Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

How is it that even in these fever times nobody objects to the wholesale appropriation and cheap, caricaturish debasement of Irish Catholic culture? Huh? Huh??

I mean, any other ethnic-themed celebration these days instantly unleashes the wrath of the Cancelistas. But if I put on a silly green hat, grab a glass of Guinness and staaart speakin’ in a silly Oirish brogue, it’s totes cool.

(My question is purely rhetorical. I know the answer already.)

Anyhoo, how about a wee bit o’ Irish random?

– Ol’ Robbo cannot abide either corned beef OR cabbage.

– I know absolutely nothing about Irish whiskey. To the extent I touch the hard stuff anymore, I remain a single-malt scotch man (Laphroig by preference). Not that I’m unwilling to learn, of course.

– On the other hand, I DO know a thing or two about stout. Mostly, that it should not be quaffed when the outside temperature is anything over about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Today would have been an excellent day for it in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor, had I had any about me.

– “The Commitments”, the story of one man’s attempt to bring soul music to Dublin, remains one of my very favorite movies. Fookin’ deadly! (Perhaps I shall pop it in this evening.)

– Leprechauns. The non-Disney ones, that is. They’re not cute and cuddly, they won’t enhance your breakfast cereal experience, and God help you if you ever do somehow stumble across one of their treasure hordes. One of my favorite short stories encapsulating the actual terror associated with “Thim People” is “The Happy Despatch” by Patrick O’Brian. (Yes, THAT Patrick O’Brian.) You’ll find it in his collection The Rendezvous and Other Stories.)

– Speaking of which, allow Ol’ Robbo to once again plug one of my favorite collections of short stories, The Irish R.M. by E. O. Somerville and Martin Ross, a pair of Anglo-Irish ladies writing in the early 20th Century. (But don’t get me going about the teevee series based on it. A gallant try but an ultimate failure, in my humble opinion.)

— A little musickal fun fact? The Irish, in fact, invented the bagpipes in the 11th Century, and promptly gave them to the Scots. The Scots still haven’t caught on to the joke.

— Another bit of semi-related musickal humor: Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C-major is known as “The Great” C-major symphony in order to distinguish it from his Symphony No. 6 in C, known as “The Little” C-major. For the period, it is a monstrously long work. The Mothe, whenever this piece was mentioned in our conversations, for reasons known only to herself (but possibly as a dig at Mr. G.B. Shaw), always would adopt a thick Irish brogue and remark, “Ta Great, is it now? Well, I dunno about dat. But it serr-tently is ta Large!”

— Well I think that’s funny.

— Finally, let me just say that Our Maximum Leader is a truly benevolent monarch.