Things have changed a lot in the world of courting since I was a young lad.
In those days you took a girl out to the pictures, or occasionally for dinner. You would eventually move from hand-holding on to kissing and, after a respectable period, maybe five to six months, you might be allowed to touch her chest through six layers of clothing.
Times have moved on, Ireland has changed, things move a lot quicker. And today at lunch in the office – the source of so much of my knowledge of modern life – I discovered that some young men, when embarking on a night of clubbing, will book into a hotel in advance. Knowing that there will be trouble if they book a single room and then arrive late at night with a young lady, they will actually book a double room under the name of “Mr and Mrs Smith” or something equally original in the hope, indeed expectation, that a pseudonomical Mrs Smith will have been found by the end of the evening.
Many of us aghast at this. “And what happens if he returns empty-handed?” asked one of the girls, having not filtered that sentence through her head before she said it. “He has to pay for a double room for nothing.”
“Well, he gets two breakfasts,” I pointed out. And then I started to wonder. Do the staff recognise guys like this? Do they sit him at a table for two, bring him eight sausages, two fried eggs, six rashers and twlve slices of toast?
And do they then come around and say “and would sir like another two cups of coffee?”
I hope they do. I know I would.