It was a misty, cool morning, in the neighborhood of the “The James Joyce” pub, located in County Kildare, just west of Dublin. The usually, busy, establishment, at the moment, is virtually empty, and no sounds are heard, save the muted, but, somewhat, energetic, debate between two old familiars. One of whom was the stout, aproned, white-haired, barkeep, Mr. Jameson T. (“Jim”) Havanother, the other, his close friend, of fifty years, who happens to be, no less than, the famous Gaelic poet, F. Patrick, “Dipsy,” Doodle, (“Dipsy”).
This morning, strangely, there seemed to be a dearth of controversial subjects, suitable for their mutually enjoyable debate, so the creative, Dipsy, conceived, as the day’s issue, the questionable value of traditional Irish aphorisms; being keenly, aware, by long experience, that his old friend and interlocutor, was an avid practitioner of that “useless” art. The following is a record of the colloquy:
Dipsy: You know, Jim, I read the other day that, a German philosopher, named, Karl Marx said, “Drink is the curse of the working class.” You and I well know, he said challengingly, (clinking Guinness-filled beer glasses ) that he got it backwards. In truth, work is the curse of the drinking class.
Jimmy: Agreed, old friend, but Marx, indisputably, was German, what do Germans know of non-productive, good times?
Dipsy: The old Irish sayings do not make sense, either, he said, testily. The traditional Irish blessing to a traveler: “May the wind always be at your back, and the road come up to meet you,” sounds like the speaker is hoping that the other person gets, knocked down to the road, by a strong wind.
Jim: Agreed. How do you feel about the confusing Irish expression,” Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies,” which can, confusingly, be understood in several ways, (1) if you ask any question, I will, predictably, prevaricate, (2) You never have trusted any of my responses, irrespective of their inarguable, accuracy, (3) We are better not discussing the subject, (4) Our usual conversations are mutually, meaningless, and (5) the interlocutor is a known as an irrepressible, prevaricator and, (6) It is far better if we stay silent.
Dipsy: I always shuddered at the eerie, Gaelic expression,” Ireland is a little piece of heaven. Does it mean that the speaker is declaring all of us already dead and gone?
Jim: What about, “Top of the morning? “The morning ain’t like a beer bottle with a top and bottom.
Dipsy: Try convincing my wife, of this old Irish chestnut, “The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune.”
Jim: “Aye, me too. How about that inane chestnut on the benefit of companionship. “Two people shorten the road.” I would rather walk alone than possibly, suffer the company of a bore or a bigmouth.
Dipsy: I have to go. This was such a fine discussion, that, ”only a stepmother could find blame.”
Jim: While gathering up the parties’ two used, beer glasses, aggressively said,” That’s another lame expression.”
Dipsy: Upon departing from the pub, Dipsy chanced to see another white-haired, local friend, and stated, “Hi Mike, top of the morning to ya!”