Monday, August 3, 2009

Virtual Insanitary

I remember in school one of the cool guys brought a Tampon into class one day. I looked at my Jam sandwiches (with butter!) and back to the giggling audience that had gathered and felt cheated. Why was this guy getting all the attention? Despite having two sisters, and a mother, I still wasn’t sure exactly what a female was, however I could read by then and had noticed boxes of these peculiar devices lurking about the bathroom on many occasions. Despite not knowing how it worked, why it did what it did and crucially the correct pronunciation, I slid the sandwiches behind me and approached the large gathering.

“Nice Tampoon” I said.

Now, most of my classmates already knew I was a fully paid up member of the idiot society but this merely bolstered my reputation as its shining light. I remember turning to Westy, despite the fact I didn’t meet him for another 22 years and told him to get the car and meet me out front. It was a pretty low moment to be honest.

A few years later and I was still registering Olympic standard boo boos. I was 16 and headed to the Zoo Bar for my first pint. I don’t know what it is but back in the early 90’s, underage patrons everywhere used to wear suits to pubs and clubs in an attempt to look older. Think Mini-pops doing Reservoir Dogs. Unfortunately I hadn’t remembered to remove my communion medal first and for all intensive purposed looked like Angus from AC/DC. Fakey was with me and had been training his mustache since he was seduced by John Aldridge's face fringe back in Euro 88, so he was automatically one step ahead. Anyway, due to my sartorial impressiveness and an unattended side entrance I soon found myself at the bar. I ordered a pint of Guinness in my then curious mixture of falsetto and baritone and promptly handed over the money I had taken from my Mums purse. My image only slightly damaged by the fact that I brought the purse with me. The barman did the first part of the pour and left the pint on the top of the bar. I say ‘first part’ as if I’m an expert in the art of serving Guinness, because I certainly wasn’t back then. I swiftly took the pint, or rather 3/4 pint, and started knocking it back. Just like the faces that all turned to me with quiet pity when I sung of my ignorance with my infamous sanitary faux pas, the barman looked at me and spoke not in words, but simply by shaking his head from side to side

“Are you the guy who said Tampoon in school"?” He asked.

My response (‘I like them like this’) only resulted in me having to drink 3/4 filled pints for the rest of night, which considering I was on my knees behind a skip outside 10 minutes later wasn’t much of an issue.

A while later, but still in my awkward first 30 years, I was stranding in the queue to U2’s Zooropa gig at the RDS and was casually chatting to a guy from Northern Ireland about anything but the troubles. We were having a good old sing song, getting in to the sprit of it. He had put behind the terror of sectarian violence, and me, the memories of my first pint and Tampax. We hit on the song ‘One’. I remember not thinking that this was a song that could unite even the most hardened enemies, years before anyone else.

We sang.

Is it getting better ...One love ...It's one love ... like you never had love ...”

I took the lead then. Confidently, I sang my comic variation on the words..

“You say love is a tampon, love a press on towel.. you ask me to….”

My war beaten pal interrupted me..

“Erm, I think you mean Tampoon?” He said, in a peaceful, non paramilitary voice, a little like a massive car bomb being diffused.


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