Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



image100“They give me no fucking credit, no fucking credit at all…”

He’s on the sauce again.

“Bastardin’ pricks, the lot of them.”

Aidan’s not in the best of form tonight. His parents have just gifted his brother a site to build on.

Now Aidan’s wondering why he never got a site to build on.

Maybe, I venture, it’s because he’s not getting married, lives in Dublin and already has a house.

No, no, no, he tells me. I’ve got it all wrong. It’s a big conspiracy…

“Let me tell you a story,” he says. “When my Granny was in the nursing home, myself and my mother went to visit her one day. Now Granny, God rest her, was not in a good way. She was not able to take care of herself…”

He takes a long sip from the pint glass. With his other hand, he executes the ‘etcetera-etcetera’ gesture.

“…If you see what I’m getting at.”

Truthfully, I haven’t the remotest notion what he’s getting at. But this is going somewhere. I have every confidence.

“So anyway, Granny is blathering on about her sister Bridie and her Uncle Pat, who’s dead this last forty years. She not faring the best. But sure I felt a bit awkward saying anything about it.”

Whatever he’s implying here is going completely over my head…

“Now, in this particular room” he explains, “On this particular day, my mother was sitting a bit further away from the bed than I was.”

…But I’m he’s going somewhere with this.

“So after a small whileen, my mother starts making these sniffing noises. She grabs me by the sleeve of my shirt, with this look of pure disgust in her eyes… And do you know what she says to me?”

I don’t.

‘For the love of God’ she says, ‘The smell of piss in here is something rank altogether! Are you after wetting yourself, Aidan?’”


“That’s how much credit she gives you then?”

He nods.

“That’s how much credit she gives me.”

We laugh and shake our heads.

Aidan can be a bit of an idiot sometimes, but he’s grown up a lot in the last few years. He does deserve to be given a bit more credit than maybe we gave him in the past.

He sits there in silence, feeling sorry for himself. Then suddenly, he explodes.

“I mean, for God’s sake!” he roars, banging his fist off the bar. “What…”

There’s a sudden crash and Aidan disappears from view momentarily.

“Well,” he shrugs, when he reappears. “There never is a good time to fall off a bar stool. Is there?”

April 8th, 2009.

Leave a Comment