Pre-Christmas: Declare that you won’t be going out on Stephen’s Night this year, as it’s always “packed and full of eejits”.
St Stephen’s Day, 12pm: Receive a text with details about predrinks. Acquiesce.
9pm: Arrive at predrinks loaded down with an assortment of drinks cobbled together from what your mam bought in the Big Christmas Shop.
10.30pm: Have a discussion about where everyone in the town ‘goes’ these days. Do people go to Murphy’s any more? Should we try there?
10.35pm: Agree that you won’t be going to Maguire’s as it’s now full of ‘young ones’.
11pm: Say “Shouldn’t we leave now?” Fail to leave now.
11.30pm: Say “We should really leave now.” Persuade a dad to drive two separate groups of ye into town.
12am: Squeeze into Maguire’s, the only place still letting people in. Ascertain that you were correct. Young ones, everywhere.
12.15am: See a friend’s little sister, who was in Fourth Class when you were in Leaving Cert, buying Jagerbombs. Feel slightly woozy.
12.30am: Meet a girl from your Leaving Cert Art class. Chat to her for a good 15 minutes before realising you can’t and will never be able to remember her name.
1am: Find yourself talking to Ms McLoughlin, that younger teacher you had in Leaving Cert. Earnestly tell her how you ‘loooove’ Dublin/Cork/Limerick/Belfast and yeah, you’re still really interested in Geography!
1.15am: Run into a family friend who a) hasn’t seen you in about ten years and b) cannot BELIEVE you are old enough to be in pubs now. I know! It’s gas!
1.45am: Observe a mate shifting someone you went to primary school with. Resolve to slag them every day for the rest of their lives.
2am: Lock eyes with an ex-flame for exactly one second as you make for the exit. Both of you pretend you didn’t see each other.
2.30am: Enter the local chipper to find a scene straight out of The Walking Dead. Battle through the crowds anyway because you’ll be damned if you don’t get a garlic cheese chip.
3am: Realise you’re dog tired and must get home immediately. IMMEDIATELY.
3.10am: Quickly discover that there are no taxis, and there may never be any taxis. Were there ever any taxis in this town? Panic.
3.20am: Start waving madly at hired taxis and regular drivers, too. Sure you might know one of them!
3.30am: Contemplate walking home for all of two seconds. Laugh at your foolishness.
3.40am: Get a lift with a friend’s brother’s friend, who evidently is just driving around town at 3.30am for the absolute craic.
4am: Finally arrive home and let yourself in, being quiet and careful so as not to wake your parents. Hear in the morning that in fact, you spent about ten minutes trying to get your key in the door, cursed loudly, and dropped the breadboard on the kitchen floor while making toast. (Yes, you got hungry again.)
4.15am: Eat leftover turkey with your hands. Take a fistful of Roses with you to bed, where you will remain until 12pm the next day, when your mam finally cracks and checks on you.