Repeal the 8th referendum update: LOVE BOTH! that’s what they’re saying. Eh, but not equally, coz they really want that mother to die as she’s a bit flighty for having sex in the first place and she’s a woman, so there’s that. Basically, LOVE BOTH love LOVE BOTH because they certainly don’t give a shit about all God’s living kids. The kinds that Tusla regularly misplace. PLUS: Do not forget that when they say ‘All God’s children’ they also mean Ronan Keating. Repeal the 8th and then my “Backdated Abortion 2020” political movement will come into effect. Keating, There is nowhere to hide. I’m a gonna git ya. (Note: God may not actually exist. Used here for demonstrative purposes)
ANYWAYS, Stretch here. There comes a point in every munki’s life when it’s time to throw childhood things away and concentrate on the important things in life-like mortgages, work, family, dentistry, wheelie bins, resident associations (Satan’s little helpers) and those clothes peg things that hold big crisp packets closed, in your stupid attempt to keep crisps from going stale despite the knowledge that everyone finishes the pack before the night is done anyway.
As you enter work, checking that the lower buttons on your shirt haven’t betrayed a view of lower waist skin, you trawl through the office looking around, wondering if anything of interest will happen today. Is he interesting? Is her conversation going to help my day? If I have a laugh with that guy, are the ramifications that he’ll bother me because he thinks we’re friends? We’re not. He is positive. I am negative. You needs an outlet. I don’t mean like a Trainspotting outlet, coz that would be cool. I mean the awful Trainspotting 2 outlet. You’re old. You need to stand beside other old people and listen to loud music. If they sweat, you know it’s not just because of the gig. The age range is between 35 and 50. You people just sweat. I mean that’s all you do. Like Rob Delaney in Catastrophe, you sweat in the shower, then you sweat when you get out of the shower and then you sweat some more and then you need a shower.
So, it’s a Tuesday and you head to Whelan’s to see Metz, a fantastic three-piece Canadian punk band. You do not rock up to the venue. Only people who think that expression is cool ‘rock up to’ somewhere. Those people can ‘rock up’ over a fucking cliff as my Mama Stretch used to say, because she was prescient when she was alive.
I know lots of people who would hate Metz. They would hate the wall of noise created. Starting with “The Swimmer,” they pissed through a set that included “Eraser” and “Nervous System” and ended with “Wet Blanket.” There was minimal talk. A tight band who left no gaps. The most pleasant thing about the evening was that you didn’t have to think. They do not allow space for that. Hayden Menzies drums like he’s trying to forget the death of a loved one, possibly caused by himself. Bassist Chris Slorach (a non-made up version of Doyle from the Misfits) moved incessantly, creating one of the best rhythm sections I’ve seen for a while.
Crowd surfing is back: The gig felt very like a mid-90s punk gig when Dubalin had a thriving D.I.Y. scene. So many great bands flickered and disappeared back then; Bambi, Holemasters, The Idiots… You couldn’t move for plaid shirts in here tonight. Metz singer Alex Edkins got in on the act, by stage diving, complete with guitar. As he was being passed over the crowd, he continued playing. It was all very impressive and blocked all the shit that was in my head that day.
At any gig there is always one douchebag and this time it wasn’t me. It being a Tuesday and the middle of college times, some dirty young uns got in. The guy who walked in with his one hand in the air wearing a stripy wooly hat said to himself, “I’m the coolest brohaim here.” He was accompanied by two girls and a very nervous dude who looked like the drummer from Mastodon and didn’t really want to be there and maybe thought that Stripy was the guy to enhance his coolness factor in college. He wasn’t. The two girls danced incessantly for two songs, during which one of their back packs bruised my lower abdomen beyond recognition, and then they walked straight out of the venue and didn’t return.
Stripy looked around and demonstrably huffed as if this watching was beyond him and threw himself into the polite mosh area. To echo Metz’s song “Spit you out,” this is exactly what the crowd did. Next time I saw Stripy he is at the back of the venue looking shattered and leaning on a pillar. Later on in the loos, he said to the guy next to him,
“Are ya happy out?”
“What?” asked the confused person trying to pee.
“Are you HAPPY OUT?”
Someone walked by and remarked,
“Happy out yourself, ya cunt.” Harsh.
This is not actually a gig review. It is more about embarrassment. As the gig ended. Stripy reappeared up front and seemed to have got himself momentarily in a crowd surfing situation, but whatever his nefarious doings he was grabbed by singer Alex Edkins who gave him a supreme telling off, all while the music kept going and Stripy was dangling in the air at a 45 degree angle from the crowd. There was a lot of genial smiling going on between crowd members who had been trying to avoid Stripy all night. Poor stupid Stripy.
Anyways, I was watching a thing there on the colour box about people describing their most embarrassing life moments and also that brilliant twitter thread about the guy who met sexy Mary McAleese on ketamine. I tried to think of a few of my ugh moments. Now, this munki has had many ups and lots and lots and lots and lots of downs, so it was difficult to narrow down. Then it hit me and I went into a cold sweat. Oh fuck. I’d forgotten.
As a rebellious (to my own self) munki, I had made lots and lots of drugs enter my system. It was fun. I was a funki munki in my head. Anyways, after many years my body didn’t think so and during my mid-20s I started developing anxiety disorder culminating in a hilarious ‘trying to cure a panic attack with a line of coke’ situation. Don’t particularly recommend it.
This was not the most embarrassing situation.
I spent a few years hungover because the booze would block the anxiety until at least the following morning where it would wake you up screaming in your face. Needless to say I am still hungover these days, but with no anxiety. I chop wood now, point at things with an earnest look on my face, take faux interest in other people and breathe real, real deep.
One horrible day, I had to leave work and got stuck in Dubalin. I mean literally stuck. I sat down at the railings in St Stephen’s Green and couldn’t move. I couldn’t get up. My body wouldn’t let me walk to my bus. It was a predicament alright. It was then I learned what homeless people experienced on a daily basis, as I was ridiculed by a number of white-collar passers-by on their lunch break. One shouted “Get a Job!!” I didn’t have the breath or energy to shout back, “But I have a job.” One particular appalling wanker spat beside me.
This was not the most embarrassing situation.
Something had to be done. I was freaking out friends and family and the dog with my antics, so my Mama Stretch rang her brother in America who was a successful neurologist. He suggested I go see a woman he knew in college. She might be able to help me. I reluctantly decided to go. I did NOT want counselling. I did NOT want therapy.
Anyways, she was a psychiatrist. I went a few times. There was a whole load of shit going on for years in and around me and I unloaded a vast amount of information on her. She looked quizzically at me a lot, which unnerved me no end and I thought vaguely unprofessional. I went a few times, all the time wondering if I was impervious to therapy, because I’m such a cynical bastard and cultivated weirdo.
The doctor’s office was in her very plush house, I noticed she seemed to have a fair few children, as every time I left there was always some ‘Children of the Corn’ looking kid hanging around. I figured, well, it’s Catholic Ireland. People have big families, right? Right? Aww shit.
“Em. Can I ask you a question?”
“Sure, Stretch. What’s on your mind?”
“Em. What kind of psychiatrist are you?”
“Well. Just the regular kind I suppose. Why do you ask Stretch?”
“I’ve noticed a lot of different children around your house. Are you by any chance a… child psychiatrist?
“Yes. Yes I am.”
“And when do you reckon you were going to tell me?”
“I thought you knew Stretch. Did no one tell you?”
“I’m fu.. I’m twenty fu… twenty five! Did you not think it was a bit strange that I was sitting here unloading all this shit on you?”
“Actually I did find it a bit strange. Stretch. I was doing a favour for your uncle.
How does that make you feel?”
So, whenever anyone talks about finding their inner child. I literally fucking did.