June 10, 2007

Where's My Camera When I Need It?

Friday I was in, what I believe is referred to as, a right state. Ever had one of those days when you wake up in a foul mood that refuses to dissipate as the day progresses? And the day conspires to deepen the mood? It was one of those and it would seem the entire office caught a nasty case of it as well. Co-worker Clare had a crap day, my boss had a crap day, Carmel had a crap day… it was just crap all the way round.

I walked in the door only to be greeted by my Co-worker of the Faulty Fly gleefully informing me that the plotter had run out of both ink and paper overnight and he had only just changed it. As I trudged up from the plotter, I informed both him and my boss that not a single of my 40 sheets had plotted. I sent them to print overnight because it takes hours for that amount of printing to be done on our machine.

That was just the beginning of the day too. After I started reprinting, another co-worker found 75% of my prints buried in hers, which he’d retrieved without telling me. Charming… I had to track down Wednesdays newspaper because I’d foolishly cut my planning ad out of the paper instead of submitting the entire sheet, something they simply don’t specify in the instructions for submitting a planning application, so that took me on the bus to the city centre, searching for the newspaper offices in shoes that were leaving blisters on my feet. I had a crap lunch, fishing an enormous amount of red onions out of my increasingly sloppy sandwich. Then my boss asked how I was getting along on another project, to which I replied that I was finishing up this application (a project that has been my sole priority for months now, by his design) to which he replied that he was under the impression it had gone out weeks ago and that he really wanted the other project progressed. What can I say? You take me out of the office for a day, put me in a bunch of meetings to discuss other projects, throw in a holiday and I just don’t seem to get everything done.

I managed to get the planning application finished, I informed my boss I had 3 strong sketch designs for the restaurant and then whimperingly agreed to go for a very large pint with Carmel after work, which just couldn’t have arrived soon enough.

We walked down to Slattery’s and managed to get a seat on the patio in the sun, just under the tree. I walked into the bar and ordered the largest glass of pinot grigio he could serve me. Truthfully, I asked if I could just put my head on the bar and have the wine poured directly into my mouth. Laughingly the bartender agreed without a moment’s hesitation. Good man that bartender; he filled my glass to the rim and passed it to me with a smile. I actually had to bend down and slurp off a bit before I picked it up, a rather sophisticated move appreciated by the German BusinessSuits standing next to me.

I plonked myself down at our table and Carmel and I just chatted. It was great really; she’s a very bubbly personality, even when it’s a tough day, so she really helped salvage me. We talked about my trip to Rome, her bible study classes, religion in general, the office, we planned a trip later in the summer with all our friends who have no idea we’re going on a trip yet… and in the midst of this, the patio filled and we started to notice a strange phenomenon. Groups of people, mostly men, were passing by us in Hen party gear. Instead of bachelorette parties, in Ireland and the UK, they have Hen Parties, where the entire party dresses in some sort of theme. Matching t-shirts, angel wings and the bride in devils horns, police hats and uniforms, etc… It’s quite organized and occasionally impressive. Usually, it’s a drunken brawl, but whatever. So when Carmel was explaining that her bible study group would finish for the summer, I was gaping at the group of 5 men strolling by casually wearing pink fairy wings and tutus. It’s hard not to gape. This isn’t the area for a lot of these parties; most of them happen in the city centre, where it’s only 30 seconds between pubs. We’re firmly 20-30 minutes out of the city centre with precious few pubs on the way. So what they were doing in this part of town, we’ve no idea.

I turned my attention back to Carmel after we had a good laugh, only to have it distracted again, but this time it was a group of men from a different direction wearing hot pink cowboy hats. They were followed shortly by a group wearing fluffy pink playboy ears and then a group wearing red, Spanish neckerchiefs and carrying Tommy Guns. When the group with women carrying neon colored inflatable water wings and pool rafts strolled by, we decided it had to be one party that divided into teams for some strange scavenger hunt. When the next team came by, we decided absolutely that was the case; they were mostly women with one rather older man, all wearing blue and white feather boas. They definitely added a David Lynch surrealist bent to the afternoon. I can quite imagine this is how he got most of his ideas for Twin Peaks. Well, that or a lot of drugs. I mean, really… It’s not every day you see men wearing pink fairy wings with a rugby jersey.


Anonymous said...

Um, I was part of the french version of the "hen party". I was sitting on a park bench when a women in tights and a tutu came and asked to shine my shoes. Her friends took our picture then she kissed me on the cheek. It made my day.

B said...

She shined your shoes? How funny. At least you got a kiss out of the deal.

When I was in Scandinavia, I chanced across a rather unlucky groom with his mates at the train station. It was December and the tradition in Denmark is rather fun in the summer, but this poor guy... The mates buy pastries and then sell them to women passing by who in turn smear them on the groom, who is stripped to his underwear.

I quite willingly took part in the ritual.