Paddy The Pintman and the search for a pint during lockdown

Paddy The Pintman is a sprightly 45-year-old County Kerry farmer. He is an only son lives alone with his mother Bridey on the 20-acre farm he inherited from his father.

They eke out a living from raising a modest herd of cattle and from EU subsidies.

Paddy The Pintman earned his nickname when as a 15-year-old he proudly broke the village record by drinking fifteen pints of Guinness in one go.

Closure of pubs have Paddy concerned

The virus crisis and subsequent lockdown of pubs and bars had Paddy concerned.

“Jaysus,” says Paddy The Pintman to himself, “tis nothing short of a holy terror. All the fecking pubs shut-down over this virus thingy and me with a thirst on me like a camel’s knickers.”

Paddy didn’t really grasp the inner workings of camels, but we can understand his sentiments.

“I means” he continued talking aloud to himself — a habit he was prone to, “What’s a man to do? Here I am dying for a decent pint, and the fecking two pubs in Ballygereen are closed!

“Not even the auld double-tap on the back door will get you in likes it does on Christmas morning or Good Friday back in the good auld days when ’twas illegal to go to the pubs on Good Friday, so it was. And there’s nothing sweeter than the taste of an illegal pint.”

To Make Matters Worse

To make matters worse after fifteen years of contemplation and humming and hawing to himself along with considering all the pros and the cons Paddy had finally decided to ask Young Josie Murphy the barmaid in O’Sullivan’s out for an evening’s stroll, which in Ballygereen is considered among the first steps of courtship. Now Josie was nowhere to be found.

While Paddy was still only a sprightly 45, his mother Bridey was getting on in years, and Paddy thought that to have a young girl like Josie around the house to help with the cooking and washing and caring for his mother would be a good thing, or at least worth the inconvenience of having to deal with another woman in the house.

All Planned

Paddy had his plan formulated, he had intended to proposition Josie that very night. He had hoped to first tell her about the suckling calves he had recently purchased along with a couple of acres with road-frontage then he would drop the “would you be up for taking a stroll on Sunday Josie” question.

“But shur, that’s all fecked now, so it is,” thought Paddy. “I can’t even get into O’Sullivan’s for a decent pint, never mind popping the question to Josie.”

Empty Village

“Jaysus,” Paddy articulated to no one else while he drove his new tractor down Ballygereen’s only street. 

“There’s not a sinner around, even the five or six auld-lads who normally sit be the bridge spitting and farting in unison are self-isolating.” Paddy who was a noted and keen observer of the village’s comings and goings said out loud.

Panic Buying

Paddy The Pintman hadn’t had the foresight to panic-buy a few cans of Guinness or a couple of dozen rolls of toilet-paper from Mrs O’Shea’s shop when he had the chance. Funnily enough for a man who downed in and around twelve pints a night in O’Sullivan’s Bar and Lounge he never took to canned stout. 

“Gives me an awful dose of the runs so it does,” he once remarked. And again, to be honest, Paddy never was a great man for personal hygiene and looked on five-ply toilet paper as a terrible extravagance.

“Shur Jaysus what’s the point of wasting good money on bog-roll when you have plenty of last weeks Farmer’s Journal lying around the house,” was one of Paddy the Pintman’s strongly held economic beliefs.”

Problem Sorted

As previously mentioned Paddy had what can only be described as a terrible thirst. Again speaking to no one but himself he said out loud.

 “I mean Jaysus, ’tis nearly eleven in the morning and I haven’t had a sup of Guinness down inside me. The mother is fed and watered, the few head of cattle are counted and I’m desperately seeking a drop of the black stuff.

“I have it,” says Paddy The Pintman as he tied a length of a chain around the bars of O’Sullivan’s back window and attached it to the tow-bar of the tractor. One pull was all that was needed and Paddy was soon inside and pulling his own pints. He was found four days later as drunk as a lord but with a great big smile on his face.

Self-isolation in style, they don’t call him Paddy The Pintman for nothing.