Gripping yarns from a wet summer's day in a Co Kerry pub
Published 14/09/2015 | 02:30
Did you know there are women living in the high peaks of somewhere in Pakistan who never get the menopause? The result is that the women who live in the highlands can have babies until they are well into their eighties.
I'm not too sure if this amazing 'fact' is true or not, and I didn't bother to check it out.
But the man who told me of the mountainy older mothers was in no way unsure of his own abilities. I was stretched out on one of the seats of our pub, waiting for the next wave of customers.
In the days before Listowel races, customers come in waves of one.
He came very close, close enough to kiss. The man who knew all the interesting facts.
"Move back, man," I said. "I need my space." I've always hated when people put their face in to mine.
Later I realised the man was slightly deaf and needed to get close so that he could get his hearing aid near to my lips.
I was sorry then for pushing him away. On another day, I almost barred a man with MS when he staggered into the pub and had trouble ordering as his voice had been slowed down by his condition.
Something told me to hold on for a second, and I did.
The man who invaded my facial space told me he had travelled quite a bit and he was shouting out quite loud, presumably so he could hear himself speak.
He presented the interesting facts by way of asking questions, which had two results - the first was to prove how much he knew and the second was to show how little I knew.
One question was: Why was Guinness black? I didn't know, even though I've been selling and drinking the stuff for all of my adult life.
The answer, he said, had something to do with hops, and then he told me about the women in Pakistan.
He moved off when my cousins from Cork came into the pub and they told me of a very, very interesting fact that had to do with a description of the size of a man's member.
Before we get on to the descriptive, we will stick with the narrative for a little while.
All these fascinating stories were told to me last Friday when the rains came and refused to leave. All day long it poured, and I was in the pub all day long.
Phil, who has worked with us for years, had to go home. Her beautiful house was flooded, up to the windows, when a bog canal burst its banks.
Phil was my mother's pal. As if she wasn't devastated enough from the passing of the mother. But she got on with it.
The fire brigade couldn't even get into the house as the water inside and outside were at the same level.
So I told her about the man who told me of the women in Pakistan. You couldn't keep Phil down.
Herself and the mother used to go on shopping trips and very often they would come back without buying anything, which gave them great satisfaction in that they saved so much.
But this was a terrible blow.
So I'm in the bar when I shouldn't be and in come the Cork cousins and their story of penile calibration.
It seems there was a man from their parts who had the name of having a particularly large member.
By way of a point of information, I think I should point out for foreign people and those of you who have never discussed or heard tell of such matters concerning or pertaining to the male appendage that "member" is the Irish word for penis.
We don't like to use such expressions in public, though, so from now on we will use the word "member". If you don't mind.
So it seems someone in a pub somewhere in Cork asked the man with the large member if his member was as big as was rumoured and, if it was, well then exactly how big or long was it.
"'Tis that long," said the man with the large member, "that 11 robins could perch upon it in a row, although to be fair, the one at the end might have to stand on one leg."
Later in the day, Phil called to say they had managed to get the water out of the house.
The tide marks were everywhere and poor Phil had only just redecorated the house a few months ago for her son' s wedding.
Her friends in the bar were devastated. Mickey Mac Connell has been a good pal of Phil's for a good many years.
Mickey composed 'Only Our Rivers Run Free', and they ran in to Phil's house.
Like all great entertainers, Mickey can read a room, so by way of cheering us up he told us the following true story.
Mickey was gigging in Ballybunion last weekend and he took a break to smoke a cigarette with his musical accomplice, the accomplished Wayne Taren.
This American lady asked Mickey what was the name of their band. Mickey and Wayne hadn't quite got around to naming their band, so Mickey looked behind the rather large lady and spotted a brown road sign for The Wild Atlantic Way.
"Our band," said Mickey, "is called The Wild Atlantic Way."
"Gee," went the American lady, "you guys must be famous, I've seen signs advertising your band all over Ireland."
Phil, up to her ankles in water, had a good laugh at that one.
So goes an ordinary Friday in the very ordinary life of a small town barman.