Illustrations by Ted Pearce
It was the summer of 1996 and me and some mates decided to head to the Blue Jeans festival in Athboy, County Meath. As we weren’t quite eighteen yet and considering how difficult it was to acquire alcohol underage, the only option was to buy speed.
Well on this particular occasion I had a pretty good hook up and said I’d sort out some mates. As usual it was fucking long and when he came through he was like, ‘Sorry buddy, no speed, here’s some E’s’. They didn’t want pills. But, fearing I’d look a total dickhead, I handed over the cash and thought, fuck it, I’ll work something out.
Some of my mates hadn’t even done pills yet and they would have been adverse to the idea so I thought, fuck it, they’ll never know the difference. So I went about crushing up all the pills in mixing them evenly with some tasteless white tablets I’d found in my house and dispensed the mix into wraps. I was now officially going to spike all my mates. Well done. Anyway we took the specially arranged bus out to Athboy from Navan with all our mates, most knocking back two litres of Magners and asking of the whereabouts of their speed.
I knew a few people on the bus would want a bit, taste the mix and notice the difference either making me look like a cunt or giving the dude I got the ’speed’ off a bad rep. So I said I was meeting him in Athboy. When we got there I said I had to meet him on the edge of town, so I took my mate Stumpy with me. He was going to keep the dick whilst I sorted all the speed.
I told him what was going on and when we got out of eyesight of everyone we went up this alleyway between housing estates. I began taking the wraps out of my socks when this massive Garda, a real pig looking one too, came up behind me and was all, ‘What’s going on here lads?’. in that typical condescending cop tone. Fuck. I wanted to kill Stumpy. There was no escaping this one. Anyways he led us to the cop car, no cuffs, and all I could imagine was court, judges and my dad’s disappointment/furious anger. Fuck this.
He told me to stand on one side of the car while he put Stumpy in the door on the far side of the car. Again I could feel the impending rage of my father and I just began running. The Gard was a little hesitant before chasing after me and just shouted, ‘Come back! You’re only making it worse!’, I just kept running I didn’t really look back. He was in his mid to late forties and pretty overweight. He’d never catch me. However as this was the edge of town in the middle of nowhere there was going to be a lot of running. And there was a new estate being erected too so he was chasing me through the foundations of a soon to be housing estate.
I can remember clearing a massive trench and after that looked back and he’d given up. This would’ve been amazing news could I have gotten back to Navan somehow but I couldn’t. There is no public transport in rural Ireland. Coupled with the fact I was too freaked out to walk the road fearing there’d be a car out looking for me. Separating Athboy and Navan was pure bogland. And I’d just come out in some new Air Max’s. Predominantly white ones. Possibly white 501’s too, it was ‘96.
I just remembered as he hadn’t searched me I still had a bunch of shit on me so I decided to just do the whole lot in one drop which was about two pills, maybe more. Anyway long story short I managed to trudge through fields of quagmire, bog, sheep, cows all fucking sorts and by the time I got near Navan, it was dark. I was completely wired to the moon the whole way through this ordeal too, stopping occasionally to talk to cows and the local wildlife.
When I plucked up the courage to go back on the road, the minute I stumbled over the field gate a car pulled up almost instantaneously, the lights blinding me in the process. They were Navan Gards and were asking about a local robbery at a house and judging by the state of me decided I was the culprit. I fed them some line about having just split with my girlfriend and I was out having a walk to clear my head. They bought it rather easily and drove me back into town. I only then thought, fuck, what happened to Stumpy? Well, as soon as the Gard started chasing after me it occurred to him to do the same, however his only escape was into the town which was full of police due to the Blue Jeans festival, but he went to a junior disco, as they were so called, swapped clothes, borrowed a hat and headed back later that night on the bus we came out on. I learned fuck all from this episode other than always run from the police and never rip off your mates. Which is something I guess.