My Rose of Tralee Experience | Tripping Along The Ledge

Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

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Published: Mongrel Magazine, September 2007

My Rose of Tralee Experience

by P.J. Devine: Meteor Escort of the Year 2007

escort of the year
It’s always been a dream of mine to participate in the Rose of Tralee in some capacity. Obviously, growing up as a young lad, contestant was never an option. But I figured I might have a shot at usher, cloakroom attendant, something like that. You know yourself. Just to be part of the occasion. Fantastic event. One of a kind really. Fair play to the organizers at the end of the day. Even directing traffic outside the venue – dream come true. Fantastic. What an opportunity. So when my sister put my name forward to be an escort? Gobsmacked. You could have knocked me down with a feather. Delighted. Over the moon. And when I found out I’d been selected? Well, I mean, what can I say? I had to pinch myself really. Couldn’t believe it. Dumbfounded. What an honour. Dream come true. Fair play to the lads at the end of the day.

And when I was asked to write an account of my Rose of Tralee experience exclusively for Mongrel magazine? Speechless. Stunned really. You could have knocked me down with a feather. Opportunity of a lifetime. Smashing. Smashing stuff.

MONDAY

Meet the Roses off the plane at Shannon. What an honour. I’m escorting the Galapagos Islands Rose, Anne Marie Kajagoogoo. Dead on. Taekwondo expert. Foiled a hijacking on the plane on the way over. Fantastic. Super girl. We get taken out to dinner. Chicken Kievs and potato wedges. What an honour. Have a pint with the other escorts. Sound out. Hit one of them puck in the face. Fantastic. Fabulous football. Roll on Tuesday…

TUESDAY

What a day. We get to go on a boat. What an honour. Incredible. I fall overboard. Fantastic. Anne Marie dives in after me. Smashing girl. Great swimmer. What an honour. Get a Chinese in Tralee. Spring rolls and sweet and sour chicken balls. Fantastic. Full credit to the Chinese at the end of the day. Great bunch of lads. Can’t find my wallet. Anne Marie has to pay. Top drawer. Escort her back to the hotel. Superb facilities. Couldn’t do enough for you. Drop the hand and lean in for a snog. Roundhouse kick to the solar plexis. I’m out cold. What a woman. Roll on Wednesday…

WEDNESDAY

Sightseeing in the countryside. What a day. Incredible. Scenery is incredible. Get separated from the group. Magnificent views. Fair play to Kerry Mountain Rescue at the end of the day. Fantastic professionals. Night out in Tralee. Incredible. One of the escort offers me a toke of a cannabis joint. What a buzz. Green triangles. What an honour. Roll on Thursday…

THURSDAY

Just… I mean, what can you say, you know yourself… fair play to the lads at the end of the day. Fantastic. Smashing. Incredible. Trip of a lifetime. I mean, it’s not like you’d be in Longford that often, you know… Sorry, what?

FRIDAY

Inject heroin into my penis for breakfast. What a buzz. Fantastic. Arrive in the Festival Dome. Atmosphere is electric. Live television. 1.2 million viewers. Dream come true. What an honour. Freebase crack cocaine in the toilets backstage. Fantastic. Anne Marie is called onstage. What a moment. Proud as punch. Tubridy asks her, ‘Is this fella looking after you okay?’ Points at me. For a second, I think he’s said “Is this fella a bit of a gay?” What an insult! Pull out a knife! Try to stab the fucker! Lights flash. People scream.

Moment of madness. What can I say. Anne Marie disables me with a kick to the solar plexus. What an athlete. More cameras. Gardai everywhere. Get taken to Cork Prison. Superb facilities. Staff are just fantastic. Couldn’t do enough for you. Cellmate is here for hacking his wife and children to death with a shovel. Incredible story. Like something you’d see on television. One in a lifetime experience. Unbelievable.

As told to Eoin Butler.

November 15th, 2010.

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