Céad mile fáilte, my darlings. Today is one of my most favorite days of the year, and that’s not just because you are finally excused to go about with a drink in your hand at 10 in the morning.  No, it is celebrating Éire and I do love the Irish. I admit I have no Irish in me but that will most likely change when my favorite Hibernian stops by tonight. One of the beautiful things about those who sail the Shannon is that they don’t care if Celtic blood courses through your veins; they welcome everyone – just like Place de Plume.

Whenever I wake from one of my elongated naps, an Irishman is the first recreation I seek.  The beauty of a truly wild Irishman – and they are all truly wild – is that whether it ends up in carnal relations or not, it’s one hell of a ride.  I seem to only utter the phrase “Honestly officer, I have no idea how the goat got in the back of the car nor do I know why its wearing a trilby” when at the mercy of an Irish tour guide.  Plus, they always take you home for tea with Mum afterwards… even if you do have to say you are the impoverished cousin of their friend John’s who just needs a hot meal… and swear you aren’t pregnant.

I have swung from the rafters with some of the greats and held my own from celebrated actors to renowned poets.  Age differences don’t concern them much, what they want is a hearty laugh and a proper tale to tell and I always proved that.  Once I found myself in the lobby of the Shelbourne Hotel clothed in nothing but a few strategically placed doilies I’d swiped from a tea cart searching for Peter, who I was fairly certain was the one who brought me there.  (No, I’m sorry my darlings, I can’t tell you which Peter but oh my word do I want to.) As I was embroiled in a heated discussion with the concierge about propriety and my usage of a wing-backed chair as cover, Peter stumbled out of a mail truck he had gotten I don’t know how, dressed a priest and holding a drink. Conversation in the lobby ceased as he strode toward me with far more grace than a man in his condition should have possessed.  He planted his feet squarely on the marble, handed me an envelope he produced from under his cassock and said, “It’s an invitation from Hell.  They can’t wait.” Whereupon he plucked the stirrer from his drink and baptized me in gin.

The hotel has a plaque dedicated to me on the wall.

But the fun bits come from hearts of gold.  Whenever someone falls ill, the Irish and the Italians wrestle for who can pile enough food on the family.  When you need to move in a hurry, I promise you the set of brothers showing up have a surname beginning with O’.  And if you do need your soul prayed for, as happens on occasion, the front pew of the cathedral is lined with white haired ladies, rosaries out, novenas forthcoming.  And sometimes it works… sometimes.

My point is, my darlings, you can’t go wrong with an Irishman and if you do, it will be so worth it.

Erin Go Braugh

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