It was half past eight on a Friday evening in July. The sky was still bright, the rain had fecked off for a bit and Paddy and B-Man were out for a quiet pint. They were off-duty tonight, costumes left at home, civvies on. Paddy was wearing a brown and blue patterned jumper, jeans and black shoes. B-Man was decked out in a light black jacket, a white t-shirt with RELAX – I’M HILARIOUS printed on it, brown cords and red and white Adidas tackies. They met on Sarsfield Bridge and were strolling along to their favourite haunt on Catherine St.
“You know, like, the internet yeah?” asked B-Man as they ambled along.
“You know the way you can download films and music and pictures and stuff.”
“Can’t say that I’m very good with that stuff myself. The missus seems to be able to get every new film the day after their released. They look a bit off though. Like it goes mad quiet or really loud out of the blue. Even saw someone walk in front of the camera once which is something you’d reckon the director would sort out before releasing it.”
“Yeah, the ol’ Pirate’s Way. Anyway, do ya reckon you’ll ever be able to download yer dinner? Like not complicated stuff, just one of those microwavable burgers or some grapes or rice or something?”
Paddy raised his chin up and stared into the middle distance in a thoughtful way. “Maybe. I mean, you’d have to print it out or something wouldn’t you? Can’t just lick it off the screen.”
“Yeah, you’d need some kind of food printer gadget. Would be nice though. You’d be there watchin’ people break themselves on Youtube and think “God, I could fair go for a bag of chips.” And then you’d go to the chipper’s website and download a bag of chips and be eating away at them. And it’d be pure quick too cos I’ve got mad fast broadband in the flat.”
“Would it taste the same though? I mean, chipper chips are the tastiest…”
“Yeah, obviously. But that’s cos they’re fried in delicious fat and grease from fryers that haven’t been cleaned in months. And covered in that special vinegar they use that’d make you tear up when ya open the bag. And loads of salt too. Do you think that you could really download all of that? Or would you just end up with the kind of chips you get from pizza places. Those manky, frozen ones that are pure hard and burnt half the time.”
“It’d be tough alright. But, sure, with the wonders of technology and all that. I mean, I never thought I’d be able to go the bank on my phone either. All I have to do now is use the bank yoke on the phone and I can see how much they’re charging me for the privilege of having my money.”
“Yeah but that’s just numbers and stuff” said Paddy, dismissively waving his hand in the air “computers are good at that stuff. Ever get one of those mini pizzas from a vending machine?”
“Ugh. Yeah. You’ve really put me off it now Paddy. But I’m already looking forward to going for chips after the few scoops!”
Our courageous heroes turned left onto Thomas Street and came across an odd scene, dozens of young lads were hanging around the middle of the pedestrianised street, which wasn’t an odd thing on a Friday night, what was unusual was that all of these young fellas had long hair and even longer beards. Many of them were wearing a mix of sheepskin coats, leather pants and plaid shirts.
“Ugh… fuckin’ hipsters” said B-Man. “How is it that they all try so hard to look different and all end up looking the same?”
“Hmmm… I think there’s something a bit odd going on here.”
“Course it’s odd, look at the feckin’ state of ’em. They look like a pile of homeless Pearl Jam fans. Pearl Jam suck by the way.”
Paddy was peering at the group as they passed them rounding onto Catherine Street. He stopped, spotted something in the crowd and yanked one of the men out of the huddle.
“Scummy Mick!” he said accusingly at the befuddled hipster “What are you doing dressed up in this shite? Trying to see who’s got the newest phones so you can nick ’em eh?”
He let a small squawk and turned to run, Paddy caught him under one arm and B-Man hastily jumped forward and grabbed the other. Paddy nodded in the direction of the alley across the street and they quickly lifted him over, Scummy Mick’s legs running in mid-air nonstop. A couple of the hipsters saw what was going on but B-Man gave them the finger and they turned back to their conversations. They dropped him once enveloped in the relative gloom and Scummy Mick, legs still spinning, ran straight into the wall.
Paddy picked up the dazed young lad and pointed an accusing finger at him. “What are you doing in there? Only soft lads have long hair and big beards and I once saw you hit two gardaí with a keyboard you were robbin’, stop to make a crack about beautiful music and kept swinging for five minutes after getting pepper sprayed. You’re no fan of My Morning Jacket, what’s goin on?”
“Piss off Paddy! I did nathin!”
“Bollocks, tell us what’s goin on.” Said B-Man “Or I’ll make ya!”
“Oh yeah?” sneered Scummy Mick who had taken a beard comb out of its case in his satchel and was preening uncontrollably.
“Yeah!” said B-Man, pulling a matchbox out of his jacket pocket. “Give that bugger a sting he won’t forget Eugene!”
B-Man slid open the box and Eugene the bee emerged. He rose up, buzzed in front of B-Man’s face and went back into the box, somehow slamming it closed again.
“Ungrateful little fecker” muttered B-Man. He looked up, enraged and grabbed Scummy Mick by the beard with his right hand and pulled a lighter out of his pants pocket with his left. ”Tell us what’s goin’ on or I’ll singe ya and the stink’ll be hanging off ya all night!”
“Piss off” replied Scummy Mick.
“Right!” B-Man clicked the lighter and held it under Scummy Mick’s beard. Unfortunately due to the large amount of beard oil Mick habitually drowned his face in, the beard went up in flames.
“Arrragh!” screamed Scummy Mick batting his hands at the flaming bristles.
“Oops” said B-Man retreating.
Paddy sighed, waved his hand and teleported the beard off Scummy Micks face and into a nearby bin. “Mick, tell us what’s goin on or I’ll let him do something stupid again.”
“Look, it’s… secret… but…”
Mick looked around the alley then leaned forward conspiratorially, “Just go to Mickey Martin’s tomorrow night, OK. Around ten.” With that he shoved past them, giving B-Man an extra hard shove and scampered off into the night.
B-Man turned to Paddy, scratching his head. “What do you think this is all about?”
“I dunno, but something weird is going on. We’ll need to head to Mickey’s tomorrow night. Incognito.”
“Incognito. In disguise.”
“Oh right. Tom Collins then?”
“Yeah, let’s go.”
With that our heroes strolled off towards certain pintage, the discarded beard still smouldering in the bin.
Next time on Enter Dr. Viking, Paddy and B-Man investigate further but what will B-Man drink. Point your browser this a-way next week to find out. Adventuringtonianship!