Sitting in a comfortable corner at the Caffe Nero near Stephens Green.
I bite into my toasted panini.
Hmmm, thinks I, this is not the toasted panini I ordered.
I take another bite.
Definitely not tuna.
Maybe I should bring it back.
The girl who served me was a Northie.
Lovely incomprehensible music.
But they're all in the Rah, Northies.
How could I bring a sandwich back to her?
I'd have Sean Bean following me home, mouthing: "There'll be no more killing. After this one."
(You mean Mickey Rourke. - Gerry Adams note)
I've eaten about a quarter of the sandwich.
Is it too late to bring it back?
I munch rhythmically, while pondering the issues.
Years ago the Mammy sailed up to the counter in a cafe in Naas and told the manager I hadn't liked the sandwich there.
The manager had replied: "Well he shouldn't have eaten it then,"
Presently the present day Caffe Nero present tense sandwich is presently eaten.
The coffee is drunken,
I wander up to the counter.
On my way I pass a table featuring a heavily made up girl and her more naturally styled friend.
Girl number one is wearing a pro abortion jumper with "repeal" emblazoned on it.
I stop at their table.
In a rush I proclaim somewhat apologetically: "I want to make a wisecrack but I don't want to get thrown out of the cafe. George Soros spent a billion dollars promoting abortion in Ireland and all I got was this lousy jumper. There you go. That's my wisecrack. How do you like it?"
The make up girl gives a weak smile. The natural one laughs a bit.
Not the worst reaction I've ever had to my light hearted comic accostings of strangers in cafes.
On to the counter.
A youthful long haired woman is in situ.
No sign of the Northie.
"You gave me the wrong sandwich," I announced. "I want a refund."
"Okay," says Long Hair.
"What?" sez I. "Really?"
"Sure. No problem. Where's the sandwich."
"I ate it."
"Okay. Do you want another sandwich?"
"Er no. Actually just give me a free latte and we'll call it quits."
She serves up a caffe latte which I take back to the corner.
Presently the gorgeous Arab, Spanish or Something, I mean she's a honey, I mean dark eyes of the gazelle and all that, I mean I don't want to go casting no obsessions, I mean the hairstyle is a bit groovy but she can really carry it, holy hand grenades Batman, but aroogah, manageress comes over.
"We want you to have the refund," she says, giving me the cash.
She walks back to the counter.
The ghost of Thomas Hardy appears beside me.
"The women are beautiful Heelers," he says, "but the old are more beautiful than the young."
"I don't care Thomas," I tell him, "that girl is a ride."