Aidan is buzzing. He’s like a kid in a toyshop. I’m just about managing to keep my excitement under wraps. We’re sitting in Dublin’s first and, to my knowledge, only pull-your-own-pint venue. Aidan thinks it’s amazing. Pulling our own pints. God above. What next? I’m not quite as enthusiastic. They’re making me do something that’s normally done for me by someone else?
Yippee, when we’re finished here, can I clean the toilets? Linda is pulling us pints of lager. She’s given me a bit too much head. I consider making a joke, but think the better of it. Linda is a formidable lady. She pulls another for herself. “Come to Mama,” she says.
Linda knows all about clever marketing. She’s a political consultant. Last time out she opposed the Lisbon Treaty. This time around she’s lending her services to the Yes campaign. “Another successful referendum?” I ask. She shrugs. “We’re looking strong.”
“I don’t get it,” announces Aidan. “One minute the treaty is a disaster. A dose. Now it’s the best thing since sliced bread…”
“Fuck off,” says Linda. “I’m off duty now.”
“It’s simple really,” I explain. “Linda is a mercenary who’ll peddle just about any political agenda provided she’s paid the going rate.”
Linda doesn’t quite disagree. “I go where the work takes me,” she says.
“So what do you do exactly?” asks Aidan.
Linda laughs. “If I’m on the Yes side, I try to associate a Yes vote with things everyone likes – peace, prosperity, the laughter of small children…”
She takes a sip from her pint.
“But if I’m on the No side, I’ll try and get people to associate Yes vote with things people hate – lower wages, the end of democracy, nuclear annihilation…”
“Phh,” snorts Aidan. “Sure I could do that!”
“Go on then, cuntox.”
“Vote Yes to Cute Kittens!,” he offers.
“Vote No to Getting Kicked in the Balls!,” I counter.
“Vote Yes to Finding Money in Your Jacket!”
“Vote No to Standing in Dog Shit!”
“Vote Yes to Tickle Fights!”
“Vote No to Tickle Fights!”
Linda smiles and puts an arm around us both. “It’s a pity we didn’t have ye on the campaign, lads,” she smiles. “We could have used a few of those. We really could…”