Monday, March 23, 2009

Whiskey, Guinness, The Star Spangled Banner, and Garrison Keillior - Just Another Friday Night at the Pub

After lazing about most of the afternoon at the cottage, we headed over to Larkin's Pub for one last night in Garrykennedy. I figured we'd have a couple pints, listen to the live music, and be back at the cottage for a good rest before we had to leave the next day. I think we all thought that. Little did we know.

There was a stag party going on that night. About a dozen guys in matching red t-shirts that had come to Gerrykennedy via Lough Derg. Their boats were in the marina. I've never seen men go the matching shirt route, but okay.

One guy spent quite a bit of time chatting with us. Ivan (well, his name was Vinnie, but I kept calling him Ivan). Ivan was a Garrison Keillor fan and had also seen Fargo several times it seemed, from how well he could recite whole scenes. I thought this was odd...I know Fargo is well known in Minnesota, but I didn't realize it would make such an impression on someone from Ireland. Ivan was quite friendly, and I was excited because he was the first person in Ireland we actually had a conversation with, other than waiters and waitresses.

He and an Englishman named Matthew chatted with us quite a bit and even convinced Lea to get up and sing. She has a beautiful voice and sang some Gershwin, and then had a request to sing our national anthem. The Star Spangled Banner in an Irish pub. Great!

Ivan asked me if we were drinkers, and of course I said yes, which may have been a mistake. Eventually, he had bought us two rounds of Jameson and two rounds of Guinness (this on top of what we had already drank). So much for being home early. Before we knew it, we were singing some Irish song about fields and a prison ship (as well as God Bless America and bits of Oh Canada) and the pub was closing.

And Ivan's crew had left.

And he was locked off his boat.

And it was cold.

And he didn't have a jacket.

And there are no taxis or buses in Garrykennedy.

Do you see where this is going?

Alan is a better person than the rest of us and invited Ivan in. Lea, Erin, and I ran around the cottage like crazy people hiding all our valuables. I should say, Ivan was very nice and we had no reason to believe our valuables were in danger. But, we were drunk and we didn't know him very well.

The last I saw of Ivan, he had found the Guinness and wine in the fridge and was headed to the dining room, where Alan and David waited. I think he tried to teach them the Irish National anthem because all I could heard through my earplugs was “Ireland! Ireland! Blahblahblabblhb! Ireland! Ireland!”

Sometime between 3 and 4 a.m. the stag party returned and David and Alan were able to return Ivan to his boat. They were all quite grateful and tried to thank them by giving them more alcohol – Budweiser to be exact.

I think the two of them actually ran off when everyone had their back turned.

So, that was our last night in Garrykennedy – lots of whiskey, Guinness, singing, and an Irishman quoting Garrison Keillor.

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