Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Irish Tale

So this fellow walks into the Mermaid’s Bar in Listowel, Ireland and orders up three pints of the Guinness. The bartender delivers the three drinks believing that the man will soon be joined by two others. Instead he watches as the gentleman proceeds to quietly drink one at a time until all three glasses are empty. After he finishes the last pint he gets up and leaves. 

Two weeks later, around the same time day, the gentleman returns and the bartender immediately recognizes him from before. 

“Three pints of Guiness please,” the man asks again as he sets on a stool. 

“Listen,” the innkeeper tells him, “I noticed from the last time you were here that yer drinkin these three beers yourself. Ya’d be much better off if ya ordered one at time. That way they won’t go flat. As ya can see we're not that busy so its not like ya’d have to wait for ‘em” 

“Ah but thanks,” the man tells him, “but if its all the same to you I’d just go ahead and have the three at the same time. You see,” he continues, “I have a brother in America and a brother in Australia and we were all once very close. Since we can’t be together now we try to regularly honor each other by going into a local pub and having three beers, one for each brother.” 

The bartender is touched by this sentiment and readily complies with the man’s three beer request. 

Over the next couple of years the man becomes a regular of the bar, coming in at least a couple of times a week to honor his brothers in this manner. Often times he is joined in his three beer brotherly toast by the other regulars of the establishment who’ve come to know and respect his tradition. One day, upon taking his place at the bar he asks the bartender for two pints of the Guinness. 

The pub goes suddenly silent. 

The barkeep quietly pours the two pints and brings them to patron. “I just want you to know you have our deepest sympathy,” he says.

“For what?” the man inquires.

“Well I see that ya only ordered two pints today so I just assumed that one of your brothers passed.” 

“Oh no,” the fellow replied, “I just gave up drinking for Lent.” 


The graphic above is by Jonathan McHugh. It was the cover art from a St. Patrick’s Day card sent me by my sister, Mumball. It was from the Irish Illustrators 21st Century Leprechauns’ Competition.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Tom said...

Happy St Patrick's Day to everyone!