Pint-Sized Ireland

Last month, I fulfilled one of my life-long dreams and went to Ireland to compete in the World Irish Dancing Championships.  It was unreal.  It was gorgeous.  It was 40 shades of green (including ‘St. Stephen’s Green’).  It was also dark, bitter, and unappealing.

A few weeks ago, I was browsing the shelves for something to read and let me re-live my Ireland trip.  I was looking for something that detailed someone’s Dublin trip, or maybe get a little fun history of the country.  I was pleasantly surprised when I found this book, opened it, and began reading. It was witty and conversational.  The perfect way to entertain myself and mentally go back to Ireland.

The book stared off with Evan and Twidkiwodm on a ferry to Dun Laoghaire, trying their first Guinness: It was terrible.  It was uber-vile.  And in this opinion, I was not alone.  They eventually go on to meet their friends, go out and celebrate in good Irish fashion.  It’s around this point that  someone mentions to Evan and Twidkiwodm that even though Dublin Guinness is good, the best could be found on the west coast, which spurred a chase around the country to find the perfect pint o’ the gargle.  This is what the book is about: the author’s adventures, mishaps, and findings on the way to the perfect Guinness.

The book made me laugh.
Maybe it’s because the author’s travelling partner was dubbed Twidkiwodm (the woman I didn’t know I would one day marry).
Maybe because of his prose and his interpretation of Irish dialect: “Sure it’s foin.  But ye know, the Guinness here isn’t the best ye’ll foind.  Dere’s dis place in Donegal oive hoard of. Dey’ve a barman…”
Maybe because of the situational humor: how could there not be humor when you’re on a whirlwind adventure in Ireland seeking the perfect pint of Guinness?.
Maybe it’s because I could relate to the funny moments: the term ‘road’ is used in a rather cavalier fashion in Ireland.  When you’re in little more that a country land weaving back and forth around the dry-stacked stone walls that divide the fields, it would be more accurate to say ‘meander’.

At the end of the day, I am not one who likes Guinness, or beer for that matter, but the moral of the story applies to me (and I’m sure everyone else) all the same:
The best Guinness is in the glass, in your hand, in the pub you’re in right now.  Nothing else, but nothing, compares.  The perfect Guinness is really just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  And what are the chances of that?  Maybe one in four.  But if you end up enjoying yourself so much you forget about all the searching, my guess is you’ve probably just found what you’re looking for.  Slainte.

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