1. Rent a house in the country for New Years.
Get out of the city, rent a four-person house in the country, fill it with 20 people, wreck it, torment all the neighbours who live there to get away from city assholes like yourself, set off the alarm, lose your deposit, find someone naked in a field the next day, find someone else sucking milk from the udder of a cow, go back to the city with your tail between your legs, think about what you’ve done, vow not to do the same next year.
2. Spend the morning in an early house.
Early houses, or pubs that open at about 7am, were previously the haunt of Irish society’s underbelly, those who darkened the doorstep to spend their pensions on weak pints of Guinness and cigarettes for breakfast. That was until the reckless youth cottoned on to the idea, and in the absence of 24-hour clubs, they began flocking to early houses for after-parties. Blacked-out windows, mad-out-of-it knackers gyrating next to hipsters wearing their sunglasses inside, plumes of illegitimate smoke and Mrs. O’Dwyer behind the bar serving overpriced vodkas to the gurning punters…things don’t get much more hedonistic in Ireland than a morning in the early house.
3. Stay for a lock-in.
You’re in a bar, last orders have been called and you’re nursing the end of your drink, wishing there was more gargle to be had. Suddenly, you get a wink from the barman and a nudge from your friend. The doors close but you’re still inside. The music comes on and the handful of people left (you are among the chosen ones) spark up their cigarettes and the booze begins to flow once more. It’s official, you’re at a lock-in, hurray! This sacred ritual is only bestowed upon a lucky few and tends to happen more in rural Ireland where the police are more likely to be drinking beside you than banging down the door in a raid.
4. Go to Electric Picnic.
What a name. The Electric Picnic. It started in the mid-naughties as a one-day festival and has grown in both length and stature since then. Electric Picnic is perhaps not as boutique as it used to be, but still draws some big musical hitters and sells some fucking strange food. Someone once told me that they drank a pureed-sausage milkshake there. You get the idea.
5. Go to a rave in a forest or a dune.
If you hear of a rave being held in a clearing in Devil’s Glen, or on the beach in Inis Boffin, go, because no matter how much of a pain-in-the-ass it is to get there, it’ll be totally worth it. These remote fiestas tend to get pretty wild, as the folks from around these parts tend to be a lot looser than those from the city. Anything can happen. Expect lots of under-the-influence tree climbing, skinny-dipping (depending on how cold the water is), and getting weird sunburn from passing out in the sun after too much raving (if you’re lucky).
6. Work a promotions job.
Promotions jobs are the holy grail of jobs in your 20s. You pick your own hours, you get to cruise around in your parents’ car, you make 10e an hour, and there’s the possibility of working with that guy/girl that you always fancied in school that is still working in promotions after college because he/she dropped out and never got a real job. The reality, however, is that you’ll constantly have a supply of beermats or shit chocolates strewn around your car because you worked the job for a week before realizing that you’d be stuck in traffic driving out to pubs in Cabra or waiting at traffic lights in shorts in December trying to get people to come to a foam party in a nightclub on the Stillorgan dual carriageway.
7. Throw an amazing 21st party.
21st parties are the Sweet 16 parties of Ireland. They will be talked about for years afterwards, so you better make it good. The best ones are one the scale of weddings, the worst on the scale of a mediocre Saturday night out. The safest option for evading years of embarrassment is to go on a weekend away in Europe with a few of your closest friends. Even if it’s totally shit, you can lie and tell people you ended up smoking weed with Colin Farrell in Amsterdam, instead of the truth of being turned away from a strip club because you pulled a whitey after the hash brownie you ate.
8. Hook up with a minor Irish celebrity.
Ireland is small. They don’t call it “The Village of Ireland” for nothing, so minor celebrities are easy to come by. Rugby players and models/DJs are they prey of choice, and hooking up with one will up your street cred no end, especially if there is a funny story behind it. You get extra points if at some point someone else tells you that they heard the story coming from the minor celebrity themselves. Trust me, this is possible.
9. Jump into the canal.
Yes, yes, this seems like the greatest idea ever at the time. Not so great when it’s November, five degrees outside, and you surface to see a dead rat bobbing beside you. I knew a girl who was in hospital for three weeks because she contracted Weil’s Disease after taking one for the team and rescuing some stashed bottles of Smirnoff Ice from the Dodder. It’s not big, and it’s not funny, so stick to the towpath.