Well I've done it again now haven't I. I wrote that little piece that the Big BenDedek published last week called 'The Luck of the Irish', and within just a few days I had people complaining about what I'd written, and what Mr. Ben had written at the bottom. To be sure to be sure to be sure some people just don't have a sense of humor now do they?
Don't ye be knowin that me and Mr. Ben get on right fine like, with narry a problem between us. We're like a mutual admiration society all on our own. But lest some daft readers think that they understood what I be writing, let me put yer hearts to rest by showing a sense of the humor of the Irish.
And sure it is that some Irish are as thick as the 'outhouse' or as they called it when I lived in Australia, 'The Dunny'!
I personally don't find 'racial jokes' to be a bad thing. It depends on the heart that lies behind the mouth that be saying the joke. I meself heard many an Irish joke in Australia and sure, many were precious as jems. The Aussies are known as jokers, and truth to tell, some of the best jokes I ever came across were the Aussies themselves.
But when people start throwin off about how 'thick' be the Irish, it's not altogether without foundation.
I remember when I was a wee one seeing me grandfather comin into the house with eggs collected from the hen house. There was only a dozen or so, but the old fella was carryin them in one basket that was sitting inside another. There were two handles like. It was a strange site to see, and me Gran says to Grandfather: 'Sean!' (that was me grandfather's name) 'Sean! Why be ye carrying them eggs in two baskets?'
He looked up at her and all innocent like, said: 'Well didn't the good father say just this last Sunday at Mass that we shouldn't be carryin round all our eggs in one basket!'
Me Gran just looked from him to me and back to him and then raisin her head to heaven said a little prayer. It was a long time before I understood the prayer but I always remembered it. She prayed: 'Thank you Blessed Saviour for givin me the gift of love, kindness and patience! And I especially thank you for givin me all the simple uncomplicated things in life!'
One of the things that makes the Irish strong and gives them character, is that our history is full of hardship. And isn't that the point I be tryin to make in last weeks article?
As the televangelist in the Glass Church was apt to say: 'When the goin gets tough, the tough get goin!' (or some such words to that effect).
In the great famine of years gone by, when everything was tougher than could be endured, the tough got going, leaving the green isle for parts unknown and enduring even more hardship before carving out a successful life for themselves and their kin.
I've been readin some of those jokes that every so often can be read at the Morning Star News, and I like the Irish ones. I do! I love a good laugh! I'll laugh at anything and everything, even if I do get into trouble from those who seem to think that in the land of the free, the only jokes worth telling are those written on cue cards that have been purged of every possible thing to which the sour faces could object.
Why it was only the other day a manager got into trouble for asking such an innocent question. He overheard a lady in the office say that she had gotten a tattoo, and when he asked if it were true and she confirmed the truth of it, he asked: 'Where is the tattoo?' Well she started on about how that was a personal question and quite inappropriate to be askin given the location of it.
The manager was tellin me about it later and said: 'How am I supposed to be on good relations with the staff when I need 'thought police' permission before I speak anything.'
Whether the jokes be true or not, there's fun to be had in the tellin and the listenin of them. And isn't it amazing how many things ye think be invented jokes, that turn out be real.
Just by way of example: Years ago in Northern Ireland, they did a show on television showin how to use condoms. It caused a shiteload of trouble it did, but not as much as it did 6 months later when all these little colleens started complaining that they didn't know how they got pregnant because they followed the advice on the TV and made their lads wear condoms on their fingers.
True! They did indeed do just as they had been shown on the telly. They wore the bloody english letters on their first two fingers. And isn't that what the man on the television showed them to do?
Well maybe it's not politically correct to write about this, and maybe it's not politically correct to tell Irish Jokes, but when all is said and done, if ye don't know how to have a happy and cheery heart; if ye don't know how to have a hearty laugh, then ye be dead already!
Dance as if no one's watching, sing as if no one's listening, live everyday as if it were your last, and laugh for all your might!
May you have warm words on a cold evening, A full moon on a dark night, And the road downhill all the way to your door.
John J. Walsh, a Catholic, is originally from Ireland; went to high school and university in Australia, and later moved to the U.S.A. He lives in the Midwest and is married to an American. He now has a lot of time on his hands and is taking the opportunity to see some of his musings in print. Fearing the hot blooded protestants and not wanting to reach heaven or hell faster than is God's plan, his personal email address and other particulars are not available for publication. You may however Email him at: johnjwalsh_magic @live.com