‘Not A Mad One’ Turns Into Mad One


DESPITE the best intentions of all involved, a Waterford BBQ/get-together that had been promised to ‘not be a mad one’ turned out, in actual fact, to be a mad one in the late hours of yesterday evening. Here’s how the grave turn of events played out in the O’Driscoll household yesterday.

2PM: Buoyed by the downward-trending Covid numbers in Ireland as well as the loosened restrictions, Waterford man Eric O’Driscoll and his wife Emma decide that they will host a BBQ, inviting one friend each. That friend is also allowed to bring one friend or partner, making a total of 6 people . Although this already breaches the ‘four people’ restriction, it is agreed that they will be safe as this is ‘not a mad one’.

2:30PM: Invitations are sent, and replied to positively. Friends ask if they should bring anything with them. They are assured that there is no need to by O’Driscoll, who again states that this is not a mad one.

3PM: With the BBQ smoking, O’Driscoll’s friends Patrick and Philomena Rourke arrive. Despite being told not to bring anything, they have arrived with a healthy assortment of alcoholic beverages. Everyone pours a drink. Nothing appears out of the ordinary. It is, demonstrably, not a mad one.

3:30PM: Emma’s friends Helen and Sheila arrive, along with two more people that they have invited without asking. Eric and Emma have a discussion about whether or not to continue the party given that they are now at twice the allowed amount of people. Concerns are also raised about whether or not there’s enough BBQ to go around. The new guests laugh that they ‘only came to drink’. A slight hint of madness begins to creep into the day.

5:30PM: Two hours have passed and the BBQ has been joined by both sets of neighbours from each side, all bringing their own beer and wine.  Although initially kept outside, many guests are now inside the house as well, having moved in to use the bathroom or just to get out of the sun. Neither Emma nor Eric make any move to stop their guests, as they don’t want to be seen as arseholes. Both are increasingly drunk. The BBQ has gone out. Any signs of this not being a mad one are starting to erode.

6:30PM: Word filters in to the group via social media that the Covid-19 numbers for Ireland are even lower than they were the previous day, giving cause for celebration and a sense of ease for Eric and Emma that they’ll ‘be grand’. With alcohol supplies dwindling, the party looks set to wind up at any minute. If this happens and the crowd disperses, a mad one will have been averted.

7PM: The decision is made to call one of Eric’s pals who has just gotten off work, and tell him to ‘land over’. This friend, Mark Harris, is asked to pick up a consignment of alcohol in the off-licence, with Eric revoluting him the price of it to his account. It is at this stage that scales of the night tip over into ‘mad one’.

9:30PM: It is unclear how many people are in the house. Emma has passed out and been put to bed by her husband. He tells everyone to keep the noise down or the neighbour will complain. Someone points out that most of the neighbours are either already here, or having parties of their own. With alcohol supplies dwindling, everyone breaks out whatever drugs they have – it is a mad one.

8AM: Eric wakes up on the sofa. Everyone is gone. He is tremendously hungover but cannot remember if last night was really all that mad. He gets up and goes upstairs to bed where Emma is already awake. She’s got a bit of a sore throat and a cough, but seems fine otherwise. “Not sure where it came from, to be honest,” she concludes.