Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Lucky Pot O' Blarney

By Patrick O'Leary Gallagher McCain
Guest Blogger

Now, it happens that sometimes the fellow what runs this blog is mistaken for Irish, but he's actually Scots-Irish -- a damned Orangeman kind of like the scum my IRA buddies in Ulster used to blast into Protestant smithereens back in the day.

McCain's Scottish bog trash ancestors, what the British imperialists fastened like a yoke on the neck of my ancestors, at least had the sense to clear out for America, hirin' out as indentured servants after stealin' a pig or gettin' some scullery wench preggers. Since all we ever asked was for the likes of them to get the hell out of Ireland, we've had the characteristic Irish generosity of spirit to forgive the American Scots-Irish, even if their apostasy from the One True Church means they'll suffer eternal torment in the flames of Perdition.

It's a different thing with the damned Orange in Belfast, like the lecherous imperialist dog who seduced innocent Mary Margaret Gallagher in 1971 and thus became my "father," damn his soul to Hell. So if I'm a semi-literate alcoholic soccer hooligan who's been on the dole since I turned 18, don't blame me, blame Cpl. Edward Angus McCain of the British occupation forces. Fortunately, he was blasted off the face of the planet, along with three of his mates and a half-dozen so-called "innocent bystanders," in a 1973 IRA bombing, so you should feel sorry for me: I'm an orphan.

My late sainted mother, who finally succumbed to cirrhosis in 1998 (for which I blame the British imperialists) raised me to be a proud Irishman, and of nothing is an Irishman so proud as of his ability to sling the blarney. So the fellow what runs this blog, who I suspect of being a very distant kinsman of that damned dog, my father, has asked me to come guest-blog hereabouts tonight in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

Now, you may be thinkin', "Paddy, you're Irish. Shouldn't you be drinking yourself into a coma tonight?" Well, a true drunkard never drinks with amateurs, and every March 17 the pubs of Dublin are overcrowded with silly drunken college girls and fat Yank tourists tryin' to get into the college girls' pants. Back in the day, the IRA would have blown up the likes of them, but what with the EU and all that, the IRA ain't a shadow of itself anymore.

So I'm stayin' home tonight, and the fellow what runs this blog asked me to sling some blarney and tell you to hit his "Luck O' Th' Irish Tip Jar," you bloody Yank bastards. So just keep refreshin' your computer screen, and I'll tell you the three funniest Irish jokes you ever heard. But first, the blogger what runs the place wanted me to tell you to go over to Dan Collins St. Patrick's Day Blog Roundup. Something about a "Rule 2," he says . . .

UPDATE, JOKE 1: Now, this first joke was actually sent to me by Mrs. Other McCain, so if you don't like it, blame her, not me:
An attractive blonde from Cork, Ireland arrived at the casino. She seemed a little intoxicated and bet 20,000 Euros on a single roll of the dice. She said, "I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I'm completely nude."
With that, she stripped naked, rolled the dice and with an Irish brogue yelled, "Come on, baby, Mama needs new clothes!"
As the dice came to a stop, she jumped up and down and squealed, "YES! YES! I WON, I WON!"
She hugged each of the dealers and then picked up her winnings and her clothes and quickly departed.
The dealers stared at each other dumbfounded. Finally, one of them asked, "What did she roll?"
The other answered, "I don't know. I thought you were watching."
And the moral of the story: Not all Irish are drunks, not all blondes are dumb, but all men . . . are men.

UPDATE, JOKE 2: Well, it's gettin' on into the evenin' now, and I suppose the wee kiddies are either in bed or lookin' at porn with Ross Douthat, which means we can tell a joke that's what one of those French faggots would call "risque."

There was a talent agency in New York City and one day a fellow walks in with two large suitcases and tells the receptionist, "I've got the greatest act you've ever seen, I've got to see the man in charge."

Well, the receptionist starts telling him that the boss is busy and so forth, but the fellow is insistent: "No, lady, you don't understand. I'm telling you, this is going to be the biggest thing you've ever seen, it's going to make me rich and make your boss rich, too. So you better get me in there to see him right away."

His confidence impressed the receptionist, so she showed him to the office of her boss, a man of many years experience. "Whaddya want?" the boss demanded of the fellow with the two big suitcases.

"I've got the greatest act you've ever seen," the fellow said.

"Get outta here! I've seen the greats of show business, kid: Sinatra, Martin and Lewis, Sammy Davis, Elvis, Tom Jones -- seen 'em all! You're not going to impress me!"

The fellow said nothing, but opened up one of his large suitcases and removed a miniature replica of a Steinway grand piano, then took out a matching miniature piano bench. The agent was unimpressed.

"Whaddya think, you idiot, you're gonna impress me with your toy piano?" said the agent, chomping angrily on his cigar. "Get outta here!"

Again the fellow said nothing, merely raised one finger in a gesture as if to signify, "Wait a minute." And then he opened the other suitcase and . . . Out leaped a man! A tiny man, barely one foot tall, dressed in a tiny tuxedo suit!

"Get outta here, kid! A midget act? I seen a million midget acts back when I was a kid on vaudeville! I seen 'em all, I tell ya -- you're not going to impress me with this little midget in his monkey suit!"

But again the fellow said nothing. He merely bowed slightly and, with a sweeping gesture of his hand, signaled the foot-tall man to take his seat at the miniature Steinway. Whereupon, with masterful brilliance, the foot-tall man played Mozart. And then he played Chopin, and Haydn and Liszt, and Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

For an hour the foot-tall man played that Steinway, and the excellence of his performance was such that the enchanting sound brought agents from nearby offices to come listen, and all the secretaries and receptionist crowded in, as well. By the time the little man stopped playing, there were 30 people packed in by the door of the agent's office, and as the diminuitive virtuoso finished the last perfect note of his final tune, this impromptu audience burst into a sustained ovation, with many cries of "Bravo!"

No one was more impressed than the old boss of the agency, who was still wiping tears from his eyes as the applause ended. He shooed away the crowd and closed the door.

"Kid, I've waited all my life for an act like this! I've seen Jolson! I've seen Bing! I've seen Fred Astaire and the Mills Brothers and Tommy Dorsey! I've seen the best in the biz, but I have never seen anything like this! We're going to be rich, rich, rich! Vegas! Hollywood! TV! Movies! Leno! Oprah! A world tour the likes of which has never been seen in the entire history of show business!

"But you got to tell me something, kiddo. Where the hell did you find this little guy?"

"Well," said the fellow, "you see I was on vacation in Ireland, and one day I was strolling down a path in County Limerick when I thought I heard a voice crying, 'Help! Help!' And when I looked around, I saw this little guy dressed in a green suit, trapped under a tree that had fallen over. The litte guy in the green suit said, 'Help me! I'm trapped! And I'm a leprechaun! If you can get this tree off of me, I'll grant ye any wish ye ask me." So I got the tree off of him, and . . ."

The agent took the cigar out of his mouth and said, "And you asked him for . . . this guy?"

"No, actually the leprechaun was kind of old and a bit deaf," the fellow replied. "And he thought I said I wanted to have a 12-inch pianist . . ."

UPDATE, JOKE 3: Now, it's really late. Surely all the innocent eyes are elsewhere, and I've had a drink or thirteen this evenin', so I'll be tellin' you a truly raunchy one, folks. Fainthearted prudes, read no further. You have been warned!

Many years ago, when David Brooks was just a young lad in his first job at National Review, the sycophantic little twerp talked Bill Buckley into paying him to take a two-week tour of Ireland that was eventually the subject of a column called, "Bobos in Blarneyland: The Path to Irish National Greatness." However, during his tour of the Emerald Isle, there was one amusing incident that never got written up, but I heard about it years later through someone who was there and who later told me the whole thing.

About 2 o'clock one afternoon, Brooks had just finished an interview with an official in Dublin. The interview had run long, and the official hadn't provided anything to eat, so Brooks was quite hungry and went in search of a meal. Entranced by the picturesque architecture of the city, he wandered this way and that down the narrow streets and cobbled alleys, nearly forgetting what he was looking for.

Then he sniffed a whiff of savory Irish stew and looked up to see the sign on a quaint little tavern. The sign had a picture of a rooster and a donkey, and the name of the place was "Ye Cocke and Ye Asse." Chuckling at this display of clever Irish humor, and hungry for that stew, Brooks pushed through the oaken door and into the dimly lit interior of what he took to be a typical local pub.

The place was nearly empty, so Brooks walked up to have a seat at the bar. He was pleased to be cheerfully greeted by the barkeep, a merry fellow with a twinkle of mischief in his green Irish eyes. The bartender offered him a menu, but Brooks waved him off: "I want some of that Irish stew -- I could smell it cooking from out in the street, and decided I simply must have some of it. And please bring me a pint of your excellent stout ale, which I've read so much about in the most recent issue of . . ."

Brooks chattered on happily as the barkeep poured a pint of ale and ladled up a bowl of stew. Having served his talkative American customer, the barkeeper smiled with a twinkle in his merry green eyes and excused himself, saying he had to attend to matters in the kitchen. Brooks lapped up his stew eagerly, in between long sips of the stout ale, thinking to himself what fantastic luck it was that he had found this authentic local pub, far from the main thoroughfares haunted by all those tacky lowbrow middle-class tourist swine from Cleveland and such places.

In this happy state of contentment, he had just finished the last tasty morsel of his stew and was about to finish his ale when one of the locals walked up and sat down beside him. "Hey, mate, what's your name?" said the young fellow in what Brooks instantly recognized as an authentic Irish brogue.

"Brooks! David Brooks," he answered, shaking hands with the friendly young Irish lad. "I'm a journalist for National Review, and William F. Buckley Jr. commissioned me to come investigate conditions here in your quaint little country, and I just finished an interview at the ministry downtown with . . ."

Brooks prattled on, pleased to see that he was making quite an impression on the young fellow, who smiled with a twinkle in his eyes that Brooks was now learning to appreciate as authentic Irish merriment. Finally, however, Brooks was forced to pause to take a breath, and reached for his glass to drink down the last hearty sip of his stout ale.

"Paddy!" the young local called out, and the barkeep emerged from the kitchen. "Paddy, give this man another stout, and bring me one, too. Put it on my tab and, while you're at it, bring us two shots of the best whiskey in the house. This man is none other than the famous journalist, David Brooks of National Review, and we need to welcome him with the proper Dublin hospitality!"

So the barkeep brought the drinks, and conversation ensued. By the time Brooks had finished telling the merry young local fellow everything about himself, and his trip, and all that he had learned about Ireland during his visit, they'd gone through three rounds. At last, Brooks asked his generous young friend, "And what about you? What do you do?"

"Do?" said the local lad, signaling Paddy the barkeep to bring another 'round. "I don't really do anything. Y'see, Yank, I'm a leprechaun."

Brooks laughed merrily. "Oh, hahaha, I guess I should have been prepared for your notorious Irish humor . . ."

"Humor?" said the young Dubliner. "But I'm not joking at all, mate. That's just like a Yank, I guess. You watch your cartoons and read your storybooks, and I suppose you think all leprechauns are old midgets in green suits with white beards, running around amongst the clovers and such."

More conversation ensued and more stout and fine Irish whiskey were consumed, as Brooks applied his journalistic prowess to interviewing this young fellow. By the time the local lad excused himself to use the men's room, he'd quite nearly convinced the man from National Review that he was, indeed, a leprechaun.

Or maybe it was the whiskey, Brooks thought to himself. It was almost 5 o'clock now, and he'd lost track. Had he had five rounds? Six? Seven?

"Paddy," said Brooks, motioning for the barkeep. "Can you believe this guy? He's trying to tell me he's a leprechaun!"

"Oh, it's true, mate!" the barkeep answered. "Everybody knows it around here. This place is quite popular with the leprechauns. Did you ask him about his pot of gold and his magical powers? He's quite impressive. He's granted people wishes before, and he seemed to take quite a liking to you."

Instantly, Brooks knew that he must act on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He walked toward the lavatory with a stride that was, if not altogether steady, certainly determined and purposeful. He pushed through the door into the men's room to find the young Dublin lad washing his hands.

"All right, if you're a leprechaun, I'd like you to grant me a wish: I want to be the most famous and successful journalist in history, with my own column in the New York Times!"

Drying his hands now, the leprechaun smiled with a merry twinkle in his eye. "Oh, I'd simply love to, David. But that's not how it works. You see, I've been buying all the drinks, haven't I?"

Brooks nodded, somewhat puzzled.

"Well," the young leprechaun answered, "the way our magic operates, we can only grant wishes for those people who have done us some special favor."

"Oh, anything! Anything you ask, just name it and I'll do it, because I want to be the most famous and successful journalist in history!" Brooks said eagerly.

"Oh, you will indeed," answered the leprechaun, with authentic mischief twinkling in his merry Irish eyes as he unzipped his trousers and displayed something that, while not particularly large, was certainly most splendidly aroused. Brooks gazed at it with spellbound amazement.

"What . . .? Why . . .?" the American journalist for once found himself at a loss for words, until he forced his gaze upward from the object of his fascination to stare incomprehensibly into the leprechaun's twinkling eyes. "Do you mean . . .? You want me to . . .?"

"It's me magic shillaleigh, man!" answered the leprechaun, with an authentic Irish laugh. "And if you kiss it just the way I like it, the next thing you know, you'll be a world-famous journalist with your own column in the New York Times!"

No further encouragement was necessary. Brooks then performed feats of such passionate devotion as no other journalist in the world could rival, until the Irish magic was drained entirely from the shillaleigh, whereupon the leprechaun zipped up his trousers and walked toward the door of the men's room.

"Wait a minute!" said Brooks, rising from his knees. "What about my wish? Aren't you going to grant me my wish?"

"Wish?" said the leprechaun, the twinkle in his eye now almost blinding in its authentic Irish charm. He turned and extended his hand, which Brooks grasped in a firm handshake.

"Sullivan -- Andrew Sullivan's the name. And don't tell me you Yanks still believe all that silly stuff about leprechauns!"
* * * * *

Well, that's enough for one night's work, eh? I'd like to thank me mate Smitty for recommending me for this job. What with the recession and all, a fellow's got to make a few extra wherever he can get it nowadays, so long as nobody don't tell the blighters down at the relief office about it.

There was something else I was supposed to do, but I wrote me notes down on a cocktail napkin. Then when I got a bit ill and parkered all over me shoes, I went to wipe the frum off and must've grabbed the wrong napkin . . . Must not have been that important, I suppose. But y'ought to hit a bloke's tip jar, and . . .

Heh. Now I remember what it was!


-- Paddy

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