December 22nd, 2005

The Iceman

Eugene O'Neil's The Iceman Cometh tells the story of an Irish bar in a nowhere town, where most of the patrons don't really work, unless knocking back pints and shots is a profession. Most of them are failed artists, misguided lovers or simply folk in search of a light at the end of a tunnel they can't find.

The only bright light or vision of success they find is The Iceman. He's the rare success that comes into the bar on a regular basis, buys rounds of drinks for those who can't afford them and tells them that they can have a better life and future.

O'Neil clearly knew something about Irish bars and the people who inhabit them, and Fitzpatrick's has its own verson of the Iceman - a jolly, if sometimes cynical man who comes in several times a week - and makes us all feel a little bit better about ourselves.

This grey haired Brit is the father of the two best behaved teenagers I have ever met - one of them a super talented tennis player, the other a budding real estate tycoon.

Whenever the Iceman arrives at the bar he is able to figure out - without saying a word - who needs a drink but is short of coin. He or she will then have a full glass for the rest of the night, without any feeling of humilation - which is the best and hardest way to make someone feel a little better.

The Iceman simply knows what little things can make a difference. When Rome Girl was stuck in New York, the Iceman somehow found out that I like to read trashy paperbacks (which are expensive here) - and that I was bored and lonely. Suddenly, every day or two a package of paperbacks would appear at the bar when I walked in - always ones that were good. This simple act made my life 100 times better than it would have been otherwise. Yet, he's never once asked for anything in return.

Most days the underpaid barstaff of Fitzpatrick's are given free food by the bar, but on Sundays they are left to fend for themselves. The Iceman figured this out, and now brings hot meals from the Lucious Lipstick Lesbians to the hungry boys every Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, beer would be their only breakfast.

The Iceman is a master of aplomb, but no wimp. When the French government recently screwed him out of his business, his solution involved a baseball bat. Of that episode I will say no more - except that he did the right thing and got away with it - no simple feat in this town on the edge of nowhere.

Raise a glass of Guinness to the Iceman - may his days be long and his nights longer.


Holy Fucking Shit!

Rome Girl just gave me my Xmas present!

It's a playstation2 with Final Fantasy x - the gift I have asked for for 5 years and never gotten.

I've got to get married to this girl.