I dropped by Manx Low Life yesterday on my travels.
I learned something new.
It's one of the fun aspects of the Interwebs that I am constantly coming across the weird, the strange and the wonderful. What I discovered yesterday has to fall into the weird category, with a touch of strange and zilch of the wonderful.
I confess I never heard of them. Are they vicars who can't find a parish? Is it some kind of religion confined only to streets? Were they some kind of mobile confessional designed to trap those who had fallen into a life of sin and debauchery?
Apparently they are none of the above. They are people who go out and befriend the drunks, pick them out of the gutter, dust them down and buy them a bag of chips or some such. They walk the drunks home or find them a bus [or taxi], pat them on the head and wish them well.
Now I have given this a little thought. Suppose they started jumping out of hedges at me as I wend my way home from a merry evening. How would I react?
Before I go any further, I should explain that we have a unique phenomenon here in Ireland. While our roads and pavements are generally in a poor state of repair, at night they really come into their own and actually turn mobile. It's like Edgar Allen Poe wrote Harry Potter – the pavements come alive and start cracking and shifting under our feet in a rather alarming fashion, and it adds considerably to the experience [and fun] of trying to stay upright.
So here I am after a grand feed of pints and it's time to go home. I will assume I am not a designated driver [a designated driver in Ireland is the one who is sober enough to find where the car is parked] and that I am making my way home on foot.
I am having the usual fun and games with the mobile pavement, dancing from one sliding slab to the next, like something in a kid's video game when suddenly some fucker jumps out of the bushes, scares the shite out of me and announces he's a "street pastor". I'm sorry, but my first reaction to anyone who jumps out of hedges at me is to kick 'em in the bollix. It's a natural reaction. Assuming they survive that and proceed to tell me that they are being non-judgemental and just want to see me safely home, I will proceed to smack 'em in the balls once more. Who the fuck do they think they are? Condescending pricks! Anyway my Mammy told me never to talk to strangers and never ever accept a lift from any strange man. You never know what kind of weirdo you'll meet on a country lane after closing time.
So if these street pastors decide to set up stall here in rural Ireland they had better think long and hard. It ain't going to be an easy ride [as the actress said to the bishop].
They can buy me chips at closing time if they like.
But they'd better bring a few spare sets of dentures.
Oh, and incidentally….. if you think I'm kidding about those pavements, just take a look.