Distorte is a collection of stories written by Pierce Gleeson

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The Gin Cart

The gin cart rolls onto our street. “Gin rations!” cries the driver. “Come on and get your gin rations!” Everyone walks out to the road to see what he’s talking about.

“C’mon now folks,” he says standing at the back of the cart with tap in hand. “I can’t rightly deliver your gin if you don’t bring out containers for me to fill.”

“What’s going on here?” asks my neighbour. “What’s this gin for?”

“A government initiative,” says the driver. “The new Taoiseach’s idea. A little distraction, since we’re heading for this recession. Time to get back to the good old days. I’ll be delivering rations every Tuesday and Friday, regular.”

“I can’t get drunk now!” says one woman. “What about my baby?” She has a baby.

“A teaspoon or two added to his bottle should see for him,” says the driver, nodding kindly.

“I don’t like gin. Have you go any vodka?” asks the girl next to me.

“‘Fraid not miss. Can’t be wasting good potatoes, what with the way things are headed. See it takes nothing but a bit of soggy half-ripe grain to make a fine gin. You’ll get used to it. C’mon now folks, I don’t have all day.”

Everyone goes back inside and comes out with pots and basins and water-bottles. The driver whistles a tune as he directs the hose through the crowd. The smell is overpowering. After he leaves we all stand around and make confused conversation for a few minutes before wandering back inside. By evening I can hear whoops and dancing from every lit house on the street.

Written by Pierce Gleeson
Posted on the 16 May, 2008