Street Dealer Can Do You 5 Litres of Weathershield On Tick
As the lockdown drags on and patience grows thin among the population, Corkonians are taking risks and doing all sorts of things they would never have done before.
Today, we bring you just one story, that of Finbarr from Ballinlough, which is typical of the extreme lengths people are willing to go to in these extraordinary times.
(All names have been changed to help convince you that this story is definitely true)
A gentle breeze fluttered up the Boreenmanna Road where Finbarr (not his real name, we swear) was waiting in the shadow of a darkened doorway. The warm April evening had brought more late-night walkers out than he expected which made him even more nervous.
He felt a trickle of sweat run down his brow as he checked his phone again. No missed calls or texts. This would be his first street deal – assuming he wasn’t rumbled by the twin bulb with Anglesea Street station only around the corner.
Anxious he’d be spotted by someone he knew, he buried his face in the collar of his jacket – it had been a warm day, but now, at 11 O’Clock at night, he could feel the April chill biting the tops of his ears.
He didn’t know what the dealer would look like. He didn’t even know his name. A friend of a friend had sent him a phone number and there was a curt exchange of texts. He was told to be alone, to have the cash ready and to wear gloves – he wondered if that request was because of the covid or to prevent finger prints on the cash. He knew he shouldn’t ask. The dealer might get cold feet.
Like most people in his position, he was desperate and with such limited supply during the lockdown, messing up this deal could have very serious consequences. Even the old doll had warned him to make sure to be on his guard.
Suddenly, the silence was broken by a hi-ace roaring up the empty road. Finbarr’s heart rate soared. This could be the feen.
As the van approached the driver flashed the headlights twice – this was definitely him. He braked hard, pulled up on the kerb startling Finbarr, and rolled down the passenger window.
“Sorry I’m late there boy, I’m up the walls with deliveries tonight. Slide open the back door and yours is the big one. Lob the cash in the window t’me there bubilla. We’ll call it two fifty even alright?”.
Fin did exactly as he was told. The wad of fifties had barely left his hand and landed on the passenger seat, when the van took off and roared away up the Boreenmanna again. No doubt on its way to extract the maximum from another desperate soul.
Finbarr’s fingers trembled as he opened the big cardboard box on the path to check he hadn’t been duped. His face lit up. This stash would keep him going for at least a week or two: 50 litres of white emulsion, five gallons of magnolia weather shield, a couple of drop cloths, four rollers, two trays and a big bag of brushes.
He couldn’t wait to haul it all home. The old doll would be deliriously happy, he had been driving her mad all week, hosing down and cleaning the windows. Again.
All over Cork in the last week or two the underground DIY trade has been booming. Paint shops that have announced that they are starting deliveries have been overwhelmed with orders. One city retailer allegedly had 1,500 missed calls the day after they were taking orders over the phone.
As the lockdown continues Corkonians have been doing their best to keep busy and as a result gafs all around the city and county are looking pure daycint.
Lawns have been cut, flowers planted, walls and gates have been painted, gutters have been cleaned, windows scrubbed and driveways and garages are looking spick and span. And that was all done on week one!
Cork’s soaring numbers of DIY enthusiasts are running out of things to do quickly and are desperate for a bit of outdoor action with the fine weather. We reckon that by next week power washers, kango hammers and bags of cement could be changing hands for thousands of euro.
Where are all the German supermarkets with their centre isle DIY offers when you need them? What good is a tent and a camping stove in the middle of a pandemic?
Although, on second thoughts if you fancy getting a night away from ‘Herself’ they could be handy as ‘Camping de la Back Garden’ is as far as you can get away from each other at the moment.
Who knows if the lockdown will be extended beyond May 5th, but if the Dublin government want to keep Corkonians in their gafs beyond that then they might have to nationalise paint and DIY shops!