Coffee Morning Whispers
Pals to the rescue on Culchies' day out
It's one of my favourite days of the year. Leaving the bogs of Kildare behind, we barrel up the N7, heading for the big smoke. Patsy calls it The BFCCDO -- The Big Fat Culchies' Christmas Day Out.
This time it was her turn to drive.
The four of us piled into her 12-year-old Polo, the floor of which was scattered with the wrappers of at least 10 Mars bars.
The car reeked of lavender air freshener, which only slightly overpowered the aroma emanating from a brown paper bag that had recently held the contents of a single of chips laden with vinegar.
The smell was nauseating, but we didn't complain in case she left us behind.
The roads were like glass but determination is Patsy's middle name. Nose stuck to the window, eyes standing out like Marty Feldman and hands gripping the wheel with intent, she kept complete control as she steered us on to the Naas Road.
"Hooray," we shouted as we crossed over the border into Dublin. We don't get out much.
The traffic was horrendous and Patsy's driving deteriorated accordingly with the liberal use of the F-word and more lane hopping than Jeremy Clarkson.
We ditched the car at the Red Cow and got the Luas into town. It was packed, but Patsy elbowed her way on, dragging the rest of us in her wake.
The journey into town was uneventful, but as I tried to get off the tram things turned foul.
As the door opened a young lady made to get on as I was trying to alight.
This made her rather impatient so, instead of waiting, she punched me in the chest and then got on.
Winded, I staggered off the tram with the girls following behind, unaware of what had happened.
"What the hell is wrong with you now?" demanded Patsy as I keeled over. It took me a couple of seconds to get my breath.
When I eventually told her, she was all for getting back on the train and punching the living daylights out of the perpetrator. Josie had to hold her back.
To be honest I was fine, but the girls, being the girls, looked after me royally.
We had coffee in Bewleys, followed by shopping in Grafton Street and then I was treated to a hot port and lunch in The Bailey.
As we munched, we marvelled that we are all still here and still the best of friends.
"A toast," said Maggie, raising her glass. "To good friends!"
I gave a little cough and patted my chest. Patsy immediately got me another hot port.
Good friends indeed.