Monday, May 09, 2005

anglo-irish coffee

[A warm welcome to all who have clicked over from the "scary" section of the Irish tourism website! Feel free to look over this story, but if you want to see my more recent scary stuff just click the word "Pampering" at the top of the page. Thanks again for dropping by! Oh by the way - when the tourist site says "we have to say this because some Irish may not always have on hand their customary sense of humour" they mean me because I got the wrong end of the stick when I first saw my blog mentioned there!]

You would not have to be an avid historian to know there isn’t a lot the English can say about the Irish that we would find amusing.

Normally it will be a joke involving Paddy Englishman, Paddy Scotsman and Paddy Irishman. You know, like the one where they are all in front of a firing squad, and just before Paddy Englishman is shot he distracts the riflemen by looking behind them and shouting “Tornado! Tornado!” at which point they turn around allowing him to escape. Then Paddy Scotsman catches on and at his turn shouts “Tidal Wave! Tidal Wave!” with the same result. Paddy Irishman, not to be outdone, tries the same only he chooses to shout “Fire! Fire!”

Gleesons of Booterstown, where I used to work, is a big sports pub, especially for rugby. Even though it’s not exactly in an ideal location for the big international games, they would still draw a large number of the visiting fans from the assorted nations that make up the Six Nations Championship every year.

One year, when it was the turn of the English to visit Dublin, I was working behind the counter on a Friday evening while a group of four lads from outside London enjoyed their first few pints of what was obviously to be a long weekend in the Emerald Isle, to enjoy the following afternoon’s big game, among other things.

They were an entertaining bunch, and they played off each other with a series of well timed gags and jibes that kept all within earshot entertained for a couple of hours despite any local disdain toward their country of origin.

At one stage a lady approached the counter and ordered an Irish coffee. As it would take a few minutes to prepare, I told her I would have the lounge staff bring it down to her. Once she had left to return to her group, one of the English boys seemed surprised by her order.

“Irish coffee?” he quipped, “Wot the bloody ‘ell’s that then?”

I was all set to inform him, but one of his colleagues, who was a couple of pints ahead of the others, interjected.

“I’ll tell you what an Irish coffee is, squire. You know the way you drink whiskey to get drunk and coffee to get sober? Well trust the Irish to put the two in the same bloody glass!!!”

There followed a tense silence from the foursome. This was clearly their first trip to Dublin together, and I pretty sure they had discussed before setting off the potential repercussions of using “thick-mick” humour in the wrong company.

Luckily for them this particular Irishman (albeit an honorary one) found the description to be both inoffensive and hilarious. And not just because they were good tippers, either.


Heidi said...

Hi, JL. This is my first time visiting your blog, and I wanted to leave a comment to let you know I like your writing and sense of humor. I surfed over from "What Middle America Thinks."

I'm addicted to coffee, and while I've never had an Irish coffee, it sounds yummy. Now I will have to try it at some point... Thanks for sharing your funny story!

sex scenes at starbucks said...

irish coffee is brilliant, wonderful stuff. we have it our local pub every time we go.

or, well, PHF has it. I usually just stick with the Bushmills and Bass. Now THATS manna from heaven.

Anna said...

Once, when preparing for a morning flight, the bartender at Dublin Airport departure gate 22 refused to make me an Irish Coffee on the grounds that he had no fresh cream. So I ordered a coffee and a shot of Bailey's. I know you'll be shocked to learn it tasted very similar! Um...good morning mister barman!

shandi said...

hmmmmm Irish coffee. Yeah, I'm quite familiar with it. Having spent 2 weeks traveling about your beautiful was my beverage of choice. As a matter of fact, I think it was the only liquid I consumed on that trip. Don't remember much else....go figure!
I did a painting comemorating my adventures in Ireland (I'm sure you've seen it... wink wink) BTW: I know that Guiness is most usually seen in it's dark form, but I went with the lighter variety for artistic value :)

Mike Todd said...

Quality story, man. As usual.

JL Pagano said...

Thank you all.

I was never a whisky man myself, but I too have been known to trade Baileys for cream in my day, even when I had plenty of the latter...

Anonymous said...

Irish WhiskEy has that Essential ingredient:- Endorphine Enhanser;When the correct ingredient is used in Irish coffee it gives you the three of lifes Essential necessities:-
So don't cut the C.A.C.enjoy the craic...slan..Stuie