Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



grogansIt’s closing time on Monday night and Declan and I are sitting in front of at a pair of empty glasses. For the last five minutes, he has been engaged in a freewheeling mobile phone conversation.

“Ah, not a lot now” he’s saying. “Myself and Butler are finishin’ a pint in Grogans. Just scratching our balls to be honest. Probably head home after and see if herself is feeling frisky…”

Then person on the other end says something and Declan makes a face.

“Sorry, who am I speaking to?” he inquires.

In a few minutes, I’m going to walk home and be faced with a blank computer screen. I’m stuck for material this week and I’m hoping Declan might have a few suggestions.

“You write for the paper do you?” he says, when he gets off. “Jeez, I thought you worked for the bank.”

No, I inform him (for the hundredth time). I’m a journalist. I have a column in the Herald in which I recount funny stories that happen in bars. If he could say something quotable, I tell him, it’d be a big help.

He mulls it over for a minute or two.

“‘The only thing we have to fear” he says, finally, “is fear itself.”

“That’s not quite what I meant…”

“Here’s one for you then… Paul Newman was married to the same woman for fifty years, right? So one day someone says to him, ‘Excuse me there, Paul. I’m not gay or anything, but, seriously man, you’re one fine lookin’ fella. How come you never played the field?’ And you know what Newman says?”

“No, I don’t.”

“He says, ‘Why go out for a hamburger, when you can have steak at home?’”

We mull that one over in silence for a second.

“Is that why you’re faithful to Tina then? Is Tina steak?”

“To be fair to Tina,” he says. “She would be more of an Irish stew.”

We both laugh.

“Nothing wrong with that,” I offer.

“Indeed and there isn’t!” he says, throwing on his jacket. “Indeed and there is not.”

March 3rd, 2009.

Leave a Comment