You had me at ‘a town in Ireland with 52 pubs’

Published 4:22 pm Wednesday, April 20, 2016

“I think,” I announced to Paul after watching an episode of ‘Travels with Rick Steves,’ “We must consider retiring to Ireland.”

“I thought you were all about retiring to some medieval Italian hill town,” Paul replied, not looking up from the highlight reel from Kobe Bryant’s last game.

“Yes,” I mused, “but when we win the lottery we can have both. And actually, I scratched off the hill town and have now decided on Lake Como.”

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“To be neighbors with the Clooneys?”

“Well, not her, but him.”

“Ah,” said Paul. I could tell by this brief reply he had exercised his courtesy to the extent that he could as he really wanted to watch Kobe. And if I continued in attempts to divert his attention towards a subject that was all fantasy anyway, he would be less than receptive. Actually, he’d be pretty cheesed off. During a commercial, I found my chance.

“So, Rick Steves said that the town of Dingle,” I began, pouring a glass of something white and on sale, “has only 1,900 inhabitants.”

“Probably because nobody wants to live in a town call Dingle.” Paul muttered.

“Possibly. Especially as it’s shaped like a peninsula,” I offered. “In fact, it is a peninsula and you and I rode horses along the beach there on that vacation we did forever ago.”

“Yeah,” Paul grunted, “and it poured the whole time. And you sold me on that trip by saying, “It hardly rains in August. So why would you want to go retire in a town with 100 people less than the town we live in, now?”

Kobe was back on the screen scoring basket, after basket, after basket.

“I wonder, since it was his last game, if the other guys just let him win?” I asked, only to receive a snort in reply.

“Anyway,” I began, to no one in particular as Paul was now fully immersed in his program and had turned the volume up to drown out any more blarney, “Not only is Dingle charming and small and crime-free, but it also has 52 pubs.”

Paul immediately muted the television. He might love basketball, but it is a far distant second place to the love of his life (not me), ale. And stout. And Pilsner.

“What?” He asked, like a shot.

Now the keeper of privileged information, I could draw out my reply and luxuriate in that power. “52 pubs,” I repeated.

“Landrum only has one pub and it’s a town of 2,000,” he retorted. “You must’ve heard wrong. A town of 1,900 can’t possibly support 52 pubs.”

I triumphantly placed my iPad on his lap. “Google it and weep,” I said. “Right there: Dingle has one pub for every 10 drinkers. We could have fish and chips – real fish and chips with cod, not flounder – every day, with a different beer, every night, forever and ever.”

Kobe made a spectacular slam dunk, completely unseen by my man.

“Have you checked into real estate prices?” Paul asked.

“But it rains all the time,” I used his own prejudice against him.

“Wouldn’t really notice when you’re in a pub every day,” he countered.

“I actually saw a big, old, stone farmhouse for $170,000,” I said. “But believe it or not, I found much cheaper places on Lake Como, with sweeping views.”

“Of George Clooney?” Paul asked.

“Nah, this is on the poor side of the lake. All you get for a buck fifty is a two bedroom renovated house, steps to the lake, glorious sun, red wine, and surrounded by mountains.”

“But not 52 pubs.” Paul said.

I nodded.

Turning back to Kobe, he declared, “We must consider retiring to Ireland.”