- 23 Aug 04
Back home for the Galway races, our correspondent encounters a staggering product of ladies’ day.
I must look in dire need of a ride. Emerging from Ballybrit after Day Four of the Galway races, there was plenty to see and do: get fleeced by the three-card trick merchants, buy bootleg DVDs and remote controlled cars, or play a bastardised form of roulette on a gaudy, hand-painted “wheel” that wouldn’t have looked out of place at the Craggy Island funfair.
Alternatively, you could wedge your hands into your pockets and trudge disconsolately towards the car-park to board a bus, inch your way into Eyre Square and drown yet another day of sorrows. Which is what your correspondent was doing.
As my two pals and I approached the bus-stop, I espied a surly looking young lad of about 16 up ahead handing out what looked to be fliers. Not everyone was offered one, however. It being Ladies Day, the place was awash with glamourously turned-out fillies tottering along on their high-heels after a long afternoon in the Champagne & Oyster tent. None of these received anything from the young lad, while the men who lurched alongside them were also overlooked. As myself and my two male associates approached the youth, however, he made a beeline for me, pressed a piece of paper into my hand and said: “You’ll need it later on.”
He had handed me a business card. A nice, thick, creamy one featuring a picture of a horse’s head, a mobile telephone number and the word “Racegirls”. It seemed the boy who had handed it to me was no ordinary surly looking young lad. No, he was a pimp.
Admittedly, he didn’t look like one – there was no ostentatious flash or jangle of bling from his wrist when he handed me the card, no wide-brimmed pink hat with a feather sticking out of it on his head and no fur coat draped over his shoulders. Having said that, it was a fierce nice day, so he may have left his usual attire at home for fear of being overcome by the sweltering heat. Alternatively, it may be the case that pimps in Galway like to keep their business affairs low key, for fear of getting caught, having to face the rap and possibly get grounded by their parents. Who knows?
What I can tell you is that the fact that young Master Superfly singled out me and me alone as a worthy recipient of one of his dwindling supply of cards made the afternoon for the two lads I was with. Bullets and Big John, for it was they, were overcome with paroxysms of mirth. “There’s 40,000 people coming out of Ballybrit and you get the card with the brasser’s phone number. How fuckin’ desperate for a jump must you look?” squawked Bullets with what can only be described as unbridled glee. “He must have studied your form,” roared Big John, before adding the inevitable “wait ‘til the rest of the boys hear about this.”
Bastards. Of course with this being my column and them being a pair of sub-literate halfwits, it should go without saying that I got the last laugh. And how. Having boarded the bus that was to take us into town, we went into school tour mode and made for the seats nearest the back. Bullets and I were in the second last pair, with Big John in front of us beside some stranger and behind two 14 or 15 year old boys. With the last race over, the coach filled up quickly and a few unfortunate punters were left seatless and standing. Two in particular caught the eye. They were female, they were twentysomething, they were gorgeous and they were falling-down drunk.
“Right so, who’s going to give up their seats to let these two lovely ladies sit down,” roared Bullets, a man who has never been renowned for his bashfulness in the face of an audience. Silence and a couple of chortles from the two chaps in front of Big John were the loud replies. Ever the gentleman, I moved to let the first of the two Lovely Girls into my seat as the poor creature could hardly stand up.
“Ishalrish, I’ll go on the edge of your sheat,” she shlurred.
“You will not,” says I, at which point the wheels on the bus started to go around and around and she fell on top of me. Cue much raucous laughter from our fellow passengers.
“Look, why don’t I shit on your lap?” suggested my new friend, putting her arm around my neck, adjusting her not unpert posterior on my crotch and snuggling her head into my shoulder.
“Grand so,” I said. “Well, seeing as we seem to be getting on so well, you should probably tell me your name. I’m Barry.”
“Hi Barry, I’m Tara,” she replied.
“You’re not going to get sick down the front of my nice shirt, are you Tara?” I inquired.
“No, no … jush leepy,” she countered, before passing out and looking for all the world like a lady I’d been stepping out with for several years, rather than some poor young one with a free pass to the Fianna Fail hospitality tent that I’d just met.
As Big John earned himself a bus-full of guffaws by shouting up towards the driver that “there’s a lad here who’ll pay extra for you to take the scenic route,” the two young lads in front of him stared at me in saucer-eyed and slack-jawed awe. “That, boys, is how to pull a bird in 30 seconds,” I said with a wink and a grin. The two I got back in return were worth the price of admission alone.
Tragically, space precludes me from detailing how my relationship with poor drunk Tara progressed throughout the evening. Suffice to say that, if you’re reading this, sweetheart, that card I gave you with the phone number on it after carrying you off the bus in Eyre Square wasn’t mine and “Racegirls” isn’t quite the kind of tipping service I told you it was. Feel free to get in touch through hotpress, though, if you happen to recognise yourself from this column.
We can get a bus to a racecourse very, very far away the next time you’re in London.