‘Here is something you can’t understand,
How I could just kill a man.’
- Cypress Hill
I covertly sniffed my armpit. It definitely wasn’t me. I tried to scan the immediate vicinity but my vision was consumed by two huge anorak-covered backs. One belonged to a beer swilling giant of a man, the other to his almost-just-as-giant beer swilling wife, whom I suspected was the one farting in my general direction. I stared into my empty plastic cup, wondering where Scarlett had gotten to, and then put the cup around my nose so I could huff some whiskey fumes. How the fuck could there be so many Steve Earle fans in Belfast? Then Scarlett was poking me in the back and she was empty handed.
‘What happened?’ I asked.
‘Sorry,’ she said, ‘I couldn’t get near the bar.’
‘But your lightly freckled cleavage ought to be bartender Kryptonite!’ I said.
‘The bar is full of assholes,’ she shrugged.
‘Same deal in here,’ I said. ‘I don’t think I can do this sober. I’m going to snap the next time someone shoves me.’ And someone shoved me. I spun on my heels, ready to paste the motherfucker and discovered it was a heavily tattooed guy with long curly ginger hair. Considering the possibility that he was some sort of heavy metal Celtic warrior, I squashed myself against the wall and let him pass. ‘Next time I really will,’ I reassured Scarlett, and she gave me that smile.
It had been pure dumb luck that I stumbled upon Scarlett’s video on Youtube.
[Editor's Note: Ian's web history shows that he had "stumbled upon" Scarlett's video by way of a search for 'Irish girls gone wild.']
She was a girl from Galway, drunkenly singing Galway Girl by Steve Earle, although the only part she seemed to know was the ‘eigh-aye-eigh-aye-eigh’ bit. With the Steve Earle gig only a couple of weeks away I decided it was a sign from the gods and had Will track her down. Long story short she didn’t want to pass up a free Steve Earle show and she arrived in Belfast a couple of days before the gig. We hit it off the second she finished her pint of Guinness before me, and we spent every waking hour together. Every sleeping hour too, if you get what I mean…
[Editor's Note: You're a liar?]
The night before the show I watched True Romance and had an epiphany. It is very unlikely that Patricia Arquette will be ever fuck me. So I decided to settle for Scarlett. The day of the gig I bought a ring, thinking I would be romantic and propose during Galway Girl. Now a brief pause to allow the female readers to finish saying ‘awwwwwww’…
[Editor's Note: What female readers?]
But there I was smooshed between a bunch of fatties and Steve Earle was coming on and any sense of romance in the air was blanketed by the smell of beer-sweat and cheese and onion flavoured farts. It’ll be okay once he starts playing, I thought, then they’ll settle down. But they didn’t. In fact most of the people there didn’t even believe that Steve Earle’s presence on stage warranted a pause in their conversations. They didn’t just talk during songs, they talked, nay, shouted over Steve while he was trying to talk to the audience between songs. This prompted a number of ‘shushes’ and even a few ‘shut the fuck up’s, but to no avail. Even when Steve himself suggested that ‘the people at the bar shut the fuck up’, they ignored him and continued yammering loudly at each other. The fact that I was squashed in at the back was tolerable – I am always squashed in at the back in Mandela Hall – but being squashed in at the back with nothing to drink, surrounded by obnoxious assholes who think their own inane fucking conversation is more interesting than hearing Steve Earle live was too much for me. If you were at the gig and you talked during it, I hope you get cancer of the prostate/vulva (delete as appropriate), you sack of shit. It does go to show how good Steve was, however, that even the shit crowd couldn’t ruin the gig for me. He did a long set with a bunch of the classics peppered through more recent songs and although it was hard to hear him over the sea of dickheads surrounding me, he took the time to tell a few cool stories and interact with the crowd, which I always appreciate. He did play Galway Girl, but I decided it wouldn’t be wise to take a knee in the bustling crowd, so I slipped the ring over my finger for safe keeping and decided to propose after the show. Alas, my plan was doomed.
I was lost in a furious trance, glaring at some twat who was taking a video of the show on his phone. Just a piece of advice: if you pay thirty two quid to see a living legend in your own home town and you decide to watch it through a three-inch screen on your shitty fucking camera phone, you’re an asshole. There is no exception to this rule. Then someone dumped half a pint of Harp down the back of my neck and I finally lost it. I turned around to see some silly fat bitch trying to manoeuvre (read: push) her way through the crowd CARRYING FOUR PINTS OF HARP. Who tries to carry four pints in plastic cups through a sold out crowd? I never even try to carry three pints in case I drop one and look like a twat.
[Editor's Note: Well, you do have little dainty hands.]
Not now Ed, I’m on a roll…
And here was this ignorant twat pushing past me and rolling her eyes like it was my fault she spilled some.
‘YOU FAT FUCKING CU…’ I started to scream, and then I was shoved again. I turned around to see the Celtic warrior, once more on the warpath and taking no prisoners. I shoved him back and when he turned on me I chinned him a good one. He stumbled back, his eyes going wide, and then he collapsed. I looked at my fist, awed by my own manly prowess, and realised it hadn’t been my Tyson Fury-like right that put him down. The diamond from the ring on my finger had evidently come loose and flew into his throat when I hit him. As I watched him choke to death I realised it wouldn’t be long before someone called the cops, and they would probably blame me, so I fled into the night.
Scarlett hasn’t spoken to me since. Apparently seeing me commit manslaughter wasn’t a turn on for her, so I suppose she wasn’t right for me after all. Well, there’s always Alabama…