As the Queen lay on her deathbed surrounded by family and friends with fleeting seconds left in her life, she managed to sputter out her final words, a testament to the young and old worldwide, “That rat bastard Reily Scott is gonna have a sick night at the club because of me.” And so it was.
It was 6:30pm on September 8th, 2022 when word hit the press that the Queen of England had died. I was at school in Cork, Ireland due to my Fall semester suspension from Kenyon. I was walking to my local pub, Cissie Youngs, for a few pints. As I approached the baby blue exterior of the building, I could hear a fiddle, a viola, and chants coming from within. Nothing out of the ordinary, but as I stepped through the doors and up to the bar, a certain cheer which was uncharacteristic of the Irish illuminated the tavern. I walked up to my familiar tender Miles to ask for a Guinness when he turned to me with a grin on his face and said “Did ye hear? Did ye hear the news? That old coont is 6 feet oonder, lad!” Wow I thought to myself, how did he know my high school english teacher got hit by a semi? But seconds later he blurted out, “THE QUEEN IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE IRA!” Then it dawned on me so I checked my phone, and sure as hell the Queen was dead, and sure as hell my night had just begun.
After a handful of pints and some banter with the oldheads at Cissie’s, I decided that this was a night I would only experience once in my life. I couldn’t blackout and miss it. So I took a stroll down the street to my favorite pizza joint, Tom Barry’s, and ordered the classic Picasso Pizza fresh with olives, chorizo, peppers, onions, and the ordinary pizza ingredients. Of course I got their 15 euro pizza and beer deal and sipped on a Moretti as I wait for my za to cook. At this point it was close to 9pm and as I sat there, drooling expectantly, I was approached by a group of 8 young men about my age. The seeming leader of this gaggle walked up to me and informed me that he found my appearance “handsome” and “sexy”. I thanked him kindly and took a look at the rest of the gentlemen. It soon became apparent, after I asked if it was so, that every single one of these men were gay. What were the chances! We all chatted casually then one of the guys pulled a bottle out of his pocket and offered it to me. I inquired curiously what this concoction was. “Poppers” he said. I had heard of poppers before and knew it was a tool that gay men used to loosen their buttholes for sex, but also offered a buzz when sniffed. As someone who is always open to new experiences I obliged. Shortly after my pizza was ready and as I was leaving they invited me to their apartment, perhaps for some more explicit activities. I politely declined. After all, I was on a journalistic mission to report the scene at my favorite club in Cork, the Secret Garden, on the night of Auntie Liz’s death. And with that, I was gone.
Having eaten the whole pie, inhaled several pints, and sniffed some poppers I began my trek to the Secret Garden. I arrived close to 10pm and was greeted sourly by the bouncer. “ID” he said gruffly. As an illegal resident I had to think fast. With 20 less euro I entered the club. Even though it was a Thursday the club was still bumping. As I entered I realized the bumping wasn’t coming from any bass or song, just stomping feet and the repeated joyful tune which is now engraved in my mind, “LIZZY’S IN A BOX, IN A BOX, LIZZY’S IN A BOX!” There were signs slandering the ex-queen and I noticed a group of brits huddled in the corner, looking quite disgruntled. I paid them no mind, afterall, the US had fought hard for their independence from the redcoats as well. The Irish deserved their party. After a few hours of intense alcohol consumption by everyone there, and plenty of cigarettes smoked inside the club, the Secret Garden shut down and I was kicked to the street. To end my night I visited the only place in the city that sold alcohol after 2am, The Bank. The Bank was a casino and I was only allowed in because my first night in Cork I bought a 2 year long membership unknowingly. But regardless, I arrived to a nice lukewarm miller light.
I woke up in my bed around 8am. The memories of the night before and the tune of “Lizzy’s in a box” rang through my mind, echoing off walls of my cranium. Maybe it was all just a dream I thought to myself. And then I thought did I go to those gay dudes apartment? But before I could consider either possibility, I heard the familiar jingle once again. “LIZZY’S IN A BOX, IN A BOX, LIZZY’S IN A BOX!” I peered out my window to see Cissie Youngs and a line of no less than 500 people snaking outside.
The celebration was far from over. The weekend had just begun.
Rest In Peace Queen Elizabeth II: 1926-2022