By The Promethean Times Editorial Staff
Before we get started, we should confess something: despite the cruel, ignorant and generally irresponsible things we say about people, places and things, it may surprise our readers to know that we hold in great affection many of those very subjects we skewer so mercilessly.¹ Chief among these beloved foils are the Irish. Although we will continue to mock these hapless, potato-munching inebriates until our dying day, the fact that Tardsie and Smaktakula have between them made a combined five trips to the Emerald Isle should to a large degree demonstrate Promethean Times‘ love for the Micks.
The Irish are a warm, gregarious people, who, despite the startling number of fistfights in which they regularly engage, are rightly known for their genial natures. Although theirs is a bittersweet history, full of famines, oppression and drunkenness, it’s difficult not to admire a people so foul-mouthed that old ladies use the Lord’s name more often in casual conversation than does Pat Robertson, and whose priests are known to remark “If it’s yer head you’ll be wantin’ kicked in, ya wee shite, then go ahead and touch me fookin’ pint a second time.”
The Irish are further unique in that, for whatever reason, they genuinely seem to be fond of Americans. Promethean Times wishes to encourage this special relationship by fostering an even greater understanding between Irish people and their more sober American cousins. With this in mind, we offer these American-specific travel tips for visiting Éire.
- The Irish are proud of their culture. Show them you’re proud of it, too. If you even have one Irish ancestor, no matter how far removed, share this news with your new Mick friends by declaring, “I’m Irish, too!” They love that.
- Break the ice by tackling a short person and demanding he lead you to his pot of gold, or at the very least, kick you down a bowl of sugary cereal for your trouble.
- Black Irish doesn’t mean “black people.” Having said that, there are Irishmen of African descent. Smaktakula had the opportunity to meet them, and they were both really cool.
- Although the Irish people insist on seeing their culture as wholly distinct and separate from that of the Scots, they don’t mind at all that you don’t. Go ahead and let them how much you enjoyed Braveheart.
- The Irish love a laugh. It’s perfectly acceptable to point out that the word “Gaelic” sounds a lot like “Gay-Lick.”
- The Irish will be delighted if you accost them on the street for the sole purpose of hearing them say, “They’re magically delicious.” Famously patient, they’ll happily oblige you a second time when you demand, “No–do it right!”
Special tips for travelling in Northern Ireland:
- Your choice of drink can say a lot, so choose one respectful of Irish culture. Although Irish car bombs are, along with straight whiskey, famously the national refreshment, when in Northern Ireland, the savvy drinker orders a Black & Tan.
- Irish people can sometimes be melancholy, particularly in the north. If anyone mentions ‘the Troubles,’ tell ’em, “You think you’ve got troubles? I’m consumed by credit card debt and my lousy job is killing me! At least you get to sit around all day and drink!”
- In Northern Ireland, knowing your colors can be the difference between life and death: When you’re in Catholic areas, be sure to sport your Unionist orange, but just as quickly switch to green when you’re hanging with the proddies.
- If you’re looking to place your money offshore by investing in foreign financial products, you could do a lot worse than to look into an Irish IRA. Irish professionals spend most of their office hours in local pubs, and financial advisors are no different. Try asking around at different pubs in Belfast or Derry for some information about the IRA (remember to pronounce it by the initials when you’re in N. Ireland, and not like a wimpy man’s name, as in America). It’s the damnedest thing–everyone you speak to will deny knowing anything about it, but if you ask around long enough, the right people WILL find you.