We’ve all been there, standing in some unfortunate co-worker’s grotty kitchen who has been friendly enough to invite you to their party, red cups everywhere, vodka inexplicably stored in the freezer and a few too many drinks in. When it happens.
“No Toose-days? That’s crayyyyyyzeeeee!”
It is, Kimberly. It is in fact exactly that.
Don’t get us wrong; we absolutely love Americans. For decades now our teenagers have desperately asked their distant third cousin to pick them up an Abercrombie hoodie on their trip to New York. There is an entire generation of Irish twenty-somethings who at one point or another, have unconsciously begun to speak more like they are from Laguna Beach than the far less suburb of Dublin 4. In fact when I was on a J1 not too far from there myself, my American friends seemed to pick up on the accent I had accumulated during my years at a school in south Dublin spent watching more episodes of The Hills than I am willing to admit.
“You don’t sound fully Irish. You’re a little easier to understand than most Irish people, did you ever live in the US?”
The problem is that we love Americans with the same well intentioned but harshly mocking way that we would love a younger brother. Our infamous teasing humour often means that they are sometimes, a lot of the time, simply just too easy to wind up. And every summer when hordes of students hop on a plane over the Atlantic to soak up all America has to offer to and wind up Americans, they have to forgive us; sure, we’re only having the craic after all.
Don’t forget, in the nicest way possible, your Americans co-workers and neighbours have more than likely only made friends with you as a “token Paddy” and should thus experience Irish humour in all its glory. Here are a few classic lines to get you started.
1. The Six Day Weeker. “Yeah not many people know this, but in Ireland we don’t actually HAVE Wednesdays, it just goes straight from Tuesday to Thursday. Yeah I know. It IS really weird, now that I think about it.”
2. To tell totally normal stories involving leprechauns. When Riyadh Khalaf, of Spin 1038 fame, asked a few Texans whether leprechauns should be reprimanded for committing crimes in Ireland, the Americans he interviewed couldn’t see why not. After all, Lady Justice can’t see how short they are.
3. “The drinking age in Ireland is 15.” When you have to wait until you’re 21 to be served anything other than a Mountain Dew at a bar, they’ll believe anything. And when you really think about what age you were the first time you had cans on your friend’s green and were shooed away by some nosy oul one, it’s not really a hundred miles from the truth.
4. “We don’t have heavy-duty painkillers.” “But what about if you break your leg?” they’ll inevitably ask. Sure don’t we just go into the shop and buy a shot of potchin; you’ll be GRAND.
5. “We have a legal requirement of potatoes to eat each year.” We’re very fond of our spuds; we even have them for breakfast, fried with a few slices of pudding. Bord Bia can be a fierce strict bunch of lads and we don’t want to upset them.
6. “All our coke is Guinness-flavoured”. This one’s especially powerful while holding up a Dr. Pepper bottle in disbelief that this so-called “soda” could ever be cherry-flavoured. What magic you Americans possess…
7. “It’s mandatory for all primary school children to kiss the Blarney Stone.” Despite it being slimy and quite honestly completely and utterly gross, it was made mandatory in 1993 for every primary school student to visit this sacred spot to receive the essential “gift of the gab”. Fun fact.
8. “Irish people are allergic to all snakes.” When the good St Patrick rid all the snakes from our emerald isle, in the years that followed, our ability to survive any snake attack, venomous or not, crumbled entirely. Don’t let that grass snake by the pool come anywhere NEAR you if you want to make it back to Dublin Airport alive come late August.