Drinking, Fighting, Fucking and Crying Title

Drinking, Fighting, F*&king, and Crying

whelans (1)In January 2002, Joup’s Joe Grez and I, along with Joe’s cousin Tony, went to Dublin. Both Grez and Tony were experienced travelers, but this was my first trip out of the US. The reason for our destination, and a rather urgent first foray into traveling for me, was several months prior I had fallen hard for a gorgeous blonde girl who, two nights after I met her, moved back to Drumcondra, Ireland. Ah, Nichola, such a fair lass… who almost proved to be the death of me in the short time I knew her. We hit it hard in those two days, no explicit pun intended, and when she left for home I stayed in contact with her via the internet – then a fledgling experience for me.

Now, this wasn’t love, it was lust. I didn’t realize that at the time, but it became obvious later. What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. Anyway, our fling happened in a completely round about way; Nichola was staying at the South Side Chicago hotel where I tended bar in the evenings; she was leaving her husband and moving home because things had gone South. I would find out later she was quite the wild one, but my initial interactions in those first few hours were very pragmatic and professional. She need a drink, I made her a drink; she was a beautiful girl at my bar and, in my head, could never have been interested in me. Or that’s what I thought until a regular of mine who hit on her told me she was actually interested in me.

I thought said regular had fallen on his noggin, but he soon made the introduction and, well, she never did go back to her hotel room that night. Or the next…  but, this is a Drinking episode, so let’s skip the f*&king and move ahead to the Emerald Isle!

When Joe and I stepped off our plane in Dublin, Nichola was there at the airport to meet us. Tony wasn’t due in until the following day, so it was the three of us that evening. We walked around a bit, had coffee and breakfast at the James Joyce room in Bewley’s on Grafton Street. It was here that Grez found a local alternative-type paper and began looking for some live music. This is what we did at home in these days – we were in a band, we played a lot of shows, and in turn we went to a lot of shows. National, local, whatever. Well, on this particular occasion, the gig Grez found ended up becoming legendary; I’ve returned to Whelan’s since, but I’ve never encountered quite the same magnitude of performance. We began drinking – Joe and I on the Guinness, Nichola having Southern Comfort and coke. We mingled, Nichola tried to set Grez up with a girl we called Major Blud, who had a decidedly ‘Whatever happened to Baby Jane” manner for applying her lipstick and stone cold crazy in the eyes, and in the midst of all the laughs and oddness the first band took the stage. Daemien Frost still occupies an ENORMOUS space in my heart to this day, and my only regret in name-dropping them here is that I can only post a studio track; as awesome as this is, it just doesn’t hold a candle to what these guys did live. It was insane.

But again, back to the drinking.

Two things happened as one Guinness became six, became eight, became… who knows? I realized that Nichola was insane. Like, literally*. And I also realized she was so drunk she could barely stand up. I had to intervene.

I began making the runs to the bar, theorizing that she was getting extra drinks while out of my presence, downing them in mass quantities. What has occurred to me since is she was probably a lot of hard liquor with psychotropic medication. But at the time, I just really wanted everything to continue on as good as it had been, so I figured if I just started drinking most of her drinks, it would buy her time.

Oh. As Iggy said recently, “I made an error in judgement.” Big time. In Europe, or what I’ve seen of it at least, mixed drinks are served by pouring the liquor into the roughly 6-8 oz. glass first, then the bartender will open a small bottle of your requested mixer and serve it with your glass, this way you can mix the drink to your preferred specifications. Pretty slick, eh? Well, this provided me the opportunity to down most of the measures of Southern, pour in the coke, and then bring the drink over to my ‘special lady friend.’ This worked to ween Nichola off her nearly disastrous buzz, but it ended up absolutely destroying me.

After Daemien Frost, NPB played (National Prayer Breakfast – also awesome). There may have been another band as well. The night disintegrated into a blur, and eventually I wound up passed out in the bathroom of the hostel where we were staying, a slightly less drunken Nichola naked and intertwined around me in all manner of nastiness. Yes, we were those people that used the common bathroom for drunken sex in a hostel; be happy you didn’t happen to visit Dublin at that time and walk in on us. And, god help me, I don’t think I’d change it if I could. Nor would I change the following night, which was about ten times more insane and involved me essentially being kidnapped and led to what I thought was my death by, wait for it… Nichola’s older brother! Who, of course, was under the impression that I was the abusive husband from back in the states! That’s a pretty involved tale though, so I’ll save it in full lurid detail for four weeks from now when we cycle back around to drinking. In the interim, next week, we fight!

Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

2 Responses to Drinking, Fighting, F*&king, and Crying
  1. Joe Grez

    Joe Grez Reply

    Yeah this is the story to end all. Still one of the greatest nights of my life, just epic. Oh and I still have the poster! (with Isabel’s number on it). I’ll have to take a picture and upload that. The other band was Deputy Fuzz, but I think we got there after their set was over. Major Blud…oh brother. Yeah so glad I met Isabel to get away from her, turned out to be way better experience. And yes Daemien Frost did deliver. It was an amazing welcome to Dublin.

  2. Chester Whelks Reply

    Fucking hell. Cannot wait.

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