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The question is: How do you get your Irish on?
Well, I get my Irish on by getting on an I—
Er. Maybe not. This site is PG, after all. (Maybe PG-13 considering I sometimes swear. Rarely. But sometimes.)
I don’t have a drop of Irish in me. Scottish yes (go Clan Innes!), Irish no. And when I drink I get silly for roughly 20 minutes . . . And promptly fall asleep. But I do enjoy a Guinness from time to time. And I like a few Irish bands (U2, The Script, that one Christmas song by Bing Crosby) and poets (Yeats). Oscar Wilde and C.S. Lewis aren’t too bad, either. And I’d very much like to visit Ireland one of these days. I go to the UK often enough, you’d think I could make it over, but it hasn’t happened yet.
I grew up in the South, with not a lot of Irish people around. But then I lived 12 years in Boston and developed an appreciation for true Irish pubs. There’s nothing like them, the atmosphere they produce. It’s a friendly restlessness, a friction wherein shoulders rub and sparks sometimes fly. What starts as amicable can all at once turn into a fight, and then before you know it, everyone’s friends again. A very strange tide of emotion. Like trying to harness a mustang.
I once worked with a guy who had such a thick Irish accent I had to ask other co-workers to act as translators until I got the hang of it. They sound just as tumultuous as they behave. Well, truth in advertising, I suppose.
But for honestly good guys, I couldn’t have done better than a few Irish co-workers watching my back. They could be gruff, but they wouldn’t let anyone touch me either. On a late night they’d always insist on walking me to the train station, or giving me a ride home if I’d let them.
So this weekend, I’ll raise a glass to all my Irish friends. But just the one glass. Because I’ll be asleep under the table soon after.