A bag of potatoes


‘Did you hear about the man who wanted cheese and onion potatoes. He was English like you and spoke with a smart voice.’

We were stood at the bar watching the weather. A mist was coming in down the bay. It had obscured the hills on the other side. It would be followed by rain.


‘He was in the pub in Kilcrohane, Fitzpatrick’s Pub, you know the one, Eileen’s pub. He was there with his family and you know how Eileen always has a bag of potatoes for sale in the corner. Four Euro a bag and no better potato. Pink Fir mostly but you have to watch them as they cook. They only take a minute to turn in the water and if you leave them to long they are gone into mush. But get them right with a good lump of butter they are fine.’

‘This man he’d be here for his two weeks in the summer and he thought he would have a bag to take back to his house. So he’s paying for his pints and the coke and he asks the girl on the bar in his smart voice “And can I have a bag of potatoes?”.


‘Naomi it was and she looks at him strange,” What flavour will that be. We have salt and vinegar and cheese and onion.” The man there is quiet for a minute and I was there watching him work at is mouth. How do you answer a question like on a brown bag of potatoes. He worked his mouth and looked at the bags in the corner, “They come in flavours?” ‘

The man with a black beard laughs, ‘But the joke of it was she though he’s asked for a bag of Tayto’s.’ He pointed to the cardboard box filled with the red and blue packets of crisps, laughing still.

‘The man there he got his potatoes and Naomi now she listens closer if she’s asked for a bag of potatoes.’

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