Miserable St Pat's Day in Boston. This old town is still the focus of a lot of Irish energy and, though not bred Irish, I was about raised Irish through my neighborhood and friends. The Irish turn out to party in the rain -- even if it is sleet and freezes on the sidewalks.
With this weather I prudently decided that my range of movement best be limited to the locals; the Harp and Bard being the localest. As always there was the corned beef and cabbage, the smell of which haunts my childhood friends like the nightmares of a retired garbage collector. It was always corned beef and cabbage on certain week-nights -the smell was everywhere in the neighborhood -on the clothes - on the breath of the first childish kisses outside the confessional - in the piss of the drunks behind O'Malley's.
My friends don't - but I still eat it. I found the one single table in the Harp and sat down. I waited over twenty minutes for service. Guys who came in 18 minutes after me got served drinks and had their orders taken -despite my weary arm wavings. One was black - so it wasn't my blue Swedish eyes.
I got up and went over to the manager - somebody you only see in the social politics of St Pat's. I told him of my plight and how I wanted so bad to taste that Corned Beef and Cabbage and my usual Bass Ale draught. He allowed how he was sorry and left to get a waitress - giving me time to collect my senses and ask myself - "What the hell are you doing here? -this place sucks and always has. It's just your sentimental side leading your feet instead of your taste." When he got back I was headed out the door. He left to give me some guff - the blarney in him. The Dorchester in me said - "I was raised here and learned some Gaelic. You Irish have a phrase that covers it - "pughha m'houn." In front of his friends he got red faced and I got out into the sleet with the rest of the little people on Saint Patrick's Day.
Stay out of these Irish places on Dorchester Ave. Eat the Vietnamese soup if you come here. Irish cuisine ain't and never was. I make my corned beef with maple syrup and studded with cloves. It's called miscegenation or imagination - or something. :-)
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