Saturday 31 May 2008

OK ILUG is upon us - all you foreign visitors take heed!

Just checked and it is around 3 days and 20 hours till Mr Mooney's and the rest of the ILUG organizational gang's collective blood pressure will have peaked and the unstoppable force that is ILUG first session will be in full swing.

Now this bit is important. Normal packing for Ireland involves anything that is waterproof as are natural state is if now wet, damp. We have two climatic conditions "it is raining" and "it is about to rain". HOWEVER it would appear that we may be blessed with a day or two of sun. So I would where I you pack both your wet weather gear and the sun block. I don't get to say THAT to often. As a neighbour said to me today when I went for a wander to the local shop for milk. "If this is global warming.. BRING IT ON!"

Right to the job in hand, somethings to remember The ILUG organisers have looked after your every need during the conference hours .. however you will (if you take a drink)be expected to participate in some post session drinkies.

There’s a thing about going for a pint in Ireland. When you go “for one,” it never means one. Hospitality won’t allow it.

You see, rarely does each person buy their own drink. In fact, it’s almost considered rude. For example: Suppose two people say they’re “going for one.” Either one or the other gets the first round, obligating the second person to get the next. This means the attempt to “go for one” with a friend is doomed from the start by the presence of said friend and at ILUG this may mean several dozen friends all in loosely bound and fluid rounds of "going for one".

But the problem doesn’t stop there. While pubs are sometimes open from early morning, most Irish people don’t tend to head to the pub until 10pm or later. Things don’t get going in Irish pubs until around 11pm. This causes problems.

Say four people go for “one” on a Thursday evening. Everyone finally arrives at about 10:30pm and the first round is ordered. Before you know it, closing time is looming. Not wanting to seem tight (that’s “cheap” to you, Mr & Mrs USA), everyone tries to get their round in. Suddenly, our four friends (because whether they were friends or not before, they certainly are feeling the love now) have consumed at least 4 rounds of drink in less than an hour. A sense of deep camradery and goodwill has descended on their ever-lightening heads. They’re feeling good. They’re singing songs. They’re falling out the door, encouraged by the impatient bar staff.

It just wouldn’t be right to put the brakes on something that’s going so well, would it? Someone suggests the night club. A rousing cheer sounds. Our ILUG friends (friends? Hell, they’re practically family at this point) are paying into the nightclub for the opportunity to listen to overly loud music that went out of style in the 1980s and pay twice or three times the normal going rate for drinks. Seeing as the music is now too loud for conversation and the nightclub too wedged for them to stand all together, they concentrate their energies on those overpriced drinks. And, funny enough, those feckin nightclub glasses must be half the size of normal ones - they seem to empty twice as fast!

Aaaaaaaaand now it’s 2am and our four closely related family members are so ballixed they can hardly recognise each other. Ah well, throw an arm around whoever is closest to ya, we’re all good friends here... the conversation will go like this

“Anyone hungry?”

“I could eat a nun’s arse through a convent gate.”

“Jaysus, I’d kill for some garlic curry cheese and bacon chips.”

.. and this gentle reader is what makes you feel ill the next day .. not the
8 pints of Guinness, 3 Whiskeys, 2 Vodkas, 2 Mohito's and something blue that had a camel twizzler, an umbrella and 3 slices of mango in it. (Note ... "Well MaryBeth had one - and she is an important figure in the notes world" is not an excuse that wears well the next day when you throw up on Fluffy!)

See you all at ILUG :-)

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