A shot of St. Patrick's day humour...

I'm about the head out into the rain and drive across from Oxford to Potton on the Bedford/Cambridgeshire border to my Dad's pub The Red Lion in Potton to help out on this St. Patrick's eve. (Hey, could that be a new Clinton Card idea?) He's got a bit of music on and he might dish up a few sausage and chips later if a few quid is spent at the bar. 

Anyone who has met my Dad, tells me he is one of the funniest pub landlords they have met. Personally, I'm kind of immune to a lot of his musings since I've grown up with the stress, hangovers, late nights, early starts, social sacrifices, rows, financial woes and general pointlessness of chatting to that lone regular in an otherwise empty pub as he sups pints all afternoon while talking sh!te until finally his hunger, his wife or his wallet interjects and gives him reason to go home. My Dad's favourite kind of customer as it happens.

Still, in the spirit of our Irish weekend, here are three classics from Tom Kilroy's 'funny moment' repertoire:

*Anouncement from the Bar...*
"A roll of money wrapped in an elastic band has been handed in at the bar.
*Pub goes quiet*
"I repeat, a roll of money wrapped in an elastic band has been handed in at the bar."
 *People looking at each other wondering who lost a roll of money*
"Anyone who has lost a roll of money wrapped in an elastic band, please make your way to the bar where you can collect your elastic band."

When a fight broke out in the Gloucester Irish Club where Dad was the Steward back in the 80's, one of the committee members ran up the stairs and asked him to sort it out. The story goes that he jumped behind the curtain to hide, only to peak out with the immortal words

"Sort it? Jaysus, I come from a long line of cowards you know!"

When I was about 8 years old and standing behind the bar one afternoon while Dad had his dinner (we call it lunch in today's parlance) during the annual budget announcement on TV at the time. As soon as a customer came in (that same bloody regular!), I called up the stairs and Dad came down to serve him. Pouring the pint of Guinness, 
Dad broke the silence with the opening gambit of:
"Were you watching the budget? Ah now, it's gettin' outta hand. I see they're putting the price of food up by 10p a pint..."

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!

Let me leave you with this very funny video made by Neil and the lads at the Hop Inn Pub in Athenry. It coincided with the visit by President Obama to Ireland to celebrate his Irish roots... I love the queue of cars down the street patiently waiting for the filming to finish. How they think of them..

'Twelve Days Inn', Two Years Late

Here's a missive I tapped out two years ago that got left behind in the drafts folder. Wow, this 'sabbatical' is into its third year. Best decision ever and still not tempted back.

12 days in, here's what I think:

Don't give up the booze because...
... you want to lose weight. Although you will.
... you want to save money. Although you will.
... you want to 'turn over a new leaf'. What's wrong with old one?
... alcohol is 'evil'. It isn't.
... it's the 'right thing to do'. According to whom?
... your 'partner or spouse has given it up'. Make your own mind up.

These are just short-sighted goals that you can push against as you cave in to that temptation.

But DO give up the booze (or reach out for help) if...
... it is a negative impact on you.
... it is a negative impact on your friends and relationships.
... it is making you ill.
... it is tempting you into criminal behaviour.
... It is putting people in danger.
... It is putting your livelihood in danger.
... it is badly effect personality or decision making.

If you answer 'Yes', an truly honest Yes, to any ONE of these, then you need to seriously consider your position.

But if your answer is 'No' to ALL of these (which is a good thing), it begs the question:
Is there a truly long-term positive reason for you to give up the booze?
Yes there is and it is profoundly simple: to tap into all the energy, creativity and positivity that floods BACK into your life which alcohol has been draining out of you all along.

You can't swim upriver forever.

That's why I am enjoying my sabbatical for the time being.