Smoking that Queen Elizabeth Pack: A Recollection of the Irish Pub Scene the Night She Croaked

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

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