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Linus Bird & The Dew Drop Inn
Galway, I love this place, I really do. Get this, I am sat having a quiet afternoon Hooker in The Dew Drop Inn (Hooker is a pale ale made here in Galway), a rake bullocks his way to the bar, black beard to his navel, greasy hair slicked back to his shoulders, revealing a terribly bruised forehead, hideously blue and throbbing, hauling plastic bags, his trousers are wrapped to his waist with a sturdy rope, his shoeless feet buzzard black, his dog freshly poofed sporting a snug gingham wrap. Bar-keep Bullfrog views him through bulging bulbs, mouth a gap goldfish like, the rake rummaging through a school of pockets, ripped to the lining, his shovel like fists lumping their way around like trapped mice.
Said with conviction.
“Will you be trading in the pooch?”
“Show it here so.”
Bullfrog clicks his webbed fingers, followed by fierce rummaging which almost lifts the cavernous trenchcoat to the ceiling. Eventually, triumphantly, a large coin is hacked out like a rabbit from a top hat.
The coin is as thick as a heel and large like a casino chip.
“A piece of metal?”
“A piece of eight!”
“A piece of rubble.”
“That is a doubloon, minted in sixteenth century Lima, scooped from a Spanish Armada galleon at the foot of the Atlantic off the coast of Mayo landed here on your sloppy counter!”
“I don’t trust anything scooped from Mayo, Lima made or not.”
“Jaysus, will you just look at it…”
The Bullfrog performs his bidding, rolling the doubloon twixt his greenish doigts, it catches the pale sunlight, glances off a Jameson mirror, for a second the tiny pub is illumintated, the dog barks.
“Right so, I’ll take it.”
“I want ten pints for it.”
“Would you get up the yard!”
“That piece is worth two hundred American dollars.”
“Go down to the Bank of Ireland so and see what they say to you.”
“A half dozen.”
“A half dozen.”
They shake vigorously on it and the rake draws up a bar stool.
He downs his first, whilst savouring his second, I endeavour to slake my curiosity and ask the Rake,
“How did you come upon something like that?”
“I swam to the bottom of the ocean and purloined from the skeleton of Santa Cruz.”
The bar laughs with him and at me. I laugh along, to laugh at myself is something I’ve never minded.
“Jaysus do they teach ye anything in those fancy New York prep schools? Time for a history lesson boyos”
He takes a deep draught and falls to his feet, legs apart, chest out, head back and he recounts –
Twas the late 1500’s Spain was strong, she took control of the Dutchies and branded them Netherlands of Spain Spanish Inquisition are still spoken of with fear
Lizzie, the Virgin Queen, well she got to helping them Spain, she angry
A family affair! Lizzie I being Phillip II of the parish of Spain’s sister in law, Bloody Mary (we’ve all had a few) was his moth Lizzie caps it off by chopping off Mary Queen of Scot’s head, Pip’s ally and fellow Catholic Spain launches her Armada, the mightiest fleet of ships that ever sailed Zabras, pataches, galleons, hundreds of ‘em, sailing in a crescent shape
Cornish fishing the Lizard viewed the whole fleet float pass Baton Beacons warned London & Drake Sir Francis of Tides took time bowling Plymouth Hoe crafty as the sands of Devonport Hellburners cannonballed into the Crescent which broke into the Dark Side of England Adup the East Coast, over Scotland and down the Irish Coast Hurricane hearped, sucking rope, hobbling, at war with wind and waves Sunk they did to the bottom of Galway Bay And we’ve being drinking off their gold ever since! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!
And with a round of applause the Rake shuffled back to finish the rest of his pints and the dog awoke.
Galway, I love this place. I really do.
Linus Bird – Star Spangled & Adrift