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Wednesday, 15 December
Wexford

After our little stay in Dublin, it was time to move south to Wexford, where the wife has old friends who live there, B. and E. and their two kids Z. and G. She hadn't seen B. and E. for ten years, which was the last time she had been in Ireland.

We took the train ride--only a little more than an hour--and it was perfectly lovely. Too lovely, really, and it maddened me a little as I stared out the windows at the countryside to realize that I was rapidly being forced to acknowledge a cliche: that green really does mean something different in Ireland. Realize that I've spent most of my life living in what amounts to a nontropical rainforest; I am not unaccustomed to green. And yet, as I looked out at the landscape (dotted with one of nature's more inexplicably comic animals, namely sheep--why are they so funny?), I was unable to prevent myself from thinking that I had never really seen anything quite so fucking green. It dug at me, but at least it was just gorgeous. Plus, I thought I might have a shot at making a bit of money by pitching a new tourist slogan at someone: "Ireland: Quite So Fucking Green."

B. and E. were utterly charming folks, and the kids (the girl Z., 10 and the boy G., 8) were also clearly unrotten--G. wasted no time informing me that rugby was "way more violent" than American football, casting a shy grin as he imparted this dire news. I decided not to tell him about Ray Lewis.

We had a nice homemade dinner consisting of standard Irish fare: spaghetti and meatballs, prepared by E. and the wife. The wife was in charge of the meatballs, which, by her own admission, turned out to be a terrible responsibility that she simply wasn't up to. As she wailed the next day, "I'm sorry about those meatballs. I've never made meatballs before!" At the time I reassured her that they were fine, but since then it's become a running joke, so in truth, I do admit that they were rather like tiny meteorites shot through with desiccated oniony flatworm xenomorphs.

Later in the evening, perhaps in an attempt to poison our minds against any memory of the spaghetti and frightballs, E. offered to take us out to the local pub. Now, this is not the same thing as a pub in a large city, which is just really a bar. "Pub," after all, is short for "public house," which is what we got to experience: someone, some time ago, gutted out a house and threw in tables and a rudimentary bar. And this is where all the locals go for evening drinks; very much a community thing. So of course when we strangers walked in, everyone in the place immediately shut up and stared at us, at least until they saw E, the familiar face. Without her presence lending us tacit endorsement to be there, I'm pretty sure we would have been identified as invading brigands and seared by hot pokers.

The next morning, B. unfortunately had a business trip to make, so he was unable to accompany the rest of us on a car trip conducted by E. around County Wexford to see many crumbling Norman ruins, impossibly adorable country houses, and yet more innocently hilarious sheep. The tour culminated in some lighthouse point where we all got out of the car to admire the thing and to wander around on the beach of (apparently) volcanic rock where we hunted for fossil impressions (which were legion) and endured the incredibly cold and merciless wind, to which E. seemed impervious.

"Isn't this beautiful?" she howled at me, red-cheeked under her knit cap. She stood facing the wind as if it were a gentle zephyr caressing her skin, when in fact we were all being horribly dermabraded by its killing ferocity.

"My testicles are near my heart!" I screamed piteously. "I think we might die here!"

She nodded. "Yeah, there's little fossils all over the place! I like to come here to watch the dogs play in the surf."

I beat my numb hands feebly against the rocks, staving off hypothermia, or at least pretending to. "I can't feel my skin!" I shouted into the wind.

E. put her hand on her hips, facing the murderous gusts. "Sometimes the dogs get carried off by rogue waves!" she bellowed agreeably. "Sometimes kids!"

I had had enough of the lighthouse beach.

A few hours later it was time to head back to Dublin--we hadn't planned this visit very well, unfortunately. We said our goodbyes and got back on the train, back to Dublin for a night before returning to England.

Nothing much happened on that last night in Dublin--a few more damned Guinnesses at the Long Hall, really. And then the travel day, from Dublin to Dublin Airport to Gatwick to London to Bath. And it all went so smoothly. Right up until the very last train ride.

Where it all went terribly wrong. It's not a long story, but it's not one that fits here. Next up: The Train Ride Featuring the Drunken Horny Brixton Mutants.

Roam | Skot | 15 Dec, 2004 |

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Comments

What exactly was the recipe your wife used for these meatrocks? I always thought it was just 1) roll meat into ball and 2) cook em. But mine turn out tasting like ass all the time too so I was curious if there's more than one way to screw em up.

By the way my original post was denied because I used the EFF WORD. Damn curse word filters. >:(

Comment number: 005322   Posted by: Melissa on December 15, 2004 04:30 AM from IP: 24.28.5.44

In my experience, there is simply no other kind of Brixton mutant.

Comment number: 005323   Posted by: TheBrad on December 15, 2004 08:22 AM from IP: 69.153.96.2

I kept reading your wife's friends' names as "Breaking and Entering"

Comment number: 005324   Posted by: joshilyn on December 15, 2004 11:25 AM from IP: 24.98.153.64

meatballs: 1 lb meat, some onion, 1 egg, and 1 cup breadcrumb. less rocky, more yum.

Comment number: 005325   Posted by: patita on December 15, 2004 12:42 PM from IP: 24.227.175.2

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