Saturday, October 28, 2006

All the Animals Come Out at Night

Beidh lá ann a dtiocfaidh fíorfheartainn, a nglanfaidh na sraideanna ó salachasThat Dublin youth have become more feral in recent years is no secret, as the last post here may have indicated, even to the slow and wilfully stubborn, who refuse to believe the evidence of their eyes. But just how common this feral, beastly, behaviour is can be forgotten as Darwin kicks in, as we adapt, keep our heads down, and say nothing. These are the last three hours on Saturday night of the October Bank Holiday weekend, 2006, just from my own personal experience. This is what I saw on my ordinary routine, without going out looking for the foul and rotten. God only knows what I would have come across if I made an effort.

Six o'clock. A gang of youths, at least twenty in number, with their faces smeared with dirt and swinging sticks, marches up one of the residential streets on the Northside of the city, a street undergoing gentrification where a 700 square foot two up, two down semi-detached house retails at half-a-million Euro for starters. They were like something out of the Dark Ages. One of them, with half a broomstick in his fist as his weapon of choice, asked An Spailpín where were his tyres, and remarked that he - the youth - would be back later to collect them. The child isn't old enough to shave yet. An Spailpín saw a girl in the group, who should have been in some sort of supervisory, big sister, role, was also in combat camouflage, but she looked very unhappy. Under the dirt, she would have been pretty. It was a strange side to choose.

Seven o'clock. Two young men are attempting to gain entry into the shop of a Statoil garage near where the mortal remains of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey lay in state. The bouncer bars them by physically standing in the door; they gain entry when a civilian exits through the other door. The bouncer chases them around the shop, while they knock stands and displays. But all he can do is escort them off the premises when he finally catches them; he has no other power of sanction. Nobody is on his side. Therefore, it is no surprise to An Spailpín Fánach that the youths camp out in front of the shop door, enjoying their night's fun, wrecking his head and attempting to regain entry. There was no time to ask the bouncer if he got paid enough money to put up with this.

Eight o'clock. A youth, again too young to shave, steps out of the darkness to throw something at An Spailpín Fánach's car. The area in which the youth is standing has houses that sell at €600,000 and up.

Nine o'clock. An Spailpín is in another garage. Two girls are inside, drunk, causing trouble. An Spailpín returns to his car. As An Spailpín gets in, a man emerges from the car parked next to An Spailpín on the garage forecourt, goes into the corner and starts pissing there. There is a bar less than fifteen yards away whose toilets are fully functional. Sir Galahad prefers al fresco. His famous discretion temporarily abandoning him, An Spailpín looks into the car next to him, to see what sort of company the bladder reliever is keeping. There's a girl in the driver's seat, a nice girl, a girl who doesn't need to see her "fellit" - in the current argot - pissing in public. Or does she? Could she not do better? Why does she put up with this ape, this cretin, this louse? Mystified, An Spailpín pulls away, returns home, turns on his computer, and sadly files his report.

Our society is wretched, rotten, and surely doomed. This will all end in tears - all we have left to decide is who will be doing the weeping. And your correspondent is not optimistic on that score.

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