wife? Were you married before?
—Then what the fuck are yeh on abou’?
—I imagined I had a first wife dyin’, like — just to see if I’d snort cocaine as well.
—And did yeh?
—Ah, yeah.
—Wha’ was she like?
—The first wife?
—A bit like Nigella — was she?
—A bit, yeah?
—Just like mine, so.

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