Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to my fellow Irishmen (and women)! I’m flashing back, this morning, to the month we spent in Ireland in 2000. We found this very funny article in our Craig Castle room in Galway, Northern Ireland. Hopefully Dave Barry won’t mind if I share a short, and very true, excerpt here:

“Geographically, Ireland is a medium-sized rural island that is slowly but steadily being consumed by sheep. It consists mostly of scenic pastures occasionally interrupted by quaint towns with names such as (these are actual Irish town names) Ardfert, Ballybunion, Coole, Culleybackey, Dingle, Dripsey, Emmoo, Feakle, Fishguard, Gweedore, Inch, Knockaderry, Lack, Leap, Lusk, Maam, Meentullynagarn, Muff, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Nutt’s Corner, Oola, Pontoon, Rear Cross, Ringaskiddy, Screeb, Sneem, Spiddle, Spink, Stradbally, Tang and Tempo.

These towns are connected by a modern, state-of-the-art system of medieval roads about the width of a standard bar of hotel soap; the result is that motorists drive as fast as possible in hopes of getting to their destinations before they meet anybody coming the other way. The only thing that prevents everybody from going 120 mph is the nationwide system - probably operated by the Ministry of Traffic Safety - of tractors being driven very slowly by old men wearing caps; you encounter these roughly every two miles, rain or shine, day or night. As an additional safety measure, the roads are also frequented by herds of cows, strolling along and mooing appreciatively at the countryside, reminding you very much of tour groups.

A typical Irish town consists of several buildings, one of which is always a bar, called a “pub.” Next to this there will typically be another pub, which is adjacent to several more pubs. Your larger towns may also have a place that sells food, but this is not critical”