Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



shaggy dog
Had dinner in the Ritz Carlton this evening. Seated next to the man himself. He didn’t stay long. He talked a lot, didn’t listen much – which suited me, as I had absolutely nothing to contribute. The conversation was mostly about food, naturally. I did what I always do in these situations: I nodded morosely and didn’t speak. People in food circles probably think I’m really dark and enigmatic. Ha… if they only knew! Actually, I was trying to figure out how the hell I’d get back up the M11 with no wing mirrors on my car. At one point, I become aware that there was silence around the table and people were looking towards me expectantly. I’m not sure if someone had asked me a question, but it was definitely my turn to say something. So I hummed and hawed for a second, and then launched into a decoy question, to change the subject.

Lucky for me, the Food and Wine guy jumped in ahead of me and the conversation veered off in another direction. It was only when the next course of food arrived, that I realised how close I’d come to seriously embarrassing myself. I’d been about to ask Gordon Ramsay if the scallops we were going to eat were grown locally. I dunno, it just seemed like something to say. Turns out scallops are seafood, I was thinking of scallions. Dodged a bullet there. No doubt.

We were invited to rejoin him for a wine tasting afterwards, but I wasn’t drinking so I made my excuses. In the carpark outside, my car looked like a total piece of shit next to all the BMWs and Mercs. It had been stowed away at an undisclosed location for the past few weeks, while I waited for the heat to die down with the clampers etc. Unfortunately, some kids had obviously stumbled upon my hiding place, kicked the wing mirrors off and put a dent in the bonnet.

Now I dunno if you’ve seen that Chevy Chase film where his car has no breaks, so the only way he can stop it is by slowing down and crashing into something. Well, that’s what my car resembles at this stage. Worse still, I’d stupidly left two massive bags of weeds and hedge clippings from our old house in the back. During the time I’d been away, the bags had burst and the foliage contained within somehow taken root in the thin layer of topsoil that’s been in my car since the Electric Picnic.

So my car is basically a dented, mirrorless, fucking greenhouse nursery death trap on wheels. Just wait till the next time the Garda Road Traffic Bureau catch up with me. I bet you any money they’ll want to take a souvenir snapshot for the boys back in headquarters. Tomorrow I’ve got to somehow make my way down to Mayo for my niece’s christening. Christ, this is a mission even Dessie O’Hare would think twice about choosing to accept!

Back in town, I went in to see Yo La Tengo at Tripod. They did about fifteen encores – way more than I’d expected – and I hung around afterwards to catch up with my friend Conor, who’d driven up from Clonmel to see the show. It was only on my way back that I realised the car was now about 45 minutes over time on the parking. I was half hoping it would be clamped when I got there. If I had, I’d have recovered whatever I needed from it and left the damn thing to rust on the side of the road.

For once in their miserable lives though, the clampers had failed to spot me. So for now at least, the cause endures, the dream still lives, and Butler’s love machine will live to fight another day… I’m going to watch an episode of the Wire now and go to sleep. If you find yourself behind me on some Offaly backroad tomorrow, I won’t be going too fast, but for God’s sake keep an eye on my indicators…

November 6th, 2009.

9 Responses to “IF YOU’VE GOT TROUBLES”

  1. han shan Says:

    What was the dinner like??

  2. El Kid Says:

    @ HS – lets not get bogged down in irrelevant information here.. please eoin, tell us more about your car troubles!

  3. Jenny Says:

    Do I detect a note of sarcasm? Why the dog pic, Eoin?

  4. paddy Says:

    Should have said that would be an ecumenical matter, Gordon.

  5. El Kid Says:

    @ paddy – ah, do you know what ecumenical means??

  6. Eoin Says:

    @ han shan – food was fuckin divine, very small portions tho

    @ jenny – dog pic cos the whole post was kind of a long, late night shaggy dog story

  7. leeona Says:

    I thought the photo was that you had turned into a dog!

  8. Eoin Says:

    Well, I suppose it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that I’d (a) turn into a dog and (b) still be able to type. But wearing a suit? Come on Leeona, get a grip will ya?

  9. Sabrina Says:

    wow,that sucks but its just a normal day of my life!

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