..and for some reason, this surprised me--although maybe it shouldn't have. The Irish are a humorous and fun-loving people, and Irish pubs are usually full of song and blarney, laughter and partyin' (partyin'--yeah!), pints of beer and hearty toasts. For example, Finnegan might raise his glass and say to you, "May the good Lord take a liking to you...but not too soon." Who wouldn't want to hang out with an Irish crowd?
And the Irish are not afraid to make jokes at their own expense, either. I think they may be the least sensitive people on the planet. You want to call them a bunch of drunks on the verge of fisticuffs with the other pub patrons? They'll call themselves that, and worse. For instance, here's a typical Irish joke:
SIGN IN AN IRISH PUB: This establishment closes at 11 o'clock sharp. We are open from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m., and if you haven't had enough to drink at that hour the management feels that you haven't really been trying.
And here's another:
O'Connell was staggering home with a bottle of whiskey in his back pocket when he slipped and fell heavily. Struggling to his feet, he felt something wet running down his leg. "Please, God," he implored, "let it be blood."
And one more:
Murphy told Quinn that his wife was driving him to drink. Quinn thinks he's very lucky because his own wife makes him walk.
I married into a family of Irishmen, and I can tell you that they're fun, they're great story-tellers (really full of blarney), they have a great sense of humor, and they do like to raise a glass of beer at parties. When we are all gathered at my husband's childhood home, it's BETTER than being in any Irish pub you could find (even though they seem to be located all over the world). I'm going to leave you now with an Irish toast that fits the season:
May peace and plenty be the first to lift the latch on your door, and happiness be guided to your home by the candle of Christmas. Slainte!