I'll fess up about this right away: I'm not the most punctual bumbling drunk you'll ever meet. I'm the prettiest though. Coo-ee! When I was small I used to live in the street next to my national school and I still managed to arrive in ten minutes after the teacher every morning. I missed two school tours because I was late for the coach taking us to Fota Wildlife Park or wherever. And I was very nearly late to my college graduation because I slept it in and forgot I had to tramp across the whole city to get to it, arriving ten minutes before kick-off instead of the proscribed hour. Before you say it, no, it wasn't because I was drunk. I am just a free spirit and don't feel constrained by the clock like you little people do. Often, when I have ten minutes to get to a place that is twenty minutes away I will forget that I was about to leave and pick up a book or a newspaper and start reading or I will decide that now is totally the time to put my new hand cream on and I had better make sure to rub loads around my cutilcles cos they are, like, soooo dry lately. So, yeah. I'm free-spirited. Not lazy and forgetful at all.
Case in point, this afternoon as I was rushing to work late, having stopped off in the shop to buy donuts to bribe my co-workers into not telling the boss, hence making myself even later, I decided that I hadn't bought a magazine in ages and desperately needed to spend five minutes perusing the magazine rack in SuperValu. I ended up buying Hot Press by the way. Yeah, should have spent a little bit longer. As I was hotfooting it down Main Street I bumped into a girl I know and her small daughter whose name I couldn't remember. To cover my embarrassment at not knowing the child's name I chatted inanely to her for another five minutes. 'Ooh, aren't you gorgeous? What class are you in? Wow, is that a medal you have? Wow! From your sports day! That's brilliant! She's brilliant, Laura! Aren't you brilliant? Yes! And you're gorgeous too!' I don't think Laura noticed. In all fairness, I would probably forget my own daughters name so it's not really anything to be getting upset about.
At this point I was nearly fifteen minutes late, an offence punishable by slow execution by 'witty' remarks ('Lucy! You're here! What a surprise! Good afternoon! Did you fall down Patrick Street again? Or was it the queue in the post office this time? Hmmm?' Man, will saying 'Good afternoon!' to someone who arrives late to work ever get old? I don't think so. It's one of those classic, hil-fuckin-arious jokes that just keep getting better). So I stopped my patronizing child-chatter as Laura's enigmatic daughter looked about to burst into tears and said with a rueful grin: 'have to run. Late already, hahahahahahahaha!' To which Laura replied 'Good old Lucy. Nothing changes, eh?' I put on my running shoes and got ready to race. And instead dropped my donuts, wallet and magazine on the ground. Hahahahahaha, indeed.
I don't know how you celebrate a sudden fuck-up/toe-stub but when I drop all my shit all over the road I like to squeal and start roaring curses. Something along the lines of 'Fuckfuck-buggering-balls-fuck'. Laura looked a little shocked and vaguely amused but the small girl looked terribly impressed. All this and I needed a cigarette to calm me before work. Walk in. Only twenty minutes late. Wheee! Try to pretend I have been there all the time. Pinch Niamh to indicate my arrival is not to be commented on. Emma sees me, guffaws 'vodkahead, hahahahahaha' behind her hand. Donal sees me, cocks an eyebrow and says: 'Well, Miss Aughney. Good afternoon! Third time this week, isn't it? Thanks for joining us.'
Fuckfuck-buggering-balls-shit-fuck to the power of a thousand.