Peter Patter cartoon for 22/3/19
Peter Patter cartoon for 22/3/19 Ryan

From now on it's Irish stew for St Paddy's Day

AT THE risk of repeating myself, I've warned time and time again in this column that one shouldn't ever look forward to anything nor should one ever queue - for anything.

Well, my personal experiences have left me with that philosophy at least.

As I've explained before, I try not to look forward to anything because when I do, something invariably goes wrong.

And, as the world's most impatient human being, I simply hate queuing - especially behind people who dilly dally at the front, thereby delaying the rest of the line.

And, it happened again last weekend.

I had accompanied a couple of "mates" (for want of a better term) to Townsville for the Cowboys/Dragons game which was played on Saturday night, with St Patrick's Day the next day on Sunday.

As a Dragons supporter, the less said about the Saturday night game the better.

However, despite the disappointment of the game, I, as I always do each year, looked forward to celebrating St Patrick's Day.

Stupid me!

Magnetic Island might not be the first choice of revellers looking to celebrate St Paddy's Day but when we visit Townsville we usually jump on the ferry to the island for the day and that's where we headed on Sunday and settled into the pub at Horseshoe Bay which was indeed celebrating Ireland's Patron Saint Day.

Now, summer in the North Queensland tropics is hardly conducive to Irish stew but, as reported in this column before, I'm off meat for Lent (yes, I remembered the capital "L") so Irish stew was out in any case and I didn't like the sound of fish stew.

The three of us took seats at the window overlooking the bay and I couldn't help notice the young couple beside us had what looked like a magnificent spread of a seafood lunch.

Each had a plate which contained fresh prawns, Moreton Bay bug and sea mussels.

It was then I spotted a sign advertising the seafood lunch for two at $48 or a single plate for $26.

"That's the St Patrick's Day lunch for me," I announced to the "mates" and set off to order same.

Unfortunately, my "mate" Mick had accompanied me to the counter and got in first - thereby forming a two-man queue which, despite small in number, had me a little anxious just the same, my aversion to queues being well known.

I should have seen it coming.

Mick got in before me and ordered a single plate of seafood.

"Ah, you're the lucky last," the lady behind the counter beamed.

"Lucky last?" I openly wept.

Yes, being second in a two-man queue had forced me to miss out on the seafood lunch and I had to settle for some fried fare of crumbed calamari, crumbed fish (of some description), crumbed scallop and chips.

As I chomped down on the fried fare I suspected that this particular serving of seafood had, rather than been recently plucked from the ocean nearby, had more likely been retrieved from the pub's freezer as back-up for when the fresh stuff ran out.

Mick was already in my bad books from the night before and here he was "stealing" my lunch.

The night before, I'd arranged for a Townsville-based mate to pick us up from our motel on The Strand and drive us across town to the stadium for the game. About a half-hour drive.

My mate had even arranged three grandstand tickets for us to the game.

The point here is, Mick - who is known as the world's tightest man - didn't have to pay for any of it.

Yet, that didn't stop him from being late for the taxi home after the game, leaving me, ever impatient, to jump in the front seat, hence being left with the $70 cab fare back to our digs.

So, as I said, Mick was already in the bad books before he jumped the two-man queue and hogged the last of the cold fresh seafood lunch.

Isn't enough that I have to lose at the footy, should I really be expected to lose at the taxi home and Sunday lunch too?



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