A trip to Ireland, part two. Fundraisers, cougars and the recession.

So a few new things have happened in the last part of my Ireland trip that were unexpected, delightful and worth talking about.

Saturday’s events were enough to give anyone a reason to move to this particular village in Ireland. The festivities involving Irish children kicked off late afternoon with an unexpected trip to the roller skating rink. It was raining out and my friend was acting like, how odd, it never rains here, what should we do?, which I’m too smart for but the troops were restless and so the family decided to take me and Mr. H on an outing that normally would have me hiding in my bed at home.

I do not do team sports or anything athletic in public (or in general, honestly) because it all gives me anxiety, I prefer creative hobbies that use my brain and let’s be honest, I’m fucking lazy and my legs never work right. So this was a nightmare for me, until I got on those roller skates and starting gliding around to the likes of Ga Ga and then it was great. It was especially great because I was like the third best in the family and I do not care if half the group was under ten. I did almost tear something when I tried to skate under the Mr.’s legs when just skating in a circle got boring. I almost ruined his sperm maker with my head, ended in a half split on my back and that was the end of my roller skating career.

From here we moved on to dinner in which a few things happened.
1. I went to a Chinese restaurant, which proves the Irish do eat Chinese, food, not people, which in my defense I never said they didn’t eat Chinese food, I said I wondered if they did and by did I meant I have never seen my Irish friends eat anything Asian. Long story but the debate is over.

2. Dinner turned into my surprise birthday party which is obviously fucking amazing because birthday week was supposed to start Sunday but it started a day early thanks to the Craven clan, which you know has me thrilled.

3. The girls got me a tin whistle as one of my gifts. UMMMM YES, exactly the kind previously discussed in the blog, if that’s what you were thinking. Also, yes, I’ve already googled, how to play rebel songs on tin whistle…so new hobby, check. Also, I later found out it’s not really appropriate to say on your blog that someone whipped out their whistle because that means Irish penis. You learn something new every day.

Anyway. Back to Saturday and if you can believe it, the best had yet to come. After the tiny leprechauns went to bed, we made an appearance at the local pub, which is also a convenience store (why there are not more of these little gems in towns I frequent, who the fuck knows) so in case you need cigarettes, toilet paper, a shot of vodka and a newspaper, you’re all set. It was just past the people drinking and sitting on the store counter, perched casually next to the lotto machine, giving me the eye with a glimmer of crazy that even I wouldn’t fuck with, that I started to see the people of the village come to life before me.

Leaning with her back to the store, just inside the door to the “lounge”, I spotted a cougar drinking a cider, eating tiny sausages on toothpicks, all while stuffed into leopard heels, wearing a dress sewn for a woman twenty years her junior, and carrying around a donation bucket. She was just the first person past the door to the store. As I looked around, all you could see were red faces, men with crosses and shirts open to display their tuffs of once ginger chest hair. Looking further back, much to my delight, we found the cougar den, filled with luscious middle-aged Irish women who had somehow managed to stuff thirty extra pounds each around their mid section in a spandex dress number and pair it with flourescent, patent leather pumps. And the hair. It was like Grease meets Hairspray meets Amy Winehouse.

Did I mention this was a local fundraiser for a child that needs an operation? Well, yes, it was. And shocking the Irish would turn it into a drinking event which could be easily mistaken for a Halloween party. It really wasn’t until my eyes landed on the most luxurious woman in the building did I think I could have also landed myself in a beauty pageant/Stifler’s Mother Look Alike Contest. No lie, I’m coming out of the bathroom after my second pint of cider and there she was. She was tossing around her long and tangled hair, weaving her hands in and out of her mangled, feathered bangs, smacking her cherry lips that perfectly matched her lacy bra that was casually displayed from beneath the most GLORIOUS one piece get-up, a lovely black and white polka dot cat suit that left none of her large and surely paid for breasts to my already vivid imagination. She was like meeting Elizabeth Taylor, but in Ireland.

I couldn’t help but stare at her from across the room, mouth open and Moxie-eyed, just thinking of what a specimen she really was. That level of cougar takes real talent. Good for her.

This was about the time that the most exciting discovery of the night occurred. The auction had begun directly behind Stifler’s mom and I was in a great spot to be a part of all the excitement. We could barely contain ourselves, so curious about the list of goodies that we found a copy and got ready in case we needed to jump in with a bid. Mr. H looked over the list and noted that I might be particularly interested in item number seven. He handed me the list. Sure enough, I had my item to bid on.

Number seven: Truckload of sticks.

“Hey.” I whispered to my friend. She looked at me, knowing she didn’t want to hear what was coming next. “You guys do know that sticks are free if you just go to the woods and get them, right? You don’t have to pay for them.” Then I broke up in fits of laughter and slammed back my drink.

At the end of the auction I headed out back to the picnic area for a smoke, exhausted by the entertainment and this is where I was next introduced to ol’ B Ryan, the local pantomime instructor/2nd best cross-dresser in Ireland, second only to some lad Mr. Pussie that just WOULD BE BEATEN THIS YEAR. Or something like that. B Ryan was the type of Irish guy you’d want to be friends with. Swore a lot, slurred up a storm, slapped you hard on your back every time he thought something was funny and described everything as bullocks and gobshite. It was clear through his drunken enthusiasm that he was just tickled to have made American friends and was talking loudly about our visit, which was entertaining because I never quite remember exactly how much of a sideshow Americans can be to the rest of the world. Well, after another pint I took a look around and realized a bit of a line had formed to get in to talk to the Americans. Fancy that. I was a NOVELTY. B Ryan moved aside and next up was James, the carpenter that could build a treehouse in day, if we were in the market. After James was the little woman with the aggressive fake eyelashes and dress made for Cleopatra, who stopped in to tell us that she used to be in the Navy but now she was in the Army, had been to America and did we know our accents are JUST AWFUL? I would have taken offense perhaps if I wasn’t so mesmerized by how effortlessly, while talking, she undid her metallic clutch purse, pulled out a diet coke bottle, dumped some clear stuff in her coke, put it back in her bag and lit a cigarette.

As I took her lighter from her I said, thoroughly impressed, “you DID just dump your own vodka in your coke while telling a full story AND insulting me, all while acting like nothing was going on, no?” I was not judging, just checking, really.

Apparently she felt no need to get into details with me. She merely hissed at me loudly and knowingly, “RECESSION.” And that was that. One word and we were on the same page.

Closing time came late in the village that night and me, my hostess with the mostest and Mr. H skipped on home down Church Street to put ourselves to bed. It wasn’t until we hit the door that we realized Mr. Hostess had accidentally locked us out and gone to bed. Good thing I have a problem with sweating at night because our first floor guestroom’s window was still cracked from the night before. With that stroke of luck, we all got into the cheerleading move better known as a basket toss and I was launched into the window, half breaking in, half doing gymnastics. My feet were tossed high above my head and I backflipped onto the bed, landed on my back and then flopped like a drunken slob onto the hardwoods.

Lastly, I went to church the next day and didn’t combust or sizzle and also my face didn’t melt off. The goddamned priest splashed holy water everywhere WITHOUT ASKING ME FIRST and there was a lot of on your knees, stand up, on your knees, stand up, but really, I feel like the past decade has left me pretty well trained for that bit.

So, Ireland. All in all was a fantastic trip.

Oh wait. The sticks. I almost forgot about the sticks. Number seven sold for the highest bid of the night at 140 euros, to the Cleopatra dress wearing, recession fighting beauty queen.

Fucking sticks. Who knew.