Sunday, October 10, 2010

Literary Pub Crawl

Last night Kim, Brent, and I embarked on Dublin's literary pub crawl.  It was a great time, despite it's after effects this morning.  We started the evening off with dinner and then ventured over to The Duke, where the crawl was slated to start.  We bought our tickets and a pint and waited for the event to begin.  We were in a small room on the top level of The Duke that was packed mostly with what looked like retirees.  One pub crawler, however, was a woman out celebrating her 90th birthday.  We'll see what I do for my 90th.  The tour guides, Frank and Derek, introduced themselves as actors and proceeded to perform a selection of Waiting for Godot.  It wasn't amazing, but it was certainly entertaining.  They also filled us in on some history pertaining mostly to Joyce's Ulysses.  Then, they posed some quiz questions, which we were to keep in mind for the end of the tour.

After The Duke, there was a stop at Trinity College for some more information about the literary culture in Dublin.  Frank put on a performance adapted from a letter written by Oscar Wilde about his trip to Colorado.  Apparently, he was asked to lecture there on arts and aesthetics.  The locals of the silver mining town were none too impressed and decided that they would get revenge for their wasted evening by inviting Wilde to dinner, but take him down a mining shaft instead, get him drunk, and leave him there until morning.  Well, they got him down the shaft and proceeded to serve up three bottles of whiskey among the group, amounting to what Wilde called a three course dinner.  Wilde drank them all under the table.  Legend has it that the miners were so drunk that it was up to Wilde to figure out how to operate the machinery to get them all out of the shaft.  After getting the group out, Wilde reportedly told the men that if they were going to invite an Irishman to dinner, they had best make it at least a five course meal.

After Trinity College, we went to O'Neill's for another pint (or a half pint for myself and Kim).  Then a brief stop outside of Dublin's Tourist Center for a lesson about James Plunkett.  From there, we made our way to the Old Stand which was once known as The Monico and was a favorite pub of Michael Collins, Irish revolutionary leader.

Our final stop was Davy Byrnes, the most famous literary pub in Dublin.  Before entering the pub, however, was the quiz for which they had been giving questions at every stop.  The quiz was essentially the guides asking the questions again, but this time you shouted out the answer if you knew it.  I was gunning for the first place prize of a free Dublin Literary Pub Crawl t-shirt.  Unfortunately, I did not know that Oscar Wilde was once a boxer.  So instead, I took second place and won a small, airplane sized bottle of Bushmills whiskey.  Or, as our guides called it, Bushmills mouthwash.

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