their goodness, their guinness

… whack fol the daddy o … there’s whiskey in the jar …

If you’ve ever wondered about that photo up at the top of the page (assuming I haven’t changed it and it is still a picture of some guys drinking), there is a very short story about it.

This is the photo I'm referring to. I added a randomizer to the header, so this should help this post make sense.

I was in Ireland, with some friends and their band, on tour. The only show played outside of Dublin was in Cork, which is a few hours drive to the south-west of the capital. We arrived late in the afternoon, and went to the pub, The Lobby, to set up. After doing that, we took a quick wander around the neighborhood. It was beautiful — the pub sat on the intersection on one side of a bridge. Across the street was a big old bank, lit up with yellow lights shining up the facade of vertical columns. The sun was going down over the mountains, and the lights were reflecting off the river. And somewhere, thousands of miles away, the world was going about its business.

While we waited, a couple of us wandered in to the little bar next door, and found the only seat to be a small piece of wood sitting atop three kegs, immediately behind the bar, under the stairs, next to the narrow hall that led to the bathrooms. I had my camera with me to take some shots of the show later on, but lifted it up for some unknown reason, turned off the flash to avoid pissing anyone off in this dark little room, and snapped. The picture above is the end result.

I don’t know anyone in the photo, they were all regulars, and no-one stopped to wonder why this guy was taking their picture. But, to me, it perfectly captures the feeling in that little pub that night, and a feeling that has bubbled up in many little pubs just like it that I’ve wandered into over the course of my life. It’s a welcoming feeling, a comforting feeling. There is a warmth to it, one that is hard to match. In that room, on that night, I was lucky enough to find myself in just the right place.

And then I got drunk and got lost on the walk home.

two potters

… one bourbon … one scotch … one beer …

I grew up in Australia, and it seems that I was granted an extra gene as part of my birthright. In Australia this gene is commonplace, but when we up and move to the distant corners of the world, it becomes extremely useful. This gene allows me to drink more than most (especially Seppo’s) and still be fully functional.

Some folks look at me as a bit of a freak in that respect. Some folks just wonder (and hope) if they can ever get me drunk. Some folks just think I’m annoying.

Tonight it was purely a case of wondering why others can’t deal with their nights out like I do. That was what the bouncer asked me when the drunk French guy insisted that the bar still had his credit card. I’d never thought about it from that perspective before. I go into their bar, and I drink quietly and behave myself completely. When they ask me to leave, I leave. I guess I’m the ideal barfly — drink, tip, co-operate.

OK, I’m not exactly a drunk or an alcoholic — I drink very much in moderation, very much under control. I enjoy a beer or two, that’s not in doubt, but I certainly don’t want to become another statistic.

So why do people drink more than they can handle? Why do people go out to drink to get drunk? I’ve never understood that.

I think it was Bill Cosby who said that “it is claimed that alcohol enhances your personality.” He then pondered, “so what if you’re an asshole to begin with?”

I try to not be an asshole to begin with.