Submitted By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
Greetings from Dublin Ireland, the home of the most famous dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and author of Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift. Suzanne and I have embraced the Irish and the hug seems mutual. Dublin is caught up in the frenzy of the five-day Saint Patrick’s Day Festival and, even more so, with the spectacle of European Rugby’s version of the Super Bowl played yesterday at Aviva Stadium. The city is teaming with rugby fans from five other nations. We’ve met so many wonderful people here from our ever helpful doorman at the Brooks Hotel, Connor, to our favorite barkeeper, Pawel, to scores of others, all anxious to help two hopelessly lost American travelers. We’ve even met a Turley or two.
The regulars here know that the lessons in mediation and quick-thinking learned on the Turley blog come in handy — even abroad. As I mentioned, yesterday was the playing of the Six Nation Rugby event here in Dublin. It was a historic match as the heavily favored and unbeaten British team were seeking to achieve the Grand Slam with a victory over a rather pedestrian Irish national team. Emotions ran high as the Irish pulled off a huge upset vanquishing the Brits on their national holiday, 24-8.
While enjoying a wonderful 16-year-old Bushmills with our newfound comrades at a local pub, a group of clearly British fans strolled into the bar tired, wet (it rained the entire match), and despondent over the loss. A few good-natured barbs were thrown their way by the locals seated around me, and some tempers flared. Not wanting to relive a scene from the Old West in this burgeoning dispute, I introduced myself as an American cousin to both factions and asked what I could do to help.
Both groups seemed happy with my intervention and I suggested a “challenge” to both lighten the mood and allow me back to my scotch. Thinking as fast as the spirits would allow, I suggested the insulted Brits come up with the most disgusting drink they could imagine and that both groups down the noxious potion as fast as possible. My unspoken logic was that the alcohol might help grease the social skids or maybe even result in some mild anesthesia, and, that ultimately it would be hard to aim a punch when tipsy. The trick worked as the Brits concocted a witches brew of Compari and vodka which the Irish concluded was the most disgusting drink on the planet. Dutifully, they all drank it down but not until one condition was met. As the maker of the challenge, I was likewise required to drink first . Regulars here will be glad to know that I did the deed in record time, earning the respect of Brits and Celts alike. Recalling T.E. Lawrence, one of the Brits almost immediately dubbed me “Mark of Ireland” for my peacemaking efforts.
Another international incident averted on this weekend of international incidents and all thanks to my tenure on the Turley blog (and some skills developed long ago in my college fraternity). As our regular Buddha likes to say “One lives to be of service” — even in Ireland
~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger