Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Notes from overground

My friend Rick says I should write more about my day-to-day life. I’m not entirely convinced. Sometimes I tell my mother about my day-to-day life. She doesn’t tell me fuck off I’m boring her to death exactly. But you can read between the lines. She always sounds caught unawares when I stop talking.

Well, she’ll say. Sure isn’t that always the way? You agree then.

Sorry, what?

About Peter Collins and Nick Cave being maybe the same guy.

Absolutely. Listen loveen, it sounds like there’s someone at the door. But I’ll talk to you again very soon.

This afternoon I went out to get a sandwich. This is one of the major events in my day. Where I get a sandwich. What time. What I get on the sandwich. Those are all huge, huge calls. I’m not joking. The Navy Seals strolled footloose and fancy free into Abbottabad compared to the way I go about acquiring a BLT.

Down in the courtyard, there was a woman with a shoebox full of plastic swipe keys. She was checking which swipes worked on which apartment block. I guess she was from the property management company. I was glad to have run into her.

swab I asked her if there was any chance I could replace my old swipe key. She said, sure, but it’ll cost €40. I said, no. I didn’t lose the old one. The plastic clasp is just broken on it. I’ve had it for years. That’s wear and tear.

Yeah I understand. But it’ll cost €40.

Forty euros, I said? It’s just a piece of plastic!

That’s cost price, she said. Her voice was shrill.

Cost price my arse, I said. That didn’t cost you 40c!

What’s your name, she demanded? I shrugged my shoulders. Her eyes bulged. She’d have given me a hundred lines on the spot if she could. There was chalk dust flowing in those veins. I could just tell. What apartment number do you live in, she demanded? I just laughed.

How many of those things do you have in that box anyway, I asked? Must be a couple thousand of them. You should have an armed escort. Imagine if someone did a runner with the box? They could retire. Buy a villa in the south of France. I feinted as if to make a grab for it. Then I strolled on laughing.

The sandwich wasn’t bad. Roast in a roll. Lots of barristers at the other tables. I haven’t shaved in a few weeks. Or months even. I was feeling a little self conscious. The swipe key thing was bothering me too. It’s smooth and weightless and impossible to attach to anything else. If I lose it, I’m locked out of my apartment. But I’m not paying those bastards €40.

I should have grabbed that fucking shoebox while I had the chance.

There’s a maintenance guy works out of a small shack in the underground car park. I asked his advice. He said superglue it to your mobile phone. I said, superglue it to my phone? He said, superglue it to your phone. I said, you know, there’s a reason some people end up working out of small shacks in underground car parks. There’s a reason.

So if you ever think of retiring, you’ll put in a good word, won’t you?

UPDATE: My friend Rick writes:

Your friend Rick said you should post daily, not post about your day. Having said that I did enjoy the post so more of that please.

Whatever. It was a premise.

May 6th, 2011.

14 Responses to “Notes from overground”

  1. david Says:

    Property management companys are robbing bastards. I paid €30 when I lost mine but that was back in the good old celtic tiger glory days.

  2. david Says:

    I miss them a bit.

  3. Dolly Says:

    Serves ya right for moving to the Soviet Union…….

  4. Eoin Says:

    @ David – I think we all do.

    @ Dolly – In Soviet Russia… I can’t think of a punchline.

  5. waxybanjo Says:

    In the long ago they used to put lettuce, tomato and cucumber into yer sandwich before asking what you’d like. Now they charge for L, T and C.
    In the long ago chicken wings had two bits. Now they sell those two bits separately.
    That’s when Ireland changed, in the long ago.

  6. Eoin Says:

    When did we become a society where lettuce, tomato and cucumber weren’t considered BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS??? (Actually, I hate cucumber. But I take your point.)

  7. massey Says:

    Fair play Eoin you proved your friend wrong. & then some!!!

  8. Dermot Says:

    Ah here, it wasn’t your one’s fault that the cards cost €40. I’m sure she’d have to answer to some headmaster-type if she slipped ya one unaccounted for.

    Tidy up the beard, but don’t shave it off altogether.

  9. Eoin Says:

    @ Massey – fuck you 🙂

    @ Dermot – Who’s to say she doesn’t own the company? Even if she doesn’t, she didn’t have to lie about €40 being the cost price.

  10. Eoin Says:

    P.S. Look who’s lecturing me about grooming!


  11. Deirdre Says:

    Look whose slagging off someone whose got a gun and knows how to use it!!

  12. Deirdre Says:

    on yer sandwich? IN your sandwich. Much as I am in your debt for your many witty and well written articles, I feel this point should be addressed. Sic.

  13. Eoin Says:

    @ Deirdre 2 – Either is acceptable, no?

  14. Deirdre Says:

    Well, I think the first is an americanism.. If I can direct you to fry and laurie’s sketch show from many many years ago, they made a thing of how we now fill ‘out’ forms instead of filling them ‘in’ and all other kinds of digs at how American english people were getting.. I know it’s a bit stupid, and I live with an American and have often been heard to say, ‘awesome!’, no really! (mostly when talking to kids..) all that being said I think your great, from the hip, country (say what?) perspective could do with staying free of these small corruptions. In peace! Deirdre 2

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