RSSAuthor Archive for Walter 1915


(Editor’s note: Last night I had a happy dream, as sweet as it could be. I dreamed that then brave Irish men had set old Ireland free).

(1644) A combined force of Irish and Old English Cavaliers remains anchored just off the coast of Wales at Cardigan Bay this morning. As the sun rose thousands of well-armed Irish troops began their cross-country trek toward London.

As expected, Welsh regiments joined the Irish in their attempts to snuff out the abuses of the Roundhead element under Oliver Cromwell. Background: These forces, along with Royalists loyal to English King Charles I, had been embroiled in a bloody civil war since 1642. The year before Gaels in Ireland had arisen in an attempt to drive out the plantation settlers who were given large tracts of land in Ireland in return for loyalty to Elizabeth I. These lands were taken from the native population many of whom now lived an impoverished life in their own country.

Saying that they’d rather have the Irish than Cromwell or the King, for that matter, the Welsh were relieved to know that the Irish would not stay.

“We do not want England,” said Finn MacCool, a Celtic warrior. “We just want England out of Ireland. They’ve cut down our virgin oak forests and confiscated our farms while forcing the earls of Ulster from their lands. We don’t like them.”

Despite these emotions the Irish promised not to harm the English peasantry, who they say are pawns in the evil masterplan to subjugate the world.

“We’d just like to teach them to read and about all the cultures of these islands,” said Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone. “It is through this kind of understanding that we can avoid future conflicts and live side by side in peace. Ignorance is the enemy of all men. How do you think the Puritans rose to power in the first place?”

Many English cheered as Druids priests condemned the practice of witch burning and the harsh philosophies of the Puritans.

“These barbarians must be stopped,” said Brian Boru, victor of Clontarf. “There will be no peace with these religious zealots under arms.”

The Irish high command in Kinsale has offered amnesty to any Puritan soldier who surrenders. Those who do not will face the sword or a life of slavery in the Caribbean. Although both the French and Spanish governments had pledged assistance in the punitive action against Cromwell the Irish declined the offer.

“We ourselves can handle the situation,” said O’Neill.

– Finbar O’Haille


Some Guinness was spilt on the barroom floor,

when the pub was shut for the night.

Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse

& stood in the pale moonlight.

He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor,

then back on haunches he sat.

All night long you could hear him roar:

Bring on the goddamn cat!

– Thanks to the Ouray Canavans for this ditty

An Evening at the Harcourt

When we hit Dublin, it was still raining from the year before. The pastel gray Liffey blended with the faded gray alleyways peppered with foggy people in wrinkled long coats and proficiently ducked heads. Umbrellas were on every street corner. No frowns on crowded O’Connell Street. Hard to tell what evil lurks behind the walls of nearby Dublin Castle, for centuries a symbol of British control.

“The weather here has only been like this since about 300 AD said Richard Kelly, the same man who at the Harcourt bar assured us that the Dublin City Ramblers would perform at nine, ten o’clock at the very latest.

“It’s a week night and the people of Dublin have to work in the morning,” he smiled, embracing a Paddys. “Besides, by Irish law the pubs must shut their doors and half past ten.”

We had only arrived that afternoon, after a groggy trip from Denver. The only thing less appetizing than airline food is airline sleep.

“What do you mean you don’t have Cork Gin? What kind of airline is this anyway?”

The taxi ride to Tavistock in Ranelagh was an eye opener as our driver, Brian, covered 2500 years in about 15 kilometers.

“That’s the General Post Office and the Ha’Penny Bridge. There is Steven’s Green and Trinity College, and over there is the eternal flame to the famine victims.”

Everywhere people hurried about, a Saxon city, a Viking city, a Norman city, the Pale…now back in the hands of the ancestors of Repeal, forced emigration, landlordism. The survivors of a terrible potato famine, slow murder by unofficial Parliamentary decree. A place on the landscape.

But we were here to drink pints of Guinness, not dwell on the pains of my ancestors. (“No, I’m not here to find my roots…I’m here to find a good seafood restaurant.”) We stepped into a three-story pub off Parnell Road. We had been coached by the wise…the Dooleys, the Walshes, the Sullivans, the Healy’s.

“When you’re in Ireland and you’re thirsty, step up to the barman and simply ask for a pint,” they had told us. “You don’t need to say a pint of what. They will know what you’re after, and they will appreciate your knowledge of local custom.

We stood at the bar and were greeted by a redheaded colleen who could have been the Young Ireland poster girl.

“What’ll ya have?” she asked.

 “Two pints,” I answered as Tuatha De’ Danainn might have done.

“Of what? was her curt response. It turned out she was an American student, unfamiliar with drinking manners and, as it turned out, much of the noted social curriculum at all.

“Did ye rent the hair too?” Slight disappointment overcome with the arrival of the dark stout. Where is The Gingerman, Sebastian Dangerfield, when we need him?

“Maybe a nap would put us in league with Dublin’s lovely night life,” someone suggested.

By now it was approaching seven and already dark on the shores of the Irish Sea. Strolling with the flow along Grafton we came upon the Harcourt and a sign in the window: “Tonight: The Dublin City Ramblers. What good fortune. These people put on one hell of a show. I saw them in Boston some years back. What a fitting arrival to Dublin’s fair city.

We walked into the bar and were greeted by soccer on the big screen, (they call the game soccer here so as not to be confused with Irish football, hurling, rugby, or even horse racing, which, along with swilling the Product, makes up the recreational side of this culture.) The pub was full of men in suits who forgot to come home from work that evening. My beautiful companion began receiving offers of marriage right there at the bar.

“I don’t usually do this but in your case I will have to make an exception…”

Then the first of many pints arrived at my thirsty elbow. I acknowledged the gift, raising my glass in the direction of my benefactors.

“My name is Richard,” said the big man to my right, “and this is my mate, Tommy.”

We exchanged the basics, marinated in room temperature Guinness. The duo, with their British accents assured us that the band would begin any moment now. It was 8:30 and the pubs had to close and all.

As it turns out Richard and Tommy were in the British Army together during the 1970 Troubles in Ulster. Both were the off-spring of Irish parents who fled the starvation economics of their own country for better conditions abroad, in this case Liverpool. When the two were old enough the army looked to be the best prospect and they joined. Both volunteered for duty in Derry, a decision that continued to haunt them. Now both lived in Dublin.

“It all makes little sense,” I offered, “to hear you scream Some Say the Devil is Dead with a cockney accent.

As a gentlemen in Rosscarbery would later explain it: “Layers, laddie, layers.”

Finally, the band arrived on the stage and played until about 2 am punctuating their rowdy performance with the Irish National Anthem. A Nation Once Again. The two of us got lost by the Grand Canal, going home. It was still raining.

“The Canadians are attacking! Run for your life!”

– Mr. Hat in the film South Park


(Cork) Gaelic mariner and self-proclaimed discoverer of America, Finbar the Sailor, remains lodged in the belly of a large blue whale according to sources here. The infamous old salt has been in that capacity since before Christmas. Although communication has been all but nonexistent since that time, scientists studying the phenomenon feel that Finbar is still alive due to atypical, sporadic acts on the part of the marine mammal.

Finbar remains in the belly of a whale like this one as of this afternoon.

“We don’t think the whale meant to eat Finbar,” said Dr. Efram Pennywhistle, a British marine biologist assigned to the case. “It was just a case of being at the wrong place at the right time and looking like lunch on-the-swim. The whale would probably have preferred fish and chips to that gasbag Mick,” the Englishman offered.

The Republic of Ireland has pledged to call in an assortment of experts including Jacques Cousteau, to aid in Finbar’s rescue. Already a convoy of French battleships is anchored of the coast in apprehension of Finbar’s release. They plan to dump gallons of cheap, green champagne overboard in the hopes that the host animal might consume the stuff and burp, thus expediting an uneventful release of the seaman.

Friends say that the Irish sailor will be disgorged whenever he, or the whale, gets around to it. Critics say his predicament is of his own doing.

“He’s always been fascinated by the Biblical account of Jonah and the Whale and now he’s got a ring-side seat for all the action. It’s just one more of his cheap publicity stunts,” said Mona Kelp, of Save the Whales. “I, for one, say leave him in there!”         -Gloria de Quirk


(Malaga, Spain) The island nation of Ireland has been spotted off the coast of Spain this morning, traveling at the speed of 35 knots in the direction of Sardinia. Hibernians, long tired of dealing with Britain, kidnapped the island last year and began the epic float trip to the Mediterranean Sea.

The brave crew responsible for geographic miracles at sea. “Moving large islands has never been easy.”

These Celts insist that Ireland belongs in the Mediterranean near Italy, Greece, Spain and several African nations with which it shares a common heritage.

“When was the last time you saw an Irishman that acted like a German or a Swede,” asked Finbar Harahan, the wealthy financier in charge of the transport.

“We had a little trouble getting through the Straits of Gibraltar,” he said, “but that’s still run by the Brits and all.”

If all goes according to plan Ireland will anchor in northern Corsica before steaming off south to the Tyrrhenian Sea to an undisclosed spot donated by the alleged bastard off-spring of Napolean Bonaparte, who continue to live on the island of Elba, just off the coast of Tuscany.

– Finn McCool

Who’s Afraid of The Ides of March?

Even though technically the Ides of March refers to March 15, we consider it important to notify readers of its upcoming arrival. While the only person in recorded history directly affected by The Ides* was Julius Caesar, there is no reason to take chances what with spring just around the corner.

The initial problem with The Ides is grammatical in that the term is singular and can be used only with a singular verb. The Ides is is correct while The Ides are is rudimentary hillbilly.

When attempting to examine The Ides, most reference is to the assassinated Roman Emperor brought back to life by William Shakespeare in his tragic 1600 play, Julius Caesar.  Here he coined the term The Ides of March in order to frighten the English peasantry, who populated most of his weekend audience.

Along with all this ascribing to Caesar we found little mention of much else: a Thornton Wilder novel and the website of Ides Inc., a plastic materials information managements company. Despite the fact that Czar Nicholas abdicated on March 15, 1917 Julius Caesar has corned the market on The Ides which have become synonymous with the offing of this particular dictator 2050 years ago.**

Robert Krulwich, of National Public Radio suggests that the hit men themselves celebrated the successful coup by singing Roman beer drinking songs such as 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall using Roman numerals. The thought of swooning Roman senators belting out mathematically challenging tunes at what he calls an “Apres Slaying Party” is certainly a possibility. However, did they do it before or after a trip to the vomitorium?

Precautions taken for The Ides should be simple and direct. Experts suggest that if one must leave the house he should not mingle with congregating bodies of politicians in strange haircuts. In addition, he should particularly avoid government buildings with marble steps and columns. Do not respond to invitations from anyone named Brutus, Cassias, Boomer, Portia or Bluto. Calm power trips, which may provoke violence on the part of already, agitated co-workers

Gaius Julius Caesar

And don’t go anywhere wearing only a flimsy toga. It may be starting to look warm outside but it’s still winter and you could freeze your arse.

 Getting back to the scene at the Forum, it is apparent from his arrival from Gaul that Caesar is about to go under the knife. It is likewise clear that Brutus orchestrated the murder with the help of Ligarius and Trebonius (who allegedly preferred piano wire to knives) while Cassias was only supposed to drive the getaway chariot.

The plan itself was childish. Had leaders like Cicero and Publius not been out campaigning or investigating the ethics of their colleagues in the senate they might have long in advance ferreted out the planned attack and called the Praetorian Guard. They might have blamed the whole attempt on Gaelic terrorists and bumped up the military ante. God only knows the Gauls had a motive to waste Caesar after all that reconnoitering up north.

But alas, poor Caesar.


*Hereafter we will refer to the Ides of March as The Ides because we want to. The Ides are the 15th day of March, May, July and October and the 13h day of the other months. The Ides of March is the first day of spring.

**Of note: there is the instrumental, The Ides of March, by Iron Maiden from the album Killer acknowledging the event.

Daylight Saving Time Warning

(Ouray) Colorado residents are reminded that the change from Rocky Mountain to Daylight Saving Time could seriously distort normal cocktail hours this summer.

“People engaged in that sort of thing should be aware that a small adjustment may be necessary to alleviate confusion,” said Andrea Rotweiller, of Clockmosis, a troll Pueblo public relations firm hired to promote longer days and shorter nights.

Rotweiller suggests that imbibers start earlier in the afternoon and continue later into the evening at first to get comfortable with the new time and than drop back to a comfortable, robotic level by, say July or August.

People who do not recognize happy hour or those who tend to drink all day were not undressed by the warning and should go on about their business as if nothing had happened.

“So, let me get this straight…you allow these priests, these shamans, to speak to your gods on your behalf?”
   –  Potato Angel’s question posed to the Inca upon arrival in Cusco, January, 1491. in “Greetings From The Spanish Inquisition” by Melvin Garibaldi O’Toole. Testosterone Bros., Boston.