18 Oct


I’m getting married at the end of the month. Last weekend was my stag. I invited a group of 10 or so of my friends, and we went out to shoot some arrows and paintballs.

The Best Man, Brian Hayden, who had a run-in with The Man recently, has a tendency to be a little late ;-). So, I was not surprised to hear that Paddy and Tony, two brothers and great friends, called his phone from the bus station, and he was still in bed!

Luckily, Brian shares a house with Aoife McKenna (or Ni Chionnaith), an all-round fantastic girl, and old ex- of mine (yes, I stay in contact with my ex-es).

The archery was fun. I’d like to buy a bow of my own – it was very relaxing.

The paintball was extremely tiring! It really showed the world how tired I was, that I had to give up after only two games. This was probably helped by the amount of alcohol I’d drank the night before, making it hard to breath.

At about the time I gave up, my friend Paddy had to quit it as well – he went to slide on the ground, but his foot would not oblige.

The games continued, but without the three of us – I went down the hill to get a breather, while Paddy and his brother Tony went off to Monaghan hospital to get Paddy’s leg checked out.

I’m embarrassed to say it, but my boss, who is ten years older than me, was able to complete the games, while I was still huffing and puffing at the bottom of the hill.

John and I chatted with the owner of the company, Tony, about his website and offered some pointers. I think the most important point was to scrap the flash – it took me a while to find his site, as search engines do not index flash pages.

After the games, we all piled into the taxi and went off to the hospital to see how Paddy was holding up. It would have been a shame to have him miss the meal and drinks!

We got to the hospital, and found Paddy and Tony in the A&E waiting room with Fiona, AWOL Tony’s wife. As Monaghan Hospital is a complete and utter shame of a hospital (I am tutting at the government, not the doctors, who were doing a great job), the hospital was not sure they would be allowed to keep Paddy there, if it turned out the leg was broken.

Really, it says something about the woeful state of a hospital, if they are not even allowed to take care of a broken leg! In fact, as an aside, only two days previous, a man had died in the hospital simply because the surgeons were not allowed to operate on him! Beureaucratic nonsense! If I had my way, then I would insist that whoever it is that’s making these evil limitations is limited to aid from Monaghan Hospital – we’d see how long it takes for the limits to be removed, then!

Anyway – an X-ray revealed that it was just a minor fracture, and probably a stressed ligament and tendon. After a half-cast was put on, Paddy was free to come with us, although the nurse (bless her soul, as xians might say) made certain to warn me not to let him get damaged through too much drinking!

John (my boss) was exhausted after the games, and bade us farewell. He was off home to take care of his kiddies. I’ve been told that when he arrived home, his wife Maria (co-owner of our glorious and fantastic web development company) sent him up to soak in a bath and take his mind off the bruises.

Before we’d left in the morning, Steve, Bronwyn‘s cousin, warned us to wear gloves, as a hit on the hands is bloody painful. Needless to say, he forgot to wear them himself, and was hit on the hands.

The only other bare skin contact that I know of was John again, who was hit on the neck. The paintball managed to burst the skin, so he looked like he had an extremely aggressive hicky applied to him. Coincidentally, I went looking for info on hickies, and found a blog entry of someone else who’s husband had suffered the exact same mishap. Ah, serendipity. John – read the article; it has hints on how to remove hickies.

Anyway – we limped our way (Paddy especially) down the hill into Monaghan town. Anto, Paddy, and Brian went on to their hostel to get a shower, while Steve, Conor (Bronwyn’s brother) and myself went into The Squealing Pig for a pint or two.

Three pints later, the lads arrived back, and we went upstairs to The Pig’s restaurant. I had an okay vegetarian Penn Pasta, while Brian had the most massive steak he had ever seen. Steve, of course, was just back from a week or two holidaying in the US, where Brian’s “massive” (2″ thick, and pretty voluminous) steak would be considered “small” or “medium”. Steve had some horror stories to tell about how much the Americans eat!

The meal was enjoyable. We had two bottles of Merlot with it. Tony and Paddy chose a McGuigan Merlot, which I found to have too much of the cask’s aroma permeated through it. I chose a different Australian Cabernet Merlot. The Merlot’s smoothness made this a pleasure to drink. Steve and Conor are not really wine drinkers, but they could appreciate the differences between the two.

On to the drinks! We left the restaurant after sixty or ninety minutes, and went up the road to McKenna’s. I called Sean McKenna, my next door neighbour, who was due to meet us there. He arrived after a while, and we got down to the serious business!

Aoife’s sister Ciara turned up with her boyfriend Keith, who I’d never really got to chat with. The whole night was a laugh.

One of Bronwyn’s friends, Becky, turned up, and was soon sitting next to Paddy.

At closing time, Sean went up to Seamie, the owner of the bar, and arranged that we were left in as the crowd was shunted out. Sean and Seamie are old friends, so I had a feeling that might happen. Coincidentally, a load of Sean and Seamie’s old friends were there as well, so Seamie joined in with the drinking.

Anyway – to cut an increasingly epic story short, the craic was great, and I was home at around five o’clock. I don’t remember going home 😉

I’m still recovering from the weekend, but enjoyed every minute of it.

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