When we think of civilized peoples and foods the Greeks, Italians, French and Chinese come quickly to mind. The Irish, on the other hand, are wild, feckless, charming, morose, repressed and corrupt, but not especially civilized. After all, they believe in Leprechauns and Notre Dame football. If we strain to think of "Irish civilization," no image appears, no Fertile Crescent or Indus Valley, no brooding bust of Beethoven. The simplest Greek restaurateur will name his establishment "Parthenon," thus linking himself to an imagined ancestral culture. A semi literate restaurateur of Sicilian origin will give pride of place to his plaster copy of Michelangelo's David, and so assert his presumed Renaissance ties. But an Irish businessman is far more likely to name his concern "O'Brien's" or "Irish Bred Pub," foregoing all attempts to link themselves to anything but the concept of Guinness Stout.
Ireland is a little island at the edge of Europe that has known neither Renaissance nor Enlightenment. It is a country which in some ways is a Third World country with a Stone Age culture. However, other than saving western literature by copying the manuscripts of great works by hand in the dark ages, Ireland has had one other moment of unblemished glory: As restaurant after restaurant failed in downtown Montgomery a/k/a "the Gump," as all through the city matted, unwashed barbarians descended on the remains of hole's in the wall, looting artifacts and burning menus, the Irish Bred Pub owners, who apparently were just learning to construct a restaurant, took up the great labor of building a true pub in downtown Montgomery and plastering upon the walls thereof everything they could lay their hands on. As such, the owners of the Irish Bred Pub saved the Gump from sequestration or, at least, the fear thereof.
Picture a beautiful sunny and crisp Sunday in the Gump on March 3, 2013. Our government, as our politicians bleated, had just self-destructed by imposing upon itself draconian and apocalyptic cuts that would soon cause commercial planes to crash into each other, bears in national parks to starve from the lack of tourist picnic baskets and our military to force women into combat. As you would expect, after the predictions of doom and gloom surrounding sequestration, the already prone to drink repressed Irishman in me, was lamenting my failure to convert all my assets into gold bullion and waiting for the sky to fall. After all, we Irishmen have an abiding sense of tragedy which sustains us through temporary periods of joy.
However, on my way to catch up at work on that same Sunday afternoon, I came upon an oasis on the corner of a deserted block of Dexter Avenue which was open and thriving with a lunch crowd serious about drinking and eating despite the reported impending collapse of our economy. Yes, acting on intelligence from Squeak and the GGPs (see prior post) I threw my morose mood aside and, after easily finding a place to park not far away, pulled upon the door to the Irish Bred Pub and stepped into a world where sequestration did not seem so daunting.
At 12 noon on Sundays at the Irish Bred Pub they begin to pour drinks of all kinds. Guinness, Jameson, Car Bombs, Irish Coffee, Bailey's, Bushmills and, we hope, even the Middleton. The walls of this cozy three-story bar/restaurant are adorned with memorabilia, flat screens showing Tottenham v. Arsenal (English thugs), and Irish sayings galore. The one that caught my eye as poignantly appropriate: "A politician should always think twice before he says nothing." Of course, we Irish are a very fair people because we never speak well of one another. Unfortunately, our U.S. politicians are very unfair people because they only speak well of those who agree with them. Or so says I.
|Even the tartar sauce was good (and I do not like tartar sauce).|
Says I to myself, you know, says I, that if I only had to cut 3% from my budget over the next year I doubt I would miss anything too important. And if, as it appears, that was really only a cut of 3% from the growth of my income over the next year i.e. living without a raise this year, then I am pretty sure I could manage. Problem is that nobody in Washington wants to lead us right now. Indeed that is sad but it is definitely not the end of western civilization. It is only the beginning of sequestration. And, says I, I and my friends at the Irish Bred Pub will survive sequestration. Now, says I, if we could only get our leaders to become Irishmen.