It was party central on the Galway to Dublin train

That’s Men: They were short on specific details, but the impression was that the ladies had found their Dublin charm irresistible

The lads spilt beer all over the table, but managed to save the mobile phones

The lads spilt beer all over the table, but managed to save the mobile phones

 

They arrived into the carriage in a clatter of suitcases and cans, full of the joys of life and full of drink.

The mid-afternoon train from Galway to Dublin would, I had reckoned, be peaceful. Who would be travelling at that time of a Sunday? Students would still be at home finishing their once a week proper dinner. Those who had been revelling on the streets the night before would be subdued and engaged in painful introspection.

I was wrong, of course.

The lads spread themselves out at two tables on either side of the passageway and set up their cans. One surplus fellow sort of hung around in the passageway.

I had stayed away from that end of the train originally to avoid a fellow who was having a loud and angry argument with himself. He had vanished by now. Perhaps he had been put off before the train left Galway.

We had fair women on our train also and two of them appeared on their way down to the bar

The new arrivals had a good deal to say about their success with the fair women of Galway. They were short on the specific details, but the impression was that the Galway ladies had found their Dublin charm irresistible.

We had fair women on our train also and two of them appeared on their way down to the bar or whatever Aladdin’s cave was at the end of the train. They greeted the revellers like long-lost friends though my impression was that they had never met before.

They returned 20 minutes later. One of them reminded me of farm women of old who might go into the henhouse and return with a clutch of eggs in a sort of improvised cradle in an apron. This lady didn’t have an apron, but she cradled a selection of small bottles of whiskey, vodka and gin in her arms. One of the lads, the drunkest in the group, followed her with some difficulty, given the effort involved in staying upright.

One of the others had chastised him earlier on the grounds that he “did nothing” in Galway and I wondered if he was hoping, in some madly optimistic part of his brain, to put matters right before all opportunity vanished in Heuston station.

The revelry continued.

We’re singing and dancing and everything down at the other end

The lads spilt beer all over the table, but managed to save the mobile phones. This was helpful because it enabled them to play loud songs – the sort of paddywhackery crap that sounds good when you’re drunk – and to continue their bragging.

Somewhere between Ballinasloe and Portarlington, the daughters of Erin – as I called them to myself to distinguish them from the English hens who had been rampaging cheerfully around the streets the night before – were back, making their way to the end of the train presumably in search of more supplies.

“We’re singing and dancing and everything down at the other end,” one of them exclaimed on the way back. “Ye should come down.”

“We have a representative down there,” one of the lads replied, referring to the fellow who had swayed along in their wake earlier.

“Oh him. I’d rather ye than him,” one of the daughters replied. “In fact, I’d rather any one of ye than him,” she added wistfully.

She and her companion vanished off to their carriage.

One would presume that men so skilled in the pursuit of women would have leaped to take up this invitation.

I wondered, later that night on my way to bed, if they were still in the pub

But no, instead of exploring the situation down the other end, they opted to stay with the safety of their cans of Guinness.

It made sense. By staying put they kept their reputations intact. No sense risking rejection. It’s all part of the harmless art of bragging.

As we arrived in Dublin they were making plans to go to a well-known pub “for just one little pint”.

I wondered, later that night on my way to bed, if they were still in the pub.

And if so, were they still bragging about their conquests in Galway?

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