Everyone knows that person who is a “disaster of a chap”, the type of lad who attracts unfortunate situations without even trying - ‘God that lad is an awful clutz’. Well, I’m certainly related to this breed of people. Whatever can go wrong, will and does go wrong when I’m in town. I’m the type of man that if I was to back the whole field in a 4 horse race, on the flat, the 4 horses would somehow manage to fall, or else plough into the railings either side of them, that kind of a chap. A pure “Jinx” one might say.
This short story I’m about to tell you confirms this fact. The Irish must have come up with the auld saying “Murphy’s Law” when they heard I was entering this world!
Back in the summer of 2008, we were getting an extension done to the family home. Plenty of hard graft went into this, as is the case with all extensions. Ours was coming along well, the blocks were laid to perfection, the roof was spot on and the plumber (a good friend of mine) had a lot of his work done; the place was starting to take real shape.
One Thursday night, after playing a championship match with my beloved club, Donaghmore/Ashbourne, we all went back to the clubhouse for “a few pints” – standard enough. Before my aul lad left the club that night the last thing he said to me was “now Rory, you have work tomorrow, I’ll say no more!” Then he headed towards the exit, turned back and says “o and, have u got a key!?” I replied “I do big joeseyyy!” and he headed home.
Like most nights in the club the craic was had, the die hard clubmen at the bar dissecting your every move on the pitch. “Why didn’t you catch that ball?? ... Why didn’t you fist that over the bar?? ... Why didn’t you lay it off to Davey?? Sure jaysus he was straight in front of goal!!” - The usual craic that goes on in every GAA club the length and breadth of the country.
Well after a good stack of fine porter I eventually said enough is enough “Right lads I’m heading home, have work tomorrow”(as if one more pint at 3am would make any difference to the head of me the next morning.)
As I wandered home in the early hours, with my gear bag in one hand and a rotten Benson and Hedges fag in the other, belting out ballads to myself on the way up to the house, I got to the front door and lo and behold I didn’t have a sniff of a key in my pocket - “bollix”.
I says to myself “If I knock on this door big Joe is going to kill me!” so as I was standing there scratching my head, trying to think a way around not having to wake up the mother and father, I looked over at the window of the extension and says “sure I’ll jump through the window and in through the garage door, be grand”.
You must remember now that I was after playing a champ match so the legs were banjoed, not to mention the 12 pints I inhaled since the game. So let’s just say I wasn’t in the greatest nick to be doing missions through a semi building site.
So with a great deal of struggle I eventually got through the window, but as I was walking along the joists, I wobbled for a second, lost my balance and with the gallon of porter I had on board I had no hope of staying on my feet “hup be da jaysus” I slipped in between the shagging things and hit the ground like a sack of spuds “a me fucking ankle” nearly made shite of myself.
I pulled myself up, limped up to the old garage door, hit the garage door a woeful attempt of a shoulder, burst the door wide open and fell straight onto my hands and knees. I then staggered up off the ground, left the door wide open and straight up to bed with me. The mother does the shopping of a Friday so there was no hope of a few sambos before I hit the cot.
The next morning I woke to my phone going mental vibrating on my bedside locker, “Ahh shut up ta fuck will ya, stupid alarm”. As I was lying in bed in an awful heap, dreading getting up for work, didn’t I hear the auld man flush the toilet, let out a sneaky fart in the hall and head down the stairs for morning tae.
Then all I heard in a mild Offaly accent was “WHATTTT daaa faccckkk!!” The mother ran down straight away in shock, then I just heard “Rory get yourself down here now”... “O no, what did I do now, don’t tell me we’ve been robbed!??” were my thoughts. So I dragged my stiff and hungover frame out of bed, crept down the stairs terrified to what my eyes were about to witness.
O holy mother of sweet divine jaysus. Wasn’t the whole kitchen FLOODED!! I must have burst a pipe when I slipped through the joists the night before, and fecking water had come in through the old garage door that I’d left open out of pure drunkenness. Now I mean the kitchen was a swamp, this was the last thing I needed with a dreadful hangover and having to face a day’s work!
“Awe dear lord da, I’m so sorry. I’ll ring Martin (the plumber) straight away and have this sorted in no time”. He gave me a look that would kill, then he turned to my poor mother, who god love her was flat out tearing pages out of the Meath Chronicle to try soak up some of the water, and says “I need a cigarette”.He then brushed me out of his way and headed out the back garden to gather his thoughts.
There was absolutely no way I was giving him the opportunity to come back into the house and land me with a well-deserved solid right hook, So before he came back in like a loose bull, I grabbed my coat, slipped on my shoes, gave mammy my apologies and scampered out the door to work.
I’ll tell you that one morning I was never as happy to leave a warm house and head off to work hungover!!