The Truck [penultimate]

Our first two calls at Keady went all right because the three boys riding, and drinking on the back of the truck were still in a state of sobriety and able to lend a hand.

Our next port of call was Armagh City, and all the way along that road to Armagh the three likely lads on the back became more and more intoxicated.  Soon the singing started. The driver Jimmy said to me, 

‘We’re going to have to do something about that lot before the police pull us in!’

My idea was that when we reach Armagh we would rearrange the load and build for the three boys riding on the back of the lorry a hollow space in the middle of all the cases and crates.  We would then wall the three of them into this space along with a couple of cases of beer, tell them to drink away but for goodness sake to shut up!

Jimmy thought this a good plan: if we could keep them quiet and out of sight we wouldn’t attract the attention of the cops, and the remaining three of us could finish the deliveries on our own.

All went well and we finished with Armagh City without the help of our three drunken associates who were encased in their wooden igloo on the back of the lorry. We had only enough salvaged beer to make one more call on our way home and that was in Tandragee.

It was at this point that Jacky Chambers informed Jimmy and me that he was going to join the other lads on the back of the truck. He reasoned, 

 ‘They seem to be having all the fun while we have to do the work,! So you two can finish Tandragee on your own.  I’m joining in with their party’.

So off Jacky went and joined up with his rather raucous comrades.  Jimmy and I threw a tarpaulin over our four dissident companions enshrined in their illicit little drinking-cave.   We tied it down securely and set out on our transit to Tandragee.

It was getting dark by this time, and as we travelled the road towards Tandragee, the singing commenced again, only this time it was a melody of rebel songs that they were uproariously singing.

‘That’s it!’ cried Jimmy in despair. ‘I’m not stopping in Tandragee! Listen to that lot! They’ll have us all arrested. I’m for heading home’.

So we passed on through Tandragee with bottles rattling and a profusion of rebel songs issuing forth from under the truck’s tarpaulin.  We were sounding somewhat like a bus returning from the I.N.F convention.

On through to Newry we drove and there we dropped our intoxicated passengers off at the top of Church Street, as they all lived in that same area of town.

All in all it was the end of a rather eventful day.

 ……  one more “Truck” to come ……….

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