Saturday, August 04, 2018

The Bulbous Busker of Dalkey

There are many advantages to living in Dalkey. It’s off the main roads and in close proximity to the sea and to the glories of Killiney Hill. It has its own DART station. It is a peaceful spot (generally) and is kept tidy by its civic-minded denizens.  It’s got a few decent restaurants (especially the classy Jaipur), a few good delicatessens, two fine wine shops (the Grapevine the better of the two), a bookshop, a bookies (Paddy Power), and six pubs. Above all, it still retains its village feel. What more could a man want.

However, there is one massive blot on the escutcheon of the place. It’s home to the most disgracefully inept busker in Dublin - nay in Ireland I’d vouchsafe. He is a small, perfectly spherical man who appears to be of Eastern European origins – Romanian I suspect. He waddles down every morning from the DART to his perch at the entrance to the car park by the church as you enter Dalkey – opposite the Queen’s pub. Occasionally, for reasons that are mysterious to me, he sits outside our now defunct Ulster Bank. He has been there for many years.  I’m not sure how many exactly but certainly long enough to learn how to play the harmonica that he ineffectually blows into whenever a punter approaches. His modus operandi is to sit mute and motionless until the punter appears. Then he raises his harmonica to his mouth and blows half-heartedly a couple of time. No recognizable music emerges from this action and he desists pretty much immediately the punter passes. Righteous citizens like me glare at him for intruding unpleasantly on the decorum of our daily round. However, he appears to have a standing army of fans amongst the little old lady population of Dalkey – a not inconsiderable number. They inevitably stop and drop a coin into his rancid cap. Perhaps they are deaf and don’t realize what they’re encouraging.

My beef with the guy is that if you’re sitting on your arse for eight hours a day you can surely muster up a tune or two. The time he has put in he could have trained up as a multi-instrumentalist. Or he could change his act to one of those human statues – his talents seem to lie in that direction.