Now, its here I have to mention ‘The Incident’.
Every expedition has at least one ‘The Incident’. This particular ‘The Incident’ did not happen to me, it happened to Greg, and I therefore have little right to write about it. I can, however, say that ‘The Incident’ concerned a material personal loss, ‘The Incident’ happened at either the store at the crossroads or on the cliffs at Old Head of Kinsale, and as drastic as‘The Incident’ could have been, it had no long lasting effects on our trip.
Also: Good thing ‘The Incident’ didn’t happen to me.
After we drove to Blarney and checked into our next B&B, we went for dinner at the Muskerry Arms Restaurant. It’s an in-town hotel and eatery with a raucous pub downstairs and a sedate dining room on the second level. Conversation drifted between the amazing sights we saw that day and ‘The Incident’. At one point, Greg was taking particularly long in the men’s room. Lorraine asked me to check on him, and when I did he was in a stall. We couldn’t see each other.
“Your lovely child bride wanted me to make sure you were okay.”
“Yeah,” he said from behind a swinging oak panel, “I was almost back to the table when I decided I had more business to attend to. My stomach. You know.” His voice wobbled.
“The appetizers are on the table. I might eat yours,” I said. I thought about ‘The Incident’ and felt the need to reach out to one of my oldest friends. “You doing better?”
As soon as the words came out of my mouth though, the restroom door opened quietly and a stranger stepped to the nearest urinal. I slipped out before the door shut.
I told the girls what I had done. I asked my worried and upset buddy how he was doing and then, spontaneously, and as the most recent of a long line of pranks we’ve played on each other over the years, bailed before he could answer.
My own daughter called me an ass.
Later Greg told us he asked, “Better than what?” several times, before the stranger finally told him, “I don’t think you’re going to find out. He‘s gone.”
As we left the restaurant, an Irish soloist in the pub played ‘Psycho Killer’ by The Talking Heads.
I love the Talking Heads.