Friday, February 13, 2009

Everybody hates Nigerians

Clickety Clack, no going back.

I was walking down O' Connell Street thinking 'bout how I was total fucking dead meat when I went home. Three day weeks are a bitch, and taking a fake sick day on no pay is just the stupidest thing I could possibly do. But I felt good about doing something so stupid. I felt at home with myself. Really fucking stupid things are what I was born to do.

So I tried to chill, go all lopey and move with the flow. Looking at all the people. Fucking all shapes and sizes they were. All so self important. All going somewhere too. I felt a small beautiful wish bloom inside. I wished they would all eat shit and die.

So i went into Eason's rather than flow the the nobodies. I couldn't handle the humour section and sorta got lost, ended up in some unknown corner, all books with white covers and small minimalist text. I ended up reading about physicalism.

The book i picked up told me there's no such thing as thought, or any other ethereal shit like 'God', or 'Your Soul'.

You're basically made of matter and matter only; your thoughts, the little tiny bits of shit flicking back and forward in your brain called memories, your precious heartbeat, your genitals, and the fluffy relevance you place on all of the above is matter.

Every single thing you do, and every thing that makes up you, is mechanics. We get switched on, wound up, and then wind down. The end. See picture above - that's you. You're that stupid executive toy, a gazillion of them click-clacking until you stop.

I was in great mood after that.

I remembered the girl from the Luas again. I couldn't believe I hadn't asked her what her name was and told myself I had to find out. Now. Get into Dr Quirkies and say hello, or whatever, but just find that one thing out before my click-clackers gave in to entropy.

Is it Dr Quirkies or Dr Quirks? I can't remember. Who the fuck cares anyway.

So i was outside Dr Quirkies. And it's weird, there's a strange charged atmosphere.

The strip of concrete outside it was like Casablanca or something. Different minority gathered in different spots, split into factions, leather jacketed Albanians here, a few Dublin Junkies there, super hip Chinese nearby. Their activities concealed by the various language barriers.

Inside it was different. There were loads of people on their own. Playing Streetfighter or Tekken. I looked around with what must have been nostalgia.

When I was a teenage father, this arcade was an oasis for me and the missus. If I was fighting with her Ma or something and wasn't allowed up to her house we'd switch between here and MacDonalds. We'd play two player Tetris with the baby asleep in the buggy beside us.

Memories. Clickety clack. Fuck all that shit. I'm on a mission.

I can't see the fat girl anywhere. Then I realised that there was a whole new section to Quirkies.

The Casino.

I walked through the huge egyptian style doorway. And the first thing that hit me was the silence. And then the whispering.

It was like a church. Which made sense. There is a sort of worship involved in gambling. And all the colours used on the machines seemed to be from the same pallette applied to stain glass windows.

There was about a dozen black jack tables, same for roulette. All electronic. No real croupiers in sight.

The roulette wheel was covered in by glass.

Like the ones you would have played as a kid in the eighties. 5 pence on yellow, green, blue, red or white. And white never won.

Only these ones are bigger. And surrounded by adults. Grown men who throw their lives upon the mercy of a bouncy ball.

I used to play roulette, in Butlins, before it was Mosney.

Mosney was mad wasn't it? The whole Mosnian concentration camp thing, remember that?

Fucked up.

Imagine being a little kid who's parents dragged you from your war-torn village to Ireland of all god awful places - to stay in Mosneys rather than get genocided. Imagine the torture of waking everyday in a dorm or chalet with the land outside full of fairground rides scattered around like dead dinosaurs, and all them arcade games you couldnt play? It would be torture for a little kid, like being a Morman or something.

So anyway, in Quirkies, it was mad quite.Apart from the sporadic tinkly spillage of silver from the machines, and the sultry feminine voices of the blackjack games (some even sport video babes as fake croupiers). There was plush carpet underfoot and everywhere men and women stuck to machines as if bound by some invisible umbilical chords. Tied to one armed bandits and poker games.

It's all so delightfully aimless. There's nobody here saying, catch ya later, or must dash.

And every so often a blokes who looked totally totally smashed. Not broke, like moneywise. Just with a glazed look in their eyes that said - don't look at me I'm flotsam.

It was great. Seasoned mitchers everywhere.

I spotted the girl from the Luas with a gang around a super-shiny roulette machine. I moseyed over, raised an eyebrow. She didn't even notice me.

Cosmic connection my eye.

Then I saw her arm rested on the broad back of a hunched black man. Her boyfriend.

He's Nigerian.

Everybody hates Nigerians it seems.

Well not everybody, just saps.

Some people see them as an affront to the very essence of being civilised and Irish.

Dont laugh, they do.

To some the Nigerian is like the anti-Irishman.

I've heard people give out about Nigerian's driving, complain about their manners or lack thereof. I've heard people give out about them being corrupt, or moan about the way 'their' women breast feed on the bus.

Me? I kinda respect em. And I'll tell you why. Two reasons. Here's a quote from Tolstoy.

'The effect produced by Princess Miagky's talk was always the same, and the secret of it consisted in her saying simple things that made sense, even if, as now, they were not quite appropriate.'

They're straight. Not as in straight and honest. After all we can't ignore the fact that the country is statistically the most corrupt in africa or something (too lazy to wiki). But straight, like you know what they're saying. Unlike a cloned Irishman who spends all his time talking about his telly, his mortgage and his fucking decking.

That doesn't really make sense. It's hard to qualify that statement. But it's how I feel.

Simply put. I tend to like foreigners because they're foreigners. I might learn something.

The other reason is this. A more personal one.

I was crashed into twice. Well the missus was, once by an Irish lad who drove a two-door sports car. He drove off after promising to get it sorted, even though he wanted to do it off the books . I then spent weeks ringing him and hassling him but never got a cent. I also got a couple of death threats on my phone which may or may not have been connected.

The other time I was crashed into by a Nigerian bloke, on his way back from church. He leapt out from his Micra in one of those white long-tail shirts that looked white enough to put a Daz ad to shame, took all the blame and promised to pay up (outside insurance - like the other lad). And he did.

Promptly, without querying the bill, which made me a few quid too.

Anyways, there he was. The Nigerian boyfriend, a man who automatically had my respect because his compatriot had acted honourably, and profitably.

Maybe that's positive discrimination, I don't know.

Main thing is I wanted to talk to his girlfriend.

His white girlfriend.

Coming over here taking our fat white women. The cheek. And our roullete tables too.

The whole coming over here thing is crazy, but inevitable, as it's part of human nature i think. As a teen I remember getting chased out of local housing estates for coming over there - ie across the fucking road - to take their women. They chased us at speed across a football field and then when they caught me, one of them (baseball bat in hand) said 'Ah he's cool'. Maybe it was my aura or something.

So the fat girl from the Luas notices me. She calls me over and tries to introduce me to her boyfriend.

I put my hand out to shake and when he takes it he gives me the limpest fucking handshake ever.

It wasn't even limp. It was even less than a limp handshake. Like he just put the hand out and when I took it he didn't grip mine, or move his.


And then he turns back to his game. Watching the wheel spin and the ball hop.

I was thinking why doesn't he size me up or prickle up because I'm a threat?

Maybe he knew I wasn't a threat.

So I decided to prove him wrong.

I asked the girl when was her break. Whenever, she said. So I suggested a cup of tea and she said, lovely.


And I could't believe I was getting away with it. It should all have been harder. We went over to the little cafe part of Quirkeys but there was a tramp stinking up the tables so I suggested another place.

I checked my phone. It was around 10.30 - pub opening time.

She stood looking at me. That look in her eyes from the luas before. And apart from the thing i was entranced by earlier there was something else. Want. A sort of desperation. I stood there thinking we might be more alike than I originally thought.

I decided that, early as it was, it was time for a pint.

I suggested a pub, a hole around the corner, not a drinking hole, a festering hole, and she hesitated but then said ok and we were on our way.

I might tell you later if we ever made it back.

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Totalfeckineejit said...

Feck me Waterbot, I have to admit that title had me in a knot which, thank god , unravelled as the tale went on.I think the mark of a good short story writer is 'the truth of the journey' and yeers are always a mystery tour, ye never know where ye may be headin-and dats a good ting, but it also rings true.I liked de bit where ye said 'As a teen I remember getting chased out of local housing estates for coming over there - ie across the fucking road - to take their women.'Ya wudn't beleeve the crap I've heard about people from other countries living in 'our' town.Apparently there isn't a single carp left in the whole of Ireland coz the Polish guys have fished them all- my arse!Everybody is a foreigner somewhere, I've been one myself and no doubt I will be again.

Uiscebot said...

Ah man you've totally inspired me to crack open a can of juicy pike harpooning anecdotage. (What the fuck did i just say!? was that english?).

Feckin, you're a bad influence.