plus ca change
I’m a great fan of the blag, but always reluctant to pull one myself. Scannell, however, is the Holy Emperor of blaggery. There’s nobody in Dublin he doesn’t know, and no venue, bar, club or exclusive establishment that he can’t talk his way into. Last night, he wheedled us two coveted tickets to see Toots and the Maytals, not to mention a few complimentary beverages from the bar.
You have to admire that kind of mischief. There’s no one this lad doesn’t know, and no one he won’t shamelessly sweet-talk to ensure an open-door policy everywhere he goes. I watched him butter up bouncers, wink at barmen, and pump hands across the dance floor as we weaved our way through the sweaty masses.
But there’s something quintessentially Dublin about that, about the who-you-knowness of it, and about not even being able to pop your head out the door on a Tuesday night without running into fragments of your life all over the place. And despite the fact that I’ve been living on the other side of the world for four years, wandering along Thomas Street last night pretty much erased all of that. Coming out of the Thomas House I bumped into the very lad who taught me the rules of rugby at the back of Physics class. And over in Vicar Street I was accosted by another old friend, last seen at a Yellow House party playing pool in the basement. And as we wended our way towards Isolde’s (see why he’s the new Conor Pope?), I ran into a former work colleague, now a barrister, still a boozer.
While that small-townness may have been part of what made me pack my bags in the first place, I have to admit it was kind of comforting to venture out after a long absence and still see familiar faces among all the sea changes, confirming that the uber-hyped new Ireland's still got a few old heads in it.