It was the end of an era down at The Hole in the Wall pub this lunchtime as the last ever Carrolls 100 was smoked. A minute silence was observed between the 12.40 from Aintree and the 12.45 from somewhere else.
There was a sense of a circle being completed as local woman Janice Carroll took out the last fag from her 100s box. As she removed the extra long cancer stick, the fag box began to play a message, like a musical birthday card, informing her that she held in her yellowed fingers, the very last Carrolls 100 produced in Dundalk. It was up to her what she did with it.
A hush kem around the pub. In a bid to get close to the commotion, a prematurely aged 43 year-old forgot that all fixtures were bolted to the floor. He cut his leg as he tried to move a chair out of the way. Locals gagged his mouth and the minute silence was observed with muffled screams of pain. It seemed fitting.
After the minute silence, Janice popped the fag in her gob and with her other hand held a pink lighter, her thumb poised to strike. But something stopped her, perhaps a sense of history. It’s not every day Drogheda gets one over on Dundalk.
“I’ve lived a life before this moment,” she said. “And I’ll live a life after this moment. I won’t let it define me.”
Janice took some time. All eyes went from the fag to her lighter and back again. To put things into historical perspective, a similar scene occurred on Easter Island. A native with an axe stood looking at the last tree on the island.
Maybe, just maybe, that native’s surname was Tree. With a breath as deep as her ashen lungs would allow Janice said “Fuck it. My name’s Carroll so it was meant to be,” and sparked up the fag.
Whether civilization collapses in Drogheda remains to be seen.