I was appalled to read a post by Bill Ruhsam in his blog The Evil Eyebrow.

He wrote it in response to my Letter to America.

What appalled me was his complete lack of knowledge about Ireland, so I feel it incumbent upon myself to educate him.

So here goes……….

Ireland is an island situated in the Atlantic between Newfoundland and the Isle of Man.

It is three hundred miles long [I learned that in school], whereas America is only seven inches wide [I just measured it on a National Geographic map, and they must be right].

It has an Atlantic Climate which means the winters are mild and wet. In contrast, the summers are mild and wet. Occasionally we have three consecutive days when the sun shines. We call that a “heat wave”. When we have a heat wave, we walk around semi-naked and complain about the awful heat. The rest of the time we wear overcoats and moan about the cold [and how we never have heat waves].

We are a democracy, where every few years we elect the same set of gougers [roughly equivalent to Republicans, or inmates of San Quentin] to power. We also have a president who is usually called Mary. She lives in her Aras in a public park in the capitol city, Dublin.

Aras an Uachtaran
President Mary’s Aras

The Irish have three main cities – Dublin, Cork and Boston MA.

There are two official languages in Ireland – English and Irish. Irish used to be the second language, but recently due to an incredible influx of immigrants, it has slipped to 145th place. It is still however an official language of the European Union. It’s primary function these days is to confuse visitors to the country.

Ireland is a peaceful and friendly country [and we will fight anyone who says otherwise]. We have the only navy and air force in the world where they go home for dinner. We have a largish army who spend their time abroad trying to keep the peace. They get shot at a lot, but aren’t allowed shoot back.

We adopted the Euro as our currency in 2001 just to piss off the British, who stubbornly refuse to adopt it.

We have outdone the US in that we have banned smoking everywhere except in the street or at home. All Irish smokers are now agoraphobic.

Guns are illegal here, unless you are a member of a drugs gang, or you’re a paramilitary in which case they are mandatory.

We drive on the left, except at pub closing time. Then you can drive whichever side of the road you like.

Contrary to popular belief, no one here wears Aran sweaters. We only produce them to sell to gullible Americans.

Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest so many times that we are now shunned by the rest of Europe and they gang up on us and won’t let us win again. Which is just as well because the standard is now crap.

Our national drinks are whiskey and Guinness. Irish whiskey is not to be confused with Scotch whisky [note the difference in spelling] which is an inferior product. I won’t even try to compare it to American whiskey which is equivalent to turpentine.

The Irish have a great sense of humour. We prove this by constantly electing Bertie Ahern as our leader.

Last year we had a population of around three million. This year we have a population of around four million. This is because Europeans think that this is the Land of Milk and Honey, and they all want to live here.

Ireland is an extremely wealthy country. The only problem is that the government insists on holding on to all our cash, so the people are relatively poor and can’t afford to buy their own houses, which are stupidly expensive.

Irish history is confusing and contentious. It has been written by two nations – the British and Irish. Neither can agree as to what happened, so we generally just ignore it except to have parades from time to time. Anyway American history only goes back a couple of hundred years, so you don’t have that much to learn. Ours goes back over six thousand years which is a heck of a lot of history for a schoolchild to cope with.

If you want to know more about Ireland, then read my blog.

Oh, and by the way – we do have snakes, but we call them politicians.

kick it on kick.ie

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A Rough Guide to Ireland for Americans — 18 Comments

  1. Well, not to inject actual seriousness into this entry, but I object to the BMI being the current measure of Obesity. It does not accurately reflect people who aren’t near the mean body type. Muscular people tend to be much higher on the BMI. Nearly every professional athlete is probably in the pre-obese category and anyone who competes in a field where strength is a premium (american football, baseball, body-building whale-juggling) is going to be well into Obese—I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while now.

    Of course, I must admit that I do know something about Ireland…I drink Bushmills.

  2. Woah there. Just replying to Rob’s comment. I’m not casting nasturtiums in anyone’s direction.
    And if you drink Bushmills then you are nearly there [that’s made Up North, but we are nearly one and the same]. I’m a Jameson man myself if you thinking of sending a crate?


    Oh and by the way, my response to your initial letter, is slightly [how shall we say?] tongue in cheek?

  3. My problem [or indeed the only thing that keeps me nearly sane] is that I take very few things seriously.
    The only exceptions to the above are-
    George W
    the government here [and in particular our Minister for Bad Health]
    the smoking ban
    bad driving
    and that is about it.

  4. Hi Grandad,

    I only recently got to know about your blog and I love it, this article is really good and I wonder if you could do one about Britain. I am an ex-South African living in Dublin now for 6 years and most people I know think that Irleand is part of Britain, and literally joined to the United Kingdom. They seem to think that Dublin is close to London and don’t seem to comprehend that Ireland is and Island seperate to the Island of Great Britain.

    How do I explain it?

  5. american tourists are hilarious, its great craic just to sit and watch them try to figure out obvios things like the signs are bilingual except in west county galway etc. I once was approched by a family attempting to speak to me in irish, i told them i was able to speak english perfectly well due to my mottther emigrating to england in the famine and coming back to grow potatoes and sing songs about greenness. i think theres more americans in galway than the galwegians ourselves

  6. Now you’re taking the piss, Moogal [and welcome by the way!].  Mind you, Americans are excellent for taking the piss out of as they tend to be very gullable.  Long may the continue to visit and provide us with entertainment.

  7. God i hate yanks
    Like really, really hate them!
    “Hi, my great great great gran once had a irish wolf hound man, isnt that cool? She bought it from a dude from Dublin, do you know him?”

    EDIT: Whats with the Union flag- im from Derry! 🙁

  8. Jamie – Welcome!!  Not all Yanks are that bad.  I have discovered one or two that are not only passable but who actually have a good sense of humour.  Mind you, none of ’em can spell!!  Sorry about the flag.  Derry is still technically the UK?

  9. Oh, you have to be joking here. How gullible and stupid Americans are…at least they know when to get rid of their government officals and don’t give them a nice golden handshake on their way out after screwing the country over. Generalizing people is what is stupid and ignorant. “The friendliest people on Earth, was what the Irish were once considered..now, after the celtic tiger, we are considered the rudest and greediest. Jealousy, Jealousy, Jealousy. “I hate yanks, I really really do,” well, my dear, yanks helped keep this little isle afloat with the American companies coming in. People should stop criticizing others and take a look at what’s going on around you. America is almost out of their recession, are we…no, we are going into a depression. This little site to rant about Americans is ridiculous.

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