The Dublin stag: Fancy dress, fast food, slow recovery, and Guinness | Jack Marshall’s column
It’s a minor miracle anytime a group of more than three lads manage to successfully organise a day, location, and time to meet up.
Two can be coincidental, an impromptu and accidental ‘yeah, go on then’ occurrence reliant almost entirely on the invisible push and pull of moment’s being spurred. Three is far rarer and usually centres around football.
But more than three? We’re talking once in a blue moon here, maybe three times a year in a calendar bearing witness to some serious organisational skills. So when the number reaches the oxygen-depleted and frost-bitten heights of 17, only one event can be blamed, the proverbial discarded bag of chips to a flock of ballsy Brighton seagulls.
Three flights were required for this stag, planes from Manchester, Bristol, and London ferrying us all across the Irish sea and towards Dublin town where we intended to do as the locals do - namely drink Guinness whilst criss-crossing the Liffey in search of sports bars and clubs which play Taylor Swift’s cheesier tunes. When in Rome and all that jazz.
Embarking on Friday evening, we landed and, almost immediately, normality took one look at the phenomenon unfolding - 17 lads being semi-organised and actually booking plane tickets without accidentally ending up in the wrong country – and decided to intervene. No chance this could be allowed to go off without at least a minor hiccup.
Straight off the bat, after about three months solid of sunshine and hosepipe bans, the Irish heavens opened and it rained non-stop for two days. Plans to attend a local League of Ireland game were scuppered because of a pesky flight delay and the logistical nightmare of ferrying an entire matchday squad’s worth of lads across a major European city.
A deadpan taxi driver advised us just to get on the beers in town instead so we duly obliged. Then followed approximately 36 hours of non-stop consumption, encompassing everything from the black stuff and leathery kebab meats to stinging tequila shots and aspirin tablets with breakfast. It was a blur of fancy dress, live music, sodden shoes, and glazed eyes.
And, of course, it was absolutely brilliant.