One beautiful Irish evening last August, Zack and I stumbled upon a bar (imagine that), somewhere on the magnificent West Coast (which might as well be the ONLY coast in Ireland). It was a weekend night and it was packed. You had to raise your beer glasses above your head just to get around. And there wasn’t much getting around – the place was tiny.
We settled in a nook somewhere, with the misfortune of sitting beside a table full of middle-aged Australians who had likely been there since that mornings Traditional Irish Breakfast. Which for the record, has NOTHING on the American traditional, ROOTIE-TOOTIE-FRESH-AND-FROOTIE.
The band asked for a moment of silence, while they played “The oldest song in the universe”. Sounded interesting. What evolved was half of the drunk bar patrons yelling at the louder drunk bar patrons to shut-the-fuck-up. People, in general, are very loud in Irish pubs. Must be the Guinness.
Zack often gets indignant when he’s drunk, while I am usually off joining the loud-ER half of the bar in true, UH-MERICAN form.
Which as an aside, reminds me of the time we were drunk at this other Irish pub on the west coast. The place was packed (see the trend?) and a nice couple and their 2 children (must have been ‘Family Night’) offered to share their booth with us. After about an hour, otherwise known as the point at which I am very comfortable with complete strangers, I made the realization that their little boy, looked very much like Zack. I began to ‘nudge nudge, wink wink’ the very LARGE Irish man, and the next thing out of my mouth before I’d even completed the thought was:
“Are you surrrrrrre your wife and my husband have NEVER MET BEFORE???”
I then threw my head back in hysterical laughter. Needless to say, they didn’t get it. At which point, Zack melted to the floor. That was the first of many tight-armed squeezes on the way to the car that I received while we traipsed around Europe. You know the kind your mother gave you in the grocery store? Like that. He kindly pointed out in the parking lot that my ‘American humor’ wasn’t translating so well, and that it might behoove us, for the sake of preservation and unnecessary bodily harm, to quit thinking I was so damn hysterical.
Back to the 1st Irish pub story.
So the bar quiets down, and the band begins to play ‘The oldest song in the universe’. It was beautiful. Perhaps the most beautiful collection of sounds I’d ever heard in my entire life. In the middle of this song, the shit-housed Aussie next to me leans over, thinking she is getting ready to tell me a secret, and YELLS out:
“Don’t believe a word they’re saying!!! They’re trying to SLIP YOU A MICKEY!!!!”.
And as I stared at her, wondering what a ‘mickey’ was while glancing at my pint, Zack, that drunk little viper, shot venom from across the table, SHUSSHING his mouth with the ferocity of a very unhappy, camel. I think some spit might have landed in her Yellow Tail wine.
I sat back all like ‘DAMN!’, you just pissed of my husband, and that takes like, LOTS.’
Ever since then, I have enjoyed using this new expression. Although it wasn’t until yesterday, when I confidently used it to Vern (the UN-slippable), that I was informed what it really meant. Which only further illustrates, the embarrassment I subject Zack to in public – when say, I suggest to a burly, drunk Irish man, that his wife may have had sex with my husband. This also illustrates, why I was under strict orders, to by no means…even THINK about ordering an Irish Car Bomb.
The sad thing is, I actually had to ask ‘why the hell not?’. To me, it would have been like going to Chicago for some pizza, Italy for tiramisu, New York for cheesecake! Only, not so much.
P.S. I just remembered this. For the IRISH RECORD…one afternoon we discovered the Celtic radio station. CRAZIEST. SHIT. YOU EVER HEARD. I’m not even kidding. If you thought Chinese was the whackest language, go check out the West Coast of Ireland, and then get back to me.