Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It’s an overcast day in south Dublin, as per usual. Wife and I revel in the gloomy dramatic feel of it all. We have been living in Ireland for about a month and are familiar enough with the city now to feel like locals, but still new enough to feel like every corner hides an exciting adventure.

The plan is to take a bus to a part of town we have never visited, see another ancient landmark, drink pints from another historic pub and consume the daily ration of fried fatty food. Irish pub grub warms the body and soul to counteract the daily drizzle, but, looking back, the sausages and chips, fish and chips, eggs and chips, not to mention the lasagna and chips take their toll on the waistline.

We cart our ever-growing backsides up to the top deck of the bus and go to the back where we hope to have some space to ourselves. We have the back rows pretty much to ourselves until two young men climb the stairs holding cans hidden by brown paper bags. They begin to discuss their beer of choice very loudly and I grimace at Wife when I hear the more dominant of the pair state he ‘is a Budweiser man’. We are in Guinness country! We have flown thousands of miles to raise above the American swill they call beer and here these youngsters are touting their love of yellow water for all to hear! The submissive chuckles and calls the dominant one ‘stupid’.

The dominant hooligan mishears and launches into a tirade, “How dare you call me a scumbag. Scumbags are the lowest of the low and I’ll tell you right now, I’ve never stolen from my friends and I’ve never stolen from my family, so if you call me a scumbag I will fight you on this bus right now and steal from you and your friends every chance I get! You understand me?!” The submissive hooligan is complete shocked and in a high pitched voice says simply “Yeah! Alright! Alright!” I get the impression that the submissive hooligan had no idea what just happened.

There is a tense silence and I wonder at the audacity of admitting that you are a thief but not a ‘scumbag’ since you follow a personal code forbidding you to steal from relatives and from current allies.

The dominant hooligan asks, “Hey, you know what’s funny?”

The submissive hooligan asks, “What’s funny?”

The dominant hooligan says, “Elephants can’t jump.”

The submissive hooligan thinks for a second and says, “Hey, yeah, that is pretty funny.”

They then rose up and exited the bus on the next stop, chuckling all the way.

I spent the rest of the day wondering about youthful arrogance and leaping pachyderms. And, despite what I think of him, he may have a point. It is pretty funny.