Monday, April 11, 2005

The People You Meet in the Gents

An Spailpín doesn't normally move in terribly glitzy circles but a special occasion last Friday night saw him transported from his usual haunt (slumped and drooling in front of the telly, God help him) to a terribly glam bar in Ballsbridge, one of the capital's premier areas.

After sinking a stout or three, it was time to repair to the john and shed the customary tear for Parnell. The jacks in this particular glam ginjoint was large and spacious, which is just as well, as this was yet another of those bars that have a guy, invariably black, in the jacks with a selection of deodorants, aftershaves and divers toilet waters for sale or lease. These black guys will always turn on the tap for you as you approach the sink to perform post-urinary ablutions, on the basis that if they do this they're entitled to a tip. There was a time when the innocent Spailpín used to get terribly guilty about this - he's got over it since, chiefly through willpower. I have heard that some citizens bypass the guilt by not washing their hands after teaming the spuds, but this may just be an Urban Myth.

Anyway, I was at the urinal and had assumed the position, when my terrific peripheral vision and Labhras Ó Loinsigh-esque lugs beheld and overheard a young man entering into conversation with the custodian of the Old Spice, Brut and Lnyx. The young man was one of these upmarket types - he was wearing an expensive-looking suit and had his hair spiked in the manner of Welsh rugby star Gavin Henson - and he had decided to make friends with the guy who works in the gents. The monologue - guys who work in the gents aren't encouraged to talk back - went something like this:

"So where are you from? Kenya? Oh, Kenya's a great country, you guys are really chilled out. Tell me, do you know many Nigerians? I think Kenyans are so much sounder than Nigerians. I mean, you guys are so chilled out, but the Nigerians - I don't know if I trust them, do you know what I mean? Not like Kenyans."

A dumbstruck but not terribly surprised Spailpín exited, stage left.