Another St. Patrick's Day has come and gone, and with its passing comes some great tales from Irish expatriates who have taken up residence in America to live their lifelong dream of opening their own authentic Irish pub.
"If anyone knows drinkin' and pubs, it's us," said Paddy O'Malley, owner of Paddy's Fine Irish Spirits in Topeka, Kansas.
"I know, what the hell is an Irish Pub doing in one of the most American neighborhoods in America, you might be asking?" said O'Malley with a characteristic Irish grin.
"Me mum's second aunt lives here, and she's generously offered me room in 'er basement till I can get me Irish pub business off the ground," he answered himself.
O'Malley says he and a group of friends he's made on a Facebook page called "Luck 'O the Irish Pub Club" were recently discussing this past St. Patrick's Day and in particular, the difference between an American drinker and an Irish drinker.
"Oh we had a wee bit o' craic over that one, we did," said O'Malley.
"Do ya honestly think we spent every last dime in our pocket to move over here to just break even in the pub business?" asked O'Malley.
"No, it weren't that, I can assure you," he again answered himself.
"We Irish are known for finding various ways to make ourselves laugh, so we don't ever lose our ranking as being one of the happiest people on earth," he said.
"Here in the Irish pub business, we don't plan on being rich, but we do plan on having the best time of our lives every Friday and Saturday nights, and that includes watching American lightweight drinkers get stumbling drunk and make right asses of themselves," he said.
"I can tell you this, I've not laughed this much since I owned my original bar in Dublin and watched the Englishmen beat each other up, get thrown out, and then stagger back in and ask for more of the same," he said.
"With Americans, it's not as ribald as a real fist fight, as most Americans have been sissied up a bit with too many creature comforts," he said, referring to every foreigner's assumption that Americans are (1) filthy rich; and (2) can afford to have all the modern conveniences in order to free them up to drink and act like asses.
O'Malley finished his pint of Guinness, poured another, and continued.
"Watching them get in a fight with each other and trying to slap each other senseless is, in my humble opinion, almost better than watching a bare-knuckled fight back in Ireland," he chuckled.
"Why, I'd go so far as to say it's even better than watching two girls go at it, except, of course, if it's Mike Tyson fighting," he said.
"Most Irishmen think Tyson fights like a girl anyway," said O'Malley, referring to Tyson's resorting to biting the ear off former world champion, Evander Holyfield's face back in 1997."
When asked if he knew that, coincidentally, Evander Holyfield, at age 51, is hoping to be given a temporary licence by the British Boxing Board of Control to fight Scotland's Highland boxer, Gary Cornish, in the very near future, O'Malley said he had not, but that he would definitely put in Sky cable to make sure the match is shown in his pub.
It should be right fun watching them try and slap each other to the finish," and added, "Holyfield has God himself to thank for not having to go up against a bare-fisted Irishman."
Getting back to the difference between American drinkers and Irish drinkers on St. Patrick's Day, O'Malley said simply, "I thought we been through all that. We both drink more than we should. The difference," he said, "is that when an Irishman has gone over his limit, he usually just finds a corner to go sleep it off in.
"An American, well, he'll keep going till someone knocks him out."
Finally, when asked if he had to choose between drinking and laughing, which would he choose, O'Malley grabbed his heart in one hand and his Guinness in the other and cried "Easy, man! Are ye tryin' to give me a heart attack?"