[follow id = “BenjyEgel”]
Benjy Egel is a journalism junior studying abroad in Cork, Ireland, where he frequents local pubs in search of lively conversation and a good time. He writes a recurring column about the people he meets entitled “Guy I met in the pub last night.” This week, he met two Irishmen named Tom Murphy and Paddy Daly.
Benjy Egel: How long have you guys lived in Cork for?
Paddy Daly: 42 years.
Tom Murphy: And 45 years.
BE: You guys are regulars here, right?
Barman: They’ll take up at about 6 or 7 and just talk shit the whole night.
TM: It keeps him the job, don’t it? Keeps you working … We always characterize ourselves as having a laugh and having a joke and having a few beers.
BE: How many beers have you had tonight?
TM: I’ve had two, Paddy’s had one.
PD: (Laughs) How many beers do you really think we’ve had? Come on, like, I’m at maybe five beers — three Sambucas and two cans at home.
TM: We don’t drink a lot. The Americans have this thing about the Irish drinking all the time — we do. We do it to moderation, like … I can drink every day of the week, but I don’t. He can drink every day of the week and he does. I don’t mean any disrespect to Paddy, Paddy’s my man. But he can have four or five pints a day and it means nothing. Paddy’ll go out and have 10 pints on a Saturday and 10 pints on Sunday, and he’s drunk. He’ll be givin’ out.
PD: If I had four or five pints a day, I’d be reeking.
BE: It seems like a lot of Irishmen don’t really drink Irish beers, you know.
TM: We don’t, ‘cause it’s fucking shit. What are you drinking? Guinness, is it?
TM: Murphy’s is lovely. Honestly my friend, I drink a Guinness every now and then. I drank Beamish years ago, but they actually changed the making of it, what could you say — the ingredients. They changed the ingredients, the fella’s not drinking it anymore. It’s a cheap pint, but he doesn’t drink it. Paddy drinks Carling, it’s not a cheap pint. I drink Budweiser, and vodka after that. But I can tell you, we don’t drink the cheap pint.
BE: How important is a good pour on a beer coming from the tap?
TM: Has to have a good pour. You have to leave it settin’ (for a couple of minutes). It’s the draw of the pint.
BE: What do you guys do when you’re not in the pubs?
PD: Go to another pub!
TM: I work and Paddy studies. I do resin floors in the chemical factories and I’ll do expansion drawings for bridges and multi-story car parks. Paddy is —
PD: Health care assistant. I go home at the end of the day and study computers as well.
TM: I’ll be very honest here. We’re from an area of town that has been very, very rough years ago. And our parents, Paddy’s parents and my parents, have seen a lot of things. And for us, we are worse. But we have seen things that we step back off of. Our friends been involved in this and our friends been involved in that. I wanted a tiger as my pet (when I was younger), I inquired about it. But I’m a married man now.
PD: To me!
TM: See, that’s why he’s getting divorced now. (Laughs)
BE: You said you came out of a rougher neighborhood…
PD: No, we came from the fucking nicest of nice. Nicest of nice.
TM: We saw through. We cared for our family, end of story. Paddy’s afraid to say it, (but) we did. We’re better than that. I can tell ya — we did come from a rough area, I can take care of meself, he can take care of himself.
BE: What’s something Americans should know about Irish people?
TM: You know lad, you’re very lucky you came and talked to Paddy and me. Because we’re good people and we’ll treat you well, won’t give you any trouble, ‘specially with a mustache like that. But understand, being a journalist is no good here. If you had walked up to those lads over there and tried to do the same thing, they would have told you to fuck off and pointed at you with a (smashed) glass. We wouldn’t do that, but they would. So when you come back, tell people you know Tom and Paddy, and you’ll be fine.
PD: Ey, shut the fuck up. (To Tom, under his breath:) For Christ’s sake, what are you doing talking like that? (Points at recording device.) You stop that, yeah. Can you turn that thing off?
BE: Yeah, no problem. Anything else you think people should know?
TM: My name is Tom Murphy and I will fight anyone in here, long as me wife stays home.