Ahoy, lads! Cap’n Jim here to share with ye what we’ve been up to the last few weeks. We received an “invitation” from a certain ‘Lord Mayor’ in a sleepy Irish seaside town that shall go unnamed. A cunning, clever conniver after yer Cap’n’s own dark heart, Lord Mayor told us that the town’s watch had been proverbially asleep at the wheel fer months, and a merciless pirate attack seemed inevitable. Incidentally, the land has a history of being sacked going all the way back to Viking times, followed by several centuries of pirate marauding. By the time the bleedin’ English rolled in, weary Irish residents knew the drill and simply left all their fancy possessions outside to facilitate easy gathering.
Anyway, the Lord Mayor decided a controlled raid by “civilized” pirates would be for the best, and when I say for the best, I mean best fer his purse. Thus a deal was struck — we’d raid his lovely town (and likely a fair bit of the coastline as well, seeing as we were in the vicinity, after all) in exchange for a fair 20% commission to the Lord Mayor. Arr.
Now we’d befriended several Blackbeard for Men customers in the Emerald Isles over the years who had become fans of our product — none more so than “Arch” Jimmy Killarney from Cork, an earnest user of our brown/auburn shade since 2014 (shout out, Arch!) Arch was acting as a one-man unpaid Blackbeard for Men evangelist, doing demos on his friends and eradicating the gray in their beards faster than an Irish rainbow wipes out the gray in the skies. Over the years we’ve probably gained several dozen new customers (mostly brown/auburn, of course — this be Ireland) thanks exclusively to Arch’s efforts. Well, when we told Arch we were sailing into Dublintown, he graciously offered to take a few days off work to show us the best pubs in Ireland. A grand time to be had for sure. Co-Cap’n Tanya drew up an aggressive week-long itinerary which included several days of looting and pillaging, plus a day set aside to knock a few back with Jimmy as well as check out a rather grand exhibition of the 1916 Easter Uprising at the Dublin General Post office, which Cap’n Tanya was keen to see.
After a somewhat turbulent sail, we arrived at port a bit shaken and needed some good Irish whisky to settle our equilibrium. Alas, there was sacking to do. But Arch assured us that we were on “Irish time” now, which meant there’d be plenty of time fer business after a pint or five. I know a logical argument when I hear it, so we set out to Dublin’s famed Temple Bar to see what the big deal was. And, well, we soon found out.
See, the entire Irish social experience seems to be built around pub-going. In the States, interaction with fellow humans be largely via cell phone these days, even if they happen to be sitting next to ye. yer Cap’n was shocked when just a few weeks ago I ambled into a grotty dive at the Port of Long Beach for an ale and saw every head buried in their phone. No darts, no convivial interaction, no interaction at all really. But here in Ireland, ye get thickets of old ladies catching up on current events over a pint of stout at the local watering hole. Old mates coming to the same places day after day, being an intrinsic part of each other’s lives, with nary an electronic gizmo in sight. A beautiful thing.
Arch led us to some of his favorite sites, and before we knew it, we’d awakened on the floor of his Dublin apartment three days later. Egads! We were terribly behind schedule. A quick call to Lord Mayor to buy time, but fortunately, he understood — he was also operating on Irish time. Whew. Just enough time then for a wee more drink before sailing down the coast a bit to commence the plundering of a few unsuspecting villages. After a quick beard touch-up (me Blackbeard for Men still looked pretty good even after 72 hours of full-on drunkenness, so a few tweaks was all it took to resume full-on mantasticness) and we were off to yet another of Arch’s favorite spots, this one called Bad Bob’s. Sweet Jeebus! They had probably the best tap brew I’ve ever tried in me life there, with the ridiculous moniker Old Hoor lager. It was so smooth I didn’t even realize it be 30 proof! Well, I should say that perhaps around the ninth pint I realized it. Cap’n Tanya, as hardy a pirate as she be, her head hit the counter, out like a light after a wee six. Argh, perhaps we weren’t going to make it to the Lord Mayor today either. Ah, well, another round then.
But Arch saved the “piece of resistance,” as he called it — for the following day, after we once again awakened on his tatty old oriental rug betwixt discarded pizza boxes and his floppy-eared hound Clover. Only in Ireland would ye find their number one tourist attraction is, in fact, a brewery. That’s right, the Guinness Storehouse charges an absurd 25 euro admission and presents ye with what amounts to a 2-hour commercial for their beer. Now I have to admit we were skeptical at first, but Arch assured us it was worth it. Why? Well, this is why:
Two days later I got a somewhat perturbed message from Lord Mayor, wondering where in blue blazes we were. My neck hurt quite a bit, I must say, from the place I’d found to sleep, or rather, which found me, out back of the Guinness brewery. (Ye can thank Cap’n Tanya for snapping this lovely pic of yer Cap’n at his best.) Anyway, I was forced to explain we’d spent six straight days soused and incoherent. Fortunately the Lord Mayor understood completely and said being in Ireland can be a tough adjustment for even the sturdiest pirate.
We bid Arch adieu and set sail to the Lord Mayor’s seaside town, a quick hour-long sail, and planned our attack. We’d wait till nightfall, of course, and then, since we have only a small crew (and 17th mate Cheecho has to stop often for wee-wees,) we’d focus mainly on the homes of the asshole 1-percenters (aye, they be everywhere, although thankfully there are less of them in Ireland than the US and the UK.) We weighed anchor off shore and rowed in silently, a light rain hiding the sound of the oars. But to our surprise, we were met at the shore by none other than Lord Mayor himself, with his delightfully chesty wench Mary O’Malley in tow, both of whom were already several sheets to the wind. He insisted we be his guests and that before we set about the pillaging, he had to show us his local pub. When in Rome…
Pirates, I think ye can guess that we never actually got to any of the raiding or sacking. The week came and went in an alcoholic blur, and the parts of it I can remember were joyous and I’m told I didn’t make too big of an arse out of meself, although the Irish customs official who came aboard shortly before we left did mention something about us needing to “get the hell out.” So I guess ye could call our mission a failure, except that Cap’n Tanya assures me that we did in fact leave a fair load of Blackbeard for Men with Arch. So little by little, we be spreading the gospel of Blackbeard. Also, we kidnapped Mary O, who is now a splendid addition to our besotted crew of salty sea dogs.
I’m going to celebrate our conquest of the Emerald Isles by opening a bottle of Old Hoor and sharing with ye a limerick I wrote while drunkenly staggering around Dublin:
There once was a girl from Limerick
Unfulfilled by her man’s dinky dick
While walking through the pasture
She came upon the answer
And now she only does donkey dick
See ye all on the high seas!
Blackbeard for Men
EDITOR’S NOTE: Blackbeard for Men does not encourage wanton drunkenness. Drinking is bad. Stop doing it. Right now. Whatever you do, please do not follow the example of this boozy reprobate. Thank you.