Pete’s been to War Torn countries.
Pearce enforcement, protecting oil rigs, all that.
He’s got weapons training, surveillance techniques, a history of experience in conflict resolution.
Now he’s here protecting the Champagne tent with me.
Does this when he’s off duty.
The most dangerous enemy today is those trying to smuggle drink in from the outside.
We have to be vigilant for dangerous contraband such as pints, plastic glasses, bottles of Budweiser or Heineken.
All these things might disturb the flow of money running steadily from the punter to the counter. (€240 a bottle of “Champers.”)
After a while, when the sun dipped, and it got a bit cold, and the most immediate danger had passed, he told me to go help Mike. “…He might be under a bit of pressure up there on his own…”
Mike was flat out busy alright, doing his best to stay awake against the front door. Shoulder against the wall, hands in his pockets, head leaning to one side, praying for a magic carpet home.
Inside. Most of the fake tanned orange peels were gone and there was only a few pink shirted carbos in sunglasses left.
There was a sense of too much lost money, and people wetting their lips with the last drop in the glass.
One fella kept trying to sing but no one was interested.
Myself and Mike talked shite.
Contemplated the clouds.
He wanted to know what’s it like to be a writer, all that.
We gave an odd one directions to the taxi rank.
Eventually he asked me: ‘Do you have a security licence, Mick?’
I told him no, I got the job on short notice, didn’t have time.
‘It’s handy enough,’ He said. ‘Just have to do a few days learnin about the law, and what you can do, and say, and what you can’t…’
‘What difference does it make when you’re applyin for work?’
‘Well, more money for a start, and better jobs, handier jobs Stuff that needs someone with cop on, not doin the shite that anyone can do…did you see your man mindin the horse?’
‘No. Who, what?’
‘Your man. Did you not see him?!’
‘Look over there. See your man standing beside the bronze statue of the horse?’
‘Well he’s mindin it.’
‘Mindin it from what?’
‘From drunk fuckers jumpin up tryin to ride it.’
‘Yeah, that’s his job, for the whole week we’re here. Rain, hail, shleet, or shnow he has to stand there and make sure no one hops up on that fuckin thing or falls off it, or tries to ride it or talk to it, or knock it over, or spill drink on it or….whatever else they might try.’
We watched him for a while.
He didn’t look to happy.
‘Great country.’ Said Mike eventually.