So I was out of the country for a few days last week on one of my occasional business trips “out forrin” and came back to Dublin Airport on Friday night.

With these trips, I always find myself coming back on the Friday night and, where possible, I prefer to spend the night in Dublin rather than driving down to Nenagh in the dead of night. When I *do* stay in Dublin, it’s at the Bewley’s Airport Hotel. I park the car at the hotel when flying out and, on my return, spend the Friday night in the hotel and drive home on the Saturday morning.

I am frequently asked by the family to bring back some goodies from the airport shop. Perfume, choccies and alcohol are the favourite requests. It so happened that my brother turned 60 last week and it was suggested that on my way back last Friday, I might buy him a bottle of something nice for his birthday. This I did – a nice bottle of Jim Beam. I bought a bottle of Bushmills for myself and assorted other goodies for other family members.

I arrived back at the airport a bit before 10 a.m. Got my bags and caught the free shuttle bus to Bewley’s. I checked in, dropped my bags in my room and popped down to the lobby for a bite to each, a few pints and a good old run at the free wi-fi that Bewley’s provide (and *why* don’t *more* hotels and facilities provide free wi-fi. I mean, in this day and age…).

Having suitably refreshed myself, I returned to my bedroom. The very first thing I noticed as I opened the door was the rather remarkable smell as I entered the room. It took me a few moments to register that the smell was that of neat bourbon. Oh dear, trouble…I found my backpack where I’d stashed my bottles, took it into the bathroom and discovered that the bottle of Jim Beam had broken in the bag and had leaked out completely. That would explain the large damp patch on the carpet which smelled of bourbon. I was rather annoyed with myself, as you can imagine. I opened the window to try and dissipate the strong alcholic odour (it was starting to give me a headache, as it happens). I dressed for bed and went to sleep.

The following morning, I showered, dressed, broke fast, packed and checked out. I headed down to the basement car park to begin the long journey to Nenagh, which would merely be the precursor to a further long trip from Nenagh to Castleisland, to visit my brother and give him the bottle of whisky. Which I now no longer had. The problem of how I was going to rectify this matter paled into insignificance when I went to unlock the car to open the boot. The zapper wouldn’t work, no matter how often I pressed the damn buttons. Then the thought occured to me – the zapper had been in the backpack too. Had the liquor penetrated the zapper? If so, how could I get it to work again?

I returned to the hotel lobby and rang Mrs P. to tell her of my predicament. I had no real idea what to do – the older I get, the harder I find it is to think straight in emergency situations. We’d probably have to cancel the trip to Castleisland, but how would I get home? And how would I get the car home if I couldn’t get it started? I had a spare zapper at home. Would I get someone to bring it up to me, or would I get a bus home and come back up to Dublin the next day myself with the zapper? And how much would the extra day’s parking cost me?

Then, of course, I did the thing I *should’ve* done in the first place – ring the Automobile Association. I spoke to a nice guy at the help desk and explained my theory about the zapper. He reckoned it was just a flat battery and nothing much to worry about. The fact that a little pilot light flashed on the zapper when pressed seemed to indicate that the zapper was not the source of my problem. An AA van would reach the hotel within 40 minutes, he said. I updated Mrs. P. on the situation – we’d wait to see what would happen and then look at Plans B – Z.

The AA guy turned up after 20 minutes. I explained the situation to him, we went down to the basement, located the car and assessed the situation. In order to “boost” the battery, we’d have to pop the bonnet, but since the zapper wouldn’t work, how would we open the car to pop the bonnet in the first place. It was then I found about the little key which is stored within the zapper. The AA guy extracted it from the zapper and gave it to me to open the driver’s door. The door opened and the alarm was set off – the zapper cancelled the alarm. I popped the bonnet and the AA guy used his booster pack to give a quick charge to the battery. The car started instantly and my problem was solved. I thanked the AA guy, loaded up the bags and hit the road, only an hour late.

And the reason why the battery was flat? I’d turned on an interior light to look for something in the car when I parked it up. And forgot to turn it off. Four days later, battery drained…:-(.

When I got home, I changed my clothes, had a cup of coffee and explained the situation to Mrs P. She got a good giggle out of it, bless her. We then headed down to Castleisland, where I gave my brother the bottle of Bushmills that I’d bought specially for him…;-).

Regards,

djp

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