Jack walked through the door of his local in the small village in North Cork and made his way slowly with his head down to “his” bar stool.
“Alright Jack” asks Mary the bartender who without even asking takes a glass and starts pulling a pint of Guinness. In her 20 years serving Jack he only once asked for a different drink. That was a hot whiskey about 10 years ago when he had a heavy cold!
Jack was unusually quiet and the normal happy go lucky, joke a minute guy was not the person sitting at the bar today.
“Jack, are you alright?” Mary probes as she places the creamy pint in front of him.
“I’m ok Mary, I’m ok” and the tone of his response didn’t convince her for a second.
He studied his pint and stroked the side of the glass as he always does, before that first taste and he took his first big gulp of the night.
“Jack, what’s wrong?” Mary asked
After a big sigh and another gulp of his pint, Jack opened up “I wasn’t sure if I was going to come for a pint tonight. Things are bad”
“But Jack you always come for a pint, what’s up?”
“They say it’s going to be a hard Brexit, everyone is saying it. The newspapers, the radio and even Fr. John after mass this morning was talking about it. A hard Brexit is really bad news for all of us.”
..he pauses for air and finishes his pint.
“I was listening to those two this morning on the radio, Shane Coleman and Colette Fiztwhatever her name is, and they were interviewing some businessman. He was telling them that the whole Brexit thing could actually be good for us, but they told him. It’s bad for us, really bad”
Without asking, Mary grabs a glass and starts to fill another pint but Jack gestures to her that he doesn’t want it.
“And to cap it all Theresa May is going to trigger Article 50 in March. There will be no more pints for me, I tell ya”
Mary grabbed the glass again and started filling another pint.
“Jack, do you even know what Article 50 is? This pint is on the house and will you do me a big favour?”
“Will you ever cheer up and stop listening to those gobshites talking negative day in day out and enjoy your pint”
“Thanks Mary, I’ll do that”.
He is smiling now, enjoying his pint “Did you hear the one about Donald Trump and his Mexican golf caddy in Doonbeg?”
“No Jack. What about Donald Trump and the Mexican golf caddy? ”
“The Mexican caddy told him that if he kept losing balls like that he should think about building the wall here instead”
She smiled and hoped the next one would be better but at least Jack was back!
While Mary and Jack are fictitious characters I can imagine conversations like this all over the country. I read and hear the negativity about Brexit everywhere and the truth is we really have no idea how it will play out for Ireland.
What I do know for sure is that if we are not careful we will talk ourselves into another recession.
“Mary..another pint please and have one yourself”
The wonderful image of the man drinking a pint is by artist Robert Devereux (http://robertdevereux.blogspot.ie/2015/06/old-irish-man-drinking-guinness-oil.html)