Good pubs, Good Beer, Good People

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

May The DVD Rise Up To Meet Me

I know, I know.

We're forty-eight hours away from what many consider to be the Highest of Holy Days in pubs--especially Irish pubs-- throughout the fruited plain.

And I have many "favorite" Irish pubs in the area which I frequent. Hailey's Harp & Pub in Metuchen, The Kilkenny House in Cranford  Foley's Pub and McSorley's in NYC, McGillin's in Philly, The Irish Pub in Atlantic City, Harrigan's in Sea Girt,  even my old college hangout--Tierney's Tavern in Montclair--which hasn't changed a bit in nearly fifty years.

The Elders of Gamma Delta Chi at Tierney's Tavern

And I love the real Irish food that many of these places offer, from Shepherd's Pie to "boxty" or "coddle." I also love watching mini-Michael Flatleys and Jean Butlers doing Irish Step-Dancing properly, although I admit to once cringing in disgust at the horribly disfigured and mangled toes of a world-famous, step-dancing and otherwise gorgeous Irish woman I met once. As bad as a ballet dancer's, they were.

But it's time for The PubScout to come clean about something else. Besides eschewing typically "Irish" fare like corned beef, which no authentic Irishmen consume, and Irish Soda bread, which tastes horrible and nothing like it sounds, my confession before St. Patrick is simple: I never frequent these great Irish establishments on the "High Holy Day."

The reason is simply explained by an old Yogi Berra quote: "Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."

I do not want to wait in lines to get my beer--if they even have my beer of choice available. And if I don't drink Guinness (not that there's anything wrong with that) when there are no lines and crowds, why would I do so amidst a crush of green-clad revelers? Add to that the fact that few of these partiers walked to the pubs at which they celebrate, and that means they are on the road, which also means parking is always a PITA and driving can be dangerous.

Nope. I stay home on St. Patrick's Day. I grab a Beamish, a Murphy's  or preferably a Black Rock Stout, pop in my trusty DVD of Disney's Darby O'Gill and the Little People and settle in for the evening. And I've been doing that for decades, since my own lads were babes. The upside to this is that they know most of the lines by heart, and can actually sing "My Pretty Irish Girl" better than Sean Connery dubs--er, does. They know all the characters, from Darby to King Brian; from His Lordship to the proprietor of the Rathcullen Arms; and from Pony Sugrue to The Banshee.

Of course, these days I usually watch alone, since the lads are all out of the house (probably at the pubs); and the missus has ceased marveling at the young Sean Connery. And like a child who loves to hear his parent tell the same bedtime story over and over again, I come away smiling and singing, "Have you ever seen the seagulls ...."

The smile is generated by the movie and the memories; the singing, by the stout.
Because, in the final analysis, no matter where you are and what your ethnicity, St. Patrick's Day is about smiling, hoisting a glass and singing like an Irishman. Click this link to join the fun.

Darby hoists one with King Brian of Knocknasheega

The PubScout

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