April 10, 2005
Finally, the tale I’ve refused to tell for 6 years - the story of me and Colin Farrell.
It was August 1998 in a pub in downtown Dublin somewhere. I seem to
remember it being in the Bleeding Horse, but I think it was considerably
more downscale and laddish than that.
I’d spent a harrowing three weeks traveling throughout Ireland nearly
always a little bit pissed, both due to the gallons of Guinness I’d
consumed and because I was constantly being mistaken for an American (a
mortal insult that left me frequently homicidal until it hit me that
unless I said "eh" all the time, they couldn’t tell the difference
between the accents). I’d fallen in love with the country - glorious
people, gorgeous scenery, fabulous pubs. (I’ve been back many times
since - apart from exploring Canada, Ireland is the only place I choose
I hated Dublin, mostly because the men were both obnoxious and relentless. With my departure only days away, my Irish friends and I hit the town in a last attempt to show me "the good part" of the city. My buddies were eager to dispel the opinion I had of Dublin men - specifically Dublin men on the make. As far as I could tell, they were all perpetually on the make and it seemed from the moment the plane had touched down 20 days earlier, the flower of Irish manhood had been throwing it at me like Frisbees. I wasn’t in the market, though I found the culchies charming - but Dubliners were beyond belief. I’ve been hit on by drunken hockey players, middle aged lawyers, lunatics and hosers with bigger mullets than brains, but these guys were in another league entirely. The legendary Dublin charm I’d heard so much about consisted of "So, ya like shaggin?" or "Nice tits."
For my friends, it became a point of national pride not to let me return to Canada with the tale that every man in the town was a "wee little wanker".
It wasn’t that late - probably around 10 p.m. - but bars in Ireland close very early. I was wearing my favourite Toronto Maple Leafs shirt and a pair of jeans - casual, but decidedly not American. The places we’d been were definitely off the tourist track and even in the most crowded pub, I was usually the only non-local in the place. (I actually met a lot of people that night who’d lived in Toronto at one point - I’d assumed that an entire ocean would be sufficient to save me from taunts of "Leafs SUCK!" but sadly, I was wrong.)
We entered our fifth pub of the night and I made my way to the bar (my shout). As I squeezed through the pack of men arguing about that day’s match and gave the barman my order, the guy beside me turned around to face me. He fixed me with a bleary leer and slid closer.
The smell of him hit me and I recoiled, overpowered by what seemed to be a pungent mix of b.o., booze, cigarettes and smegma. He took my withdrawal as a challenge, drew himself up to his full 5’6" height and made a visible effort to concentrate while digging his filthy fingernails into the edge of the bar for support.
"So where in America are youse girls from?"
"Close one eye."
"Oh, right... so where in America are ya from? Just got back from there meself. I was making a fillum. It’s going to make me a star. Youse are all fuckin' gonna know my fuckin’ name. I’m an actor -- P’raps you already know who I am."
"Oh yes -- "Catch Lucky - he’s got Lucky Charms!" You’re already famous in Canada."
"Canada? You’re from Canada? ‘S fucking cold there - have you much snow?"
"Yes, August is especially bad. I was lucky to get out of the airport. Polar bears all over the runways too. Shocking." Where the hell were my pints?!
The funny thing was, I did recognize him. I had become addicted to an Irish soap called Ballykissangel, where he was a featured regular.
"My name’s Col, but I guess I can be "Lucky" if you like - or you can be," he slurred, laughing uproariously at his own wit and fixing me with a glance that some drunken slapper somewhere must have, at some point, interpreted as seductive.
"Assuming I escape," I said, grabbing my pints and beating a hasty retreat.
"Stuck up cunt," he muttered to himself as I left.
When he was recently listed as one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People, I laughed so hard that I nearly wet myself. His biography says he’s 5’10". Five ten! Oh dear God! The man is so short he can walk under doors. In the accompanying photo of him holding Britney Spears hand, she looked like she was walking a kindergartner to school. He smelled like a barnyard to me, and is, in my opinion, considerably less charming.
And yet... he’s a bazillionaire, lays more pipe than PetroCanada and is an A-list actor - while I am a depressed, unemployed wiseass whose genius stubbornly remains unrecognized.
Just goes to show you - karma. It’s the only possible explanation.
Till next time,