by Cian Manning
spring evening in the countryside. A twenty-first
birthday party in full swing; a game of hurling (it
is Kilkenny), a meal and now all the lads take
turns at comedic one up man-ship. In
a nice way obviously, there were only two black
eyes and a broken finger after three or four
performances. The heckling wasnt that bad
either. I can still remember my aunt verbally
abusing me when I tried to tell one about the
Chicken crossing the road aged four.
You call that a joke, your face has a
better punch line than that she said. That
sort of experience stands you in good stead; I
havent had to get a stitch since for
telling a joke.
Though on this
evening, while eating my chicken nuggets at the
kiddies table...yes, I know what youre
going to say...what is a twenty year old doing at
the kiddies table? Well I just like the colouring
and jigsaws so there! I often complete many of
them on my own; dont let the age seven
guide on the puzzles fool you. My concentration
on fitting the last piece of the SpongeBob
picture is interrupted by what I could only
describe as a presence. I dont hear her
coming. I dont see her coming. But all of a
sudden I sense this presence, her presence. It
feels like one of these great novel moments or
film sequences, like when Grace Kelly appears for
the first time in Rear Window. The
moment I actually see her face and hear her voice
I fall to pieces.
young teacher, and now I am actually behaving
like a seven year old with a jigsaw. Whats
worse is not only is she a mature smart
professional woman but shes also funny! I
cant remember many of my primary school
teachers being funny, let alone mature and smart.
While talking to her, well really she talking to
me all I can manage is giggling, the conversation
do you do?
a student... with a noise that Im not
even sure a twenty year old male should be able
to omit without punching himself in the testicles,
but its more akin to a Michael Jackson
ah-he. From this point my part in the
conversation goes incredibly downhill; with me
having to leave the embarrassing situation for a
nappy change...I mean a visit to the restroom. I
should really give seven year olds more credit it,
was more like the behaviour of a four and a half
little of my pride to salvage. So before heading
to my bed with my rattler and Teddy Bear (I hear
its a hipster thing...) we head into Town.
Town becomes one of these
mythological things, more a state of mind then a
place. The bright lights of New York combined
with the debauchery of Sodom and Gomorrah and you
have a night of biblical proportions ahead in
Waterford...well you get the idea.
Then comes the
second of those film sequences the climax; a
resolution to our story. The dance floor is
buzzing and yours truly pounds it like an Adonis
of the jive. Michael Flatley may have done
Riverdance but he cant claim to have danced
a jig reel to the hostile crowds that inhabit the
parish hall in Mooncoin.
And there she
is; this is the moment. I whisk her in to my arms,
twirl her like she has never been twirled before
and then utter the vague but Dirty Dancing-esq
So what do you say... Arm in arm we
leave, happily ever after. Role the end credits.
of being the all conquering hero, I attempted a
jig before falling on my backside. Not only my
pride but now my arse is bruised and the moment
passes. At least I have Ted my bear waiting for
me at home, he always understands.