I used to race an old man to work every morning.
I say race. I’m one hundred percent sure he wasn’t a willing contestant.
Let me explain.
I lived in Stoneybatter for a few years and being the creature of habit that I am, I’d leave the house at 6.20am on the dot. No sooner. No later.
This gave me plenty of time to stroll down to the Quays, past George’s Street and on to Stephen’s Green. I was in work at ten to seven, giving me time to change my shoes and make a cuppa before starting.
About three weeks after starting this routine I noticed that when I got to the meeting of Aughrim and Prussia Street there was and old man who would be on the opposite side of the road at the exact time that I reached that point. He would get to George’s Street and Stephen’s Green just slightly behind me allowing for the extra time he had to take crossing Manor Street.
A fellow creature of habit.
All well and good until one day I saw that he started taking a short cut at D.C.C. and arriving sooner at the, for want of a better word, check points of our journey.
I don’t know about you but I was having none of that.
Now, I could have easily sped up my step in order to take back the position but that’s not the way it works.
No. There must be rules on how to race an old man to work.
Due to the fact there in no governing body for this sport, and I have yet to see it at the Olympics, I had to come up with some.
1. No increase of pace.
2. No putting yourself in danger by walking into traffic. (Although you can cross at a Red Man)
3. Looking at Google maps for the best possible route is allowed
So, I jumped in to action.
I could make up time my cutting through Smithfield Square but then he countered with nipping down Drury Street.
I went down Shies Lane and he would go down Smock Alley.
Every time I thought of a new way he would counteract and leave me at the door of my job last, cursing him like a baddie in a comic book.
“I’LL GET YOU NEXT TIME”
How dare he? He didn’t invent “racing an old man to work”.
Anywho, I have since moved and thought nothing of it. My days as World Champion Racing An Old Man To Work days were over.
That was until two weeks ago when during Storm Frank he arrived on the bus.
Of course, he sat further up the bus insuring his arrival at the bus stops before me.
Damn him and his wise head.
I had a plan. With him not knowing the rules I could stand up early get to the door first and be down Dawson Street and finally win one last time.
As I was about to get off I got a nudge, he pushed past and I’m sure I heard him say, “Come on then”.
Grey Ridge Brewery