Irish Americans are not really Irish
Did A Fight Break Out?
I have some Irish friends. Irish American, really. I love them because they’ve got a little of the Irish toughness and grit. Jack’s fought in the Pacific during WWII. He’s smokes and drinks to this day. Eddie’s tough and gritty. He played NYC high school basketball at a high level and professional basketball in Europe. There picture of him in Life Magazine playing against Lew Alcinder for the NYC high school championship. He played hurt for a long time and now has a bad ankle. Joe Queenan is mostly tough because he grew up poor but now writes for a living.
Now my new friend, Eddie, has an accent and a tattoo of the Irish flag on his forearm and there’s no denying where he’s from. He and I are learning to play the banjo, and after a practice session, he asked me how my wife’s niece’s wedding had been. I said fine, but then muttered that it was tense and complicated because she’s married a girl who’s in the process of having a sex change to become a man. He asked if a fight had broken out.
I said, “No, what kind of a fight would break out at a wedding?
“Then it clearly wasn’t an Irish wedding, mate.”
I asked what kind of fights break out at Irish weddings. “Over what?” I demanded.
He said, “I don’t know--Anything--A careless comment.”
He told me about the last wedding he’d been to at the Lycium in town. Someone, a guy, from Dublin, got drunk and flung plastic cups at the bride and groom. A fist fight broke out and guests aligned themselves along Irish tribal allegiances. Eddie himself is a Dubliner.
“So what happened to the wedding?”
“Nothing” he said “They threw the guy out and everything went back to how it was.”
That’s not a story I’ll ever hear from Jack, or Eddie Powell. Maybe Joe, since he’s a writer and it would be a secondhand account. They’re Irish but they’re from here.