Niagara Gazette

Opinion

March 1, 2014

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: A look at letting go for Lent

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Meditators — The story goes this way. A little old fella’ came from the Emerald Isle to our isle one autumn. Each night at precisely 7 p.m. he would sidle up to the tiny bar of Mike Carr’s Village Inn, order two large beers and silently sip them down.

While respecting bartender-client privilege (Ben Franklin’s amendment to the Bill of Rights), Mike finally succumbed to curiosity and inquired about this ritual. Why two, never more, never less.

“ ‘tis for me pal Paddy back in Ballybunion,” the visitor said. “When we parted we vowed we would host a toast to each other at this hour so long as we both drew breath of life.”

And so it went, through the winter, into the New Year.

Then one Wednesday in March the visitor came in and held up one finger. Mike set the solitary draft before him and with the wisdom which is part of the mixologist’s job description, deduced that Paddy had given up the ghost in Ballybunion.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” Mike said.

“Loss?” the old fellow responded after a hearty quaff.

“Well,” said Mike, “you always had a drink with Paddy. I figured he’d met his Maker.”

“No, no,” said the Irishman. “Paddy is fine, but as for me, well, I’ve given it up for Lent!”

This is our favorite joke about beliefs, buddies, beverages and mischief, with its faint whiff of hypocrisy. It’s portable, too; first time we heard it, it was set in Maine.

And it came to mind as Lent approaches, heralded by the Mardi Gras menu at our Creole Dick & Jenny’s, where our visitor might order two Hurricanes and answer to the name of Pierre.

And we ponder what WE will curtail for Lent …

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page