Wednesday, March 01, 2006

For My Irish Catholic Friends...

An Irishman moves into a tiny hamlet in County Kerry, and one thing you can be sure of in Ireland is this: if there is a town anywhere in Ireland, there is bound to be a pub. So this fellow walks into the pub and promptly orders three beers. The bartender raises his eyebrows because even for an Irishman three beers at one time is a lot. Nevertheless, the bartender serves the man three beers, which he drinks quietly at a table, alone.

An hour later, the man has finished the three beers and orders three more.
This happens yet again. The next evening the man again orders and drinks three beers at a time, several times. This goes on night after night for a week, and soon the entire town is whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers. Finally, curiosity got the best of them, so the bartender broaches the subject on behalf of the town. "I don't mean to pry, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers?"

"Tis odd, isn't it?" the man replies, "You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order an extra two beers whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond."

The bartender and the whole town was pleased with this answer, and soon the Man Who Orders Three Beers became a local celebrity and source of pride to the hamlet, even to the extent that out-of-towners would come to watch him drink.

Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two beers. The bartender pours them with a heavy heart. This continues for the rest of the evening: he orders only two beers, and finally the bartender says to the man, "All of us want to offer condolences to you for the death of your brother. You know -- the two beers and all..."

The man ponders this for a moment, then replies, "Well, now. I appreciate your sympathy, but you'll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well. The one less beer is for me. You see, it's just that I gave up drinking for Lent."

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