You just can’t beat a good quote, can ya?

No, I haven’t gone corporate and sold out to an insurance company (we sell out for booze and cash only, fyi). When I say quote here, I’m not referring to that annual screwjob that motorists find themselves coughing up for, I’m speaking, instead, about the particular branch of language and literature that we all come back to for assurance and guidance at some point in our lives.

Whether you’re a low-level dealer who wants to inform Old Bill that you exclusively accept judgement from a higher power or you’re a prospective Trinity Graduate seeking concise use of the Latin tongue for your philosophy assignment, or anywhere between – we’re all happy to be defined by quotes that connect with us, quotes that move us. In modernity where social standing is often predicated by online presence, quotations fit perfectly into a space where succinctness is key. Spend a day on Twitter and observe what goes viral and what doesn’t and you’ll know all about people’s fondness for short expressive statements. But, inversely, you’ll also see how all quotations are not born equally – and it’s with that in mind that I’d like you to consider the following two quotes:

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.”

“I fuckin love Chaplins, grand little boozer.”

They probably don’t appear to be, but these two quotes share a connection. It may be tentative and completely contrived for the sole purpose of this article but hey, a tentative contrived connection is still a connection. The first quote, as I’m sure some will have recognised, is one from Charlie Chaplin. Not someone I’ve been overly familiar with down through the years, I can happily say that having spent a precious hour of my employer’s time on Chaz’s Wikipedia page that I do like the cut of the man. He’s most certainly the type of lad whom you’d consider a worthy of having a pub named in his honour – and yes, this is where Chaplin’s gets its name from, but we’ll come back to that in a couple of paragraphs’ time.

The second quotation is one from someone who hasn’t yet quite reached the dizzying heights of fame that The Tramp did back in the early 1900s – Pintman №3. But I thought it appropriate to include because isn’t it an honest appraisal after all. Pintman №3 knows the score, he worked in close proximity to Chaplin’s so you know his assessment of the place isn’t a spurious one. Bolstering my surety in his assessment of the place is his disclosure in a text message, which follows the aforementioned quotation, that he’s sat in a pub close to his office putting some finishing touches on a bit of work he has to hand in that afternoon. If only my job was like that.

My job isn’t like that. But I do get plenty of time to write these posts on the sly so I suppose I better get back to Chaplin’s. As alluded to above – the pub is named after the most world’s most famous Chaplin – Charlie. The reason for this is explained in a claim made on the pub’s website stating that himself once visited the premises while on holiday to Ireland, they opt not to disclose any further inforation regarding this visit thereafer. I’ve had a poke around and haven’t been able to substantiate the claim to such a degree of accuracy to put Charlie in the same address on Hawkins’ St, but it is noted that he performed as part of a Clog Dancing troupe named The Eight Lancashire Lads in The Theatre Royal Hippodrome, which sat on Hawkins’ Street itself. So he has at least that association with the street at the very least.

Almost ecclesiastical in its appearance, Chaplin’s is characterised, in my mind at least, by the set of three or four wooden stands which sit in the pub’s main expanse. These carved, overhang-less structures look like they’d be more geared toward affording a foundation to a large candle in the pro-cathedral instead of housing a rake of pints, but they get the job done well enough. Along with these, the pub offers ample ledge space for further pint perching options and there are a few dividers along the span of these also.
I’d tend to describe the pub’s size as being somewhere between the small and the medium. It’s a dark enough spot but retains just about enough illumination to escape it being labelled as ‘too dark’. A bit of stained glass around the room adds a certain charm and there’s plenty of decoration on the wall, some of which we decided was probably a set of postcards depicting the various works on show in The National Gallery.

Seating is kept fairly uniform- the front of the pub offers high seating on exclusive means, with all the lower seating kept the back of the room which closes in, conforming to the building’s curve. The bar itself is relatively small to other’s around the city but is a good size relative to the room. The drink options lean more toward the old reliables but there tends to be a few choices for those feeling more adventurous. The Guinness is not to a standard that it’s ever set my world alight but I’ve heard it lauded by a few people over the years. On balance, I find it a decent enough pint – certainly nothing to ever consider avoiding. As far as the finances go – it was selling for €5.20 a fill upon the last time that we visited, which would have been around December 2018.

So seeing as we’ve put such an emphasis on quotation here, it’s probably fitting that we re-emphasise Pintman №3’s previous sentiment and agree that Chaplin’s is indeed a – “grand little boozer” and one we’ve always found to be simple in its approach and as somebody once said: Simplicity of approach is always best.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ambassador O’Hanrahan, Mr Prime Minister, Esteemed members of the Nobel Committee, I thank you all for coming to my lecture today and I would like to begin by asking you a question – Have you ever encountered the condition Paris Syndrome? For those of you who haven’t, please allow me to explain.

Predominately affecting Japanese tourists, Paris Syndrome is a condition resultant of a person’s realisation that the capital city of France is not the idealised ‘city of love’ that they had conjured up in their minds from all the portrayals of it they had seen through the years. This particular category of culture-shock can apparently reach a level of such severity that it elicits physiological symptoms in those who suffer from it. These have been known to include dizziness, sweating, vomiting and hallucinations.

The reason I mention the above-described syndrome is due to the fact that it draws many parallels with that syndrome which we are most concerned with in this lecture today – The Dublin Syndrome. While not confined to the defined region of the Irish Capital, the affliction is named after the native origin of Patient Zero who presented in a Dublin clinic upon his return home from a short break in a European capital city.

Described as an acute disassociation from one’s own affinity with their original place of origin upon repatriation from a short and enjoyable spell spent abroad, Dublin Syndrome can be brought about by many underlying factors. One prevailing aspect of each patient who presented was their inclination to over-romanticise their place of origin. This romanticisation was noted as being compounded by many factors including the consumption of positively-biased social media pertaining to their place of origin and indulgence in local customs, patient zero being noted as a regular participant in the Irish phenomenon known as ‘the craic’.

Dublin Syndrome has been identified as occurring sometime between when a person returns from a short holiday and close to when the sufferer begins to throw their own internal romanticisation of their hometown into doubt. In each case, this doubt was the result of the patient having juxtaposed aspects of their hometown against those which are more favourable in the place they have recently visited. These include, but are not limited to, weather conditions, alcohol pricing, bar and club opening hours, cuisine, etc, etc.

Ultimately this leaves the patient questioning their previously perceived status quo, commonly the patient will, unfruitfully, seek to re-evaluate their connection to their hometown. Physiological effects similar to Paris Syndrome such as dizziness, sweating, vomiting and hallucinations have been recorded but leading researchers have not been able to isolate these from symptoms commonly found in patients suffering from The Fear, a separate condition in itself – which many sufferers of Dublin Syndrome also simultaneously presented with.

Following innumerable vaccine trials and inestimable hours of research, leading researchers have discovered an effective treatment for sufferers of Dublin Syndrome. The treatment, which also is said to be effective in fighting The Fear, was discovered in a manner befitting the discovery of penicillin, given the serendipity involved.

It was one particular evening when upon my way home in Dublin, that I happened upon Patient Zero as he passed from Pearse Street to Westland Row. Noticing that he was beleaguered with symptoms at the time I took the opportunity to candidly observe the patient in the wild lieu of approaching him. As he reached the top of the street, the patient stopped at Kennedy’s public house and after a moment of contemplation, he entered. Being in the dark wooden environs of the pub and having stepped upon the tiled flooring the patient appeared to experience an improvement in their symptoms as they ordered a drink.

Awaiting this drink, the patient was noted to have observed portraits of writers which hung about the walls of the pub. In later interviews, he would come to explain the calming effect brought about in realising that ‘Beckett, Behan and Joyce would’ve drank here themselves’. The patient even goes as far as to say that it is at this early stage when he first begins to experience the return of, what he described as, “pangs” of older romanticised “notions”.

The patient is then noted to have observed nearby Joycean relic – Sweny’s pharmacy through one of the many large windows in the pub as he set about ingesting the first portion of the alcoholic beverage he had previously purchased. The analgesic effect of this is observed as having occurred faster than expected with the patient appearing more comfortable than at any time since having presented. This comfort is perceived to subside somewhat as the patient reads the figure, which is later clarified as €5.50, on a receipt which had been issued to him with the beverage. This is then countenanced when the subject medicates himself further with the beverage he had bought.

I continue to observe the patient as he self-medicates, increasing his dosage as he goes. As he begins to risk overmedication, I note that he has begun to interact with control subjects. It is at this point that the subject begins to drink whiskey and puts themselves at risk of overmedication. As he begins to sing a folk song about a triangle I decide to interject and return the patient back to the test facility for evaluation. His reaction to this is made in a positive tone as he enquires whether we are going to “a session”.

In the weeks following the trial, the patient is observed on a semi-regular basis and is deemed to have made a near-full recovery. He continues to bemoan the grievances such as the price of the pint, closing hours, and local climate on a smaller scale. But researchers cannot rule out the possibility that such behaviour did not predate the patient’s contraction of The Dublin Syndrome.

The year is 2053 and the end is nigh! Global warming, nuclear warfare, global pandemic, zombie apocalypse – picture it however you see fit. I was thinking about how certain subcultures would get on in some sort of apocalyptic scenario there the other day and ultimately I came to realise that the first set of the general population to start to see rapid attrition, aside from the infirm, will ultimately have to be the hipsters.

My hypothesis is based on two main ideas – firstly the veganism. Now I’m not for a moment going to knock vegans – fair play to them! Especially those who do it properly. But the type of fad veganism that hipsters tend to have a proclivity toward can’t be good for the system – taking all of that iron out of the equation just to look cool can only mean one thing– anaemia. And the anaemic are certainly at a loss when our plague-stricken sun scorched, sea-swelled, radioactive night of the living dead doomsday scenario plays out.

Secondly, and this is something a chiropractor or a spinal surgeon might easily school us on, but it seems to me that the variety of mismatched, rigid and antiquated seating one tends to happen upon in The Bernard Shaw and its contemporaries just cannot be the type that leaves your spine in a better shape than it would have been prior to use. I’m near-on certain that we’ll have a good cohort of grey-haired hunchback hipsters knocking about the place telling us how they collected their pensions before it was cool come 2053. And lord knows that they’ll be ripe for the pickin’ when all of the looters and the undead come rummaging around the gaff at end of days.

So, The Bernard Shaw. Name after Portobello’s most famous Nobel Laureate (who, himself, shortened his name by dropping the George at the start of it), this pub is one held in the same regard by the hipster class as St Paul’s Cathedral would be by subscribers to Catholicism. It’s a boozer which tends to be revered by cooler kids than I for its exterior rather than its interior. We’re told that the beer garden is extensive and that there’s a double decker bus somehow involved in the whole setup. Unfortunately all of this is a bit lost on me – my take on al fresco drinking being that it is better done on grass and through the thriftier means of cans. And as for drinking on a bus, personally I wouldn’t want to risk a Vietnam flashback of some of the things I’ve seen on the 27 down throughout the years.

As with all pubs, our concern lies mainly with the interior.

More Cockney flower girl than toast of London, the pub is comprised of three main sections – the front bar, triangular in its layout, screams twenty minute lunch rather than six pint session – although there is something to be said for its purpose as a prime people-watching real estate. Closing in acutely, this section leads toward a small set of steps which bring you to the lower area of the pub – this in turn houses a larger seating area complete with DJ box and the third section of the pub – a tiled corridor, in essence, sits at the back of the building. The aesthetic of the place is standard hipster chic – rough and ready – characterised by mismatched minimalist furniture and perpetually changing artwork.

Pint-wise, the main complaint is to be made in relation to the price. €5.70 is the sum charged for a Guinness – which, in fairness, was a bit of a majestic drop. Along with the stout – and as you’d expect from such a place – there’s a wide range of craft on offer too.

It was always unlikely that we were ever going to come to extol the virtues of this place. At best for us, it’s a decent lesson in subjectivity – people love it! And we’re fine with that. But with that said, our likelihood of return is probably most appropriately summed up with Shavian parlance – “not bloody likely”.