Had lunch in Gibneys of Malahide on Saturday afternoon, I had the scampi dish as a change up which i really enjoyed and great value too. Afterwards i wandered across the street into O’Briens liquour store. Headed straight for the Italian section and looked for a bottle of my old favourite Peppoli Chianti. An eager young clerk voluntarily came over to assist and he found the Peppoli but veered me in the direction of his own favourite IL Grigio 2003. He said he bought a bottle for his girlfriends Mother for her birthday. The story seemed plausible so told him pointing my finger at him as i spoke that I was going to go along with his selection but if it turns out to be a bad one I’ll be back looking for him. He quickly he returned "Or you’ll like it so much you’ll be back for more of it!". Young punk eh but you’ve got to acknowledge the speed and quality of that verbal backhand volley. It would have been cheap of me if I decided I must have the last word in that little exchange so I just paid up and called it quits even though I knew deep down he probably got the better of the exchange.
I was overdue a haircut and quite frankly Tommy my most frequent barber has slipped down the pecking order recently as im not sure he calls upon all his skills anymore. Im not saying he's lazy but i sense his enthusiasm for the job isnt what it once was. Tommy’s barber shop can also be heavy on punter population and it would be painful if i had a reocurrance of the scenario last time with the standoff as to who’s turn it was next. So i went somewhere else ive been to just once before about three years back. This place like many barbers nowadays has in the past temporarily closed down a couple of times then suddenly reopenes business as usual. Maybe it’s a competitive market or something?. That’s what you might think but my hunch is that the greasy Italians want to muscle in on the Dublin barber shop market and our barbers wont bow to their pressure easily. They barbers arent running to the media instead they settle it gangs of new york style and we never know. They counteract the Italian pressure by closing down the shop while they go to the mattresses until the dispute is resolved. The Italians have a damn near monopoly on the fish&chip shops here and thats where they hold the power and have the muscle. They pulled the carpet right from under us when our guard was down in the 70’s opening up the chip shops and at the time any thoughts of reprisal was quelled by them installing a statue of the blessed virgin Mary behind the counter. Now what heartless Irish son of a bitch was going to break up a place after that check mate move with the statue. Clever bastards eh?, now your with me. But our barbers in the present are playing it clever at the moment so far thwarting the forward moving swarthy Italians. I dont know much but i know enough to realise theres something sinister going down in the Dublin barber scene, just see if im wrong.
Don’t get me wrong I have nothing substantial against Italians, forgive and forget I suppose. To be honest if they abandoned their fish and chip shops and the Irish stepped in I fear we may regress very quickly in this sphere. To be even more frank we would only make a bollix of it. I mean do you really think we would have the know how with the pizzas, snack boxes and battered fish and sausage?. Knowing us we would be useing the same chip oil for months until its a golden syrup consistency and caramel in colour before changing it. Its probably a good thing the Italians have that market sewn up to be honest. One good thing I will add about the Italian chippers is that they are consistent in asking if you want salt and vinegar with that regardless of the the length of the queue sometimes even giving you the choice of clear or brown coloured vinegar.
So I revisit this barber 3 years on and on entering I notice it’s the same actual barber guy as before. Last time our conversation centered around the buying & selling process on eBay and amazon marketplace back in the day I used those channels. He knew nothing of d’internet but was interested in the whole process of e-buying and selling. I remember all this but I’d bet my bottom dollar he didn’t remember me not to mind talking about eBay the last time we spoke. Im also pleased to know im the second John in line and even more pleased when another John walks in 30 seconds after me, i really socked it to him on that score as i thought of anything that might have conspired at home to delay me a minute or so for this guy to have first run on me by 30 seconds.
I give the barber the nod as i sit down but he looks through me. Thats nothing to worry about as that’s pretty standard in barber circles besides it all changes when its your turn to take the hot seat as you seemingly have exclusive rights on their small talk once in the chair. Well this time the small talk wasn’t so small at all and the principal subject discussed today included his memories of tenting down in a Feile festival some years back amongst a group of Hari Krishnas.
Apparently he thumbed a lift to feile only not with a sign indicating where he wanted to go but rather with a can of beer in hand and the rest slung over his shoulder in a superquinn bag. He did get his lift by what he described as a toothless granny who quote: "was gummy like she had her teeth kicked in lol". He said he made sure when thumbing a lift that the cars seen him drinking as they drove past so it would come as no surprise to them his intentions to drink on after he got picked up. I cut in nodding appovingly telling him that it was fair enough of him to be upfront and transparent about that aspect. Anyway arriving at Faile without any money to gain entry he hung about the tented area where he said the real atmosphere was content with his cans. But later on that nite it started bucketing down rain and he hadnt got any class of jacket at all. He spotted a large tent with a narrow overhanging canopy which if he stood vertical enough underneath he would dodge most of the downpour. There was no sign of the rain abating so he unzipped the tent took a peek inside and saw in his own words"at least 6 bodies inside". He stepped inside the tent and hunkered down. All was calm for some time until he decided to get up and walk around the tent to stretch and keep warm. His presumably clumsy movements gained the attention of a semi concious body who when fully woke up blew the whistle. All hell broke loose when the other bodies were alerted. He was pounced upon by what turned out to be a bunch of shrieking Hari krishnas jostling at him and cursing expletives shouting at him to get out of their tent as they shone torches in his eyes and generally came across as very unhospitable. They calmed down after a while and somehow had either the charity or stupidity to let him stay in the tent for the night in a spare sleeping bag which he was delighted with. He even pushed his luck by gorging himself on the remainder of their curried speciality, an earlier day peace meal offering to the masses no doubt. I cut in to ask him were the Hari Krishnas wearing their pink fleshy coloured garbs but I almost knocked him off track with that needless question so i had to veer him back on topic.
All settled down after a while and the bodies went back to sleep when another interloper, this time a young attractive female entered the tent to take refuge from the rain just as he had done earlier. She was shivering and drenched from head to toe and he told her she could bunk in with him no problem at all to which she replied ok but just keep your hands to yourself. He said he lasted just 5 minutes sitting on his hands with her in the same sleeping bag before he …..............at this stage the barber realised he wasn’t in his local pub after hours but instead was in his place of bidness where young fathers with their sons sat in line listening to every word with open mouths. So picking up on this he finished the story in a pc way leaving a big void and finished by explaining that they both hung out with eachother for the next day like. He didnt just jabber away throughout, I was subtly reigning him along Michael Parkinson style with the odd prompting comment and I think I squeezed as much of this tale out of him that was possible at 9.40 of a saturday morning which is more than Parkinson ever could.
He must have got overzealous with the sissors during the story because initially I did make a point of telling him not to cut it too short on top but what can you say when they do, it can hardly be undone. I tipped him anyway because of the story and im considering putting this barber shop on the rotation.
For a couple of weeks previous I was winning quite a bit on the sportsbook, they moved the blasted posts though so for the last week I was running very bad altogether and clutching at straws. I called it quits for the day including not going to play the S.E monthly game and had a nice fillet steak with garlic & pepper sauce with onion rings washed down with the Il Grigio from Malahide. The wine was every bit as good as that son of a bitch claimed so I shall have to swallow my pride and go back and give credit where its due. Its just as good if not better than the Peppoli I mentioned in the past and thats saying something.
Well oiled after the food and wine was over i suddenly got to thinking that playing the S.E game would be good for a change of scenery so I headed in feeling fairly pumped up. I have tried playing live in so many different ways and styles like tight, loose, laggy, weak tight, maniac, hungry, full etc. Tonight it would be half cut style with a lot of chit chat table talk and see how that works out. By the break and plenty of verbal left in my wake and 2 coronas during the break with the lads I was now probably more than half cut so on my return from the break I increased the fractions all the time on the table talk and brought it to a whole new level I think. It was fairly constant but I do mean it when i tell you that Peter Benchleys book ‘Jaws’ is quite the racey novel. It didnt last though as i petered out of verbal steam when the table broke. Basically i ran a 5 furlong race at a 5f gallop but the course was a mile.
In the game itself there was just nothing to report really as it was one of those no real hand nights. The Chief was the bb to my button and in one hand when it was folded to me on the button I raised it up nice and low as I declared that this was a classic button steal and when the sb and the chief folded I poked the 10-5offsuit in their eye. Before this in another hand I raised with 55 and got one caller. Flop 883 and I checked raised him all in and he folded quick smart. A rash move but i was certain i was good. In another hand i raised A-10 and got 3 callers, and on a drawy flop of A-10-J and two to a suit I bet it good and proper and took it down. I somehow lasted until near the end of the 300/600 level when with just 6100 left i finally FINALLY got a hand as good as AQ and after eddydeagle limped i raised to 2.6k. A new guy to the game who was next up asks me ever so politely how much chips I have behind. I show him and he bets the min raise sheepishly and eddydeagle calls. The odds im getting to ship are so good but that doesn’t mean shit when its painfully obvious the new guy has AA or KK minimum. I just know eddydeagle has a bag of shit though. I fold unhappily even though im certain he had it. When he went all in on the flop and eddydeagle folded he showed the aces.
Then with the piddling balance I couldn’t get it in first because there was always a raise ahead of me but before the blinds got to me again I got AJ and pushed. The small blind called and tabled A9 but floped a 9 and that was the end of me.
My next game is most likely going to be the GJP Drogheda monthly game this Saturday 15th July so heres hoping I can play good and run good.