Fat times at the parental abode last night as promised – but not at our half price chipper unfortunately. After receiving further instructions from Lilsister on her exact order and after witnessing Mammy and Papabear debate the merits of ray or cod fish (for about half an hour) I was ordered to phone our order in, so I could then go and pick it up. But! The chipper in question was NOT connected onto the telephone network and no order could be made. I immediately rang Lilsister, still on her horrible commute from the city to the suburbs to be with us.
Lilsister hates her daily Luas commute. She can just about handle the mornings, as she gets the same seat every day, apart from four days in a row when a newbie showed up at the tram stop and tried to prevent her pushing her way to the front and boarding. After the fourth day of death stares, he now boards the tram at a door further away from the glaring hate that is Lilsister’s face before she has had her tea. On the way home however, she battles all forms of junkies, as they are usually awake by 5pm. It is not good. One particularly gruesome conversation involved two junkies comparing how many dead friends they had, each. She nearly threw herself UNDER the tram, but decided against it, as every time someone does this it delays all the other commuters and sympathy is not forthcoming.
Lilsister informed me that I would have to pick her up at the tram stop and drive without haste to the chipper. I drove up the hill to the stop and spotted Lilsister and went to spin the car around, cutting across two lanes of traffic, where my car promptly refused to move. I sat in the middle of the road, cutting off both oncoming and outgoing traffic, and revved the engine repeatedly whilst Lilsister, across the road I was trying to reach, audibly sighed. We both knew I was five seconds away from abandoning the car and walking to the chipper, and she wasn’t in the mood to drive. However the car moved, and Lilsister deposited herself in the passenger seat, and we both agreed that it was a cold night for walking, so it was good that the car began to co-operate.
We saw the queues for the chipper before we saw the street the chipper is actually ON. It was horrific. Hungry Dubliners, clad in tracksuits and looking flabby, snaked around the entire block, obviously hungry for bad food at good prices. It was like a gathering at our local dole office – comprising all walks of life, all ages, all demographics. The photographer from the local paper was out, because not only was half of Dublin waiting for chips, the local marching band was playing in the carpark – drummers, trumpeters, accordion players, tin whistles, all in FULL marching uniform and a conductor, managing the scene. There was FACE PAINTING for goodness sake. It was a celebration!
And THIS, my friend, is why it is truly great to live in Dublin. Our country may be on its economic knees begging for a break, winter might be just around the corner and it promises to be an unmerry little Christmas but you give a chipper a chance and it will trade 40 years, celebrate with a half price sale and bring out not only the community, but the papers, the face painters and the big bands. What’s not to celebrate?
We ended up at the chipper across the road (this being Dublin, chippers are as plentiful as pubs, or as churches if you are unfortunate enough to live outside Dublin). There was no ray fish, so Papabear had cod, and Mammy, stubborn to the end, just had chips.