While similar gestures have been made in the past, and splinter groups outside the IRA still pose a threat to peace, there is a general feeling of plausibility resulting from the timeliness of this move. For one thing, the United Kingdom is involved in another armed conflict and would obviously benefit from being able to reduce, if not remove, its troop presence in Northern Ireland.
But primarily, in my opinion, one would think the Irish Republican Army has experienced a bit of a difficulty in its fundraising campaigns, since most of its support came from misguided Irish-Americans who, upon seeing first-hand the trauma and devastation that comes from a campaign of terror on civilian targets, lost whatever romantic notions they might have had about fighting to free the land of their fathers. So with the IRA broke and the Brits a bit distracted, this thing might actually work this time.
This is a topic that is near and dear to me, so in an effort to show support and solidarity for the peace movement in Northern Ireland, as a bartender I hereby refuse to serve another Irish Car Bomb.
What the hell is an Irish Car Bomb? An Irish Car Bomb is an appallingly named drink that consists of a pint glass half-filled with Guinness Stout, and a shot glass filled with one part Irish Cream liqueur and one part Irish whiskey. The shot glass is dropped into the pint and the entire mixture is slugged back, normally in a race between some guy named Sully wearing a Notre Dame t-shirt and another guy named Murph in a Red Sox hat, who loves to get wicked retaahded off Caah Bowmbs every St. Pat's day.
But Hal, you're Irish - shouldn't you love Car Bombs?!? First of all, I'm Irish-American; there's a difference (if you don't believe me go over there and they'll let you know!) Secondly, any so-called Irishman would have more respect for Guinness and Irish whiskey than to whack it back like a boilermaker. And finally, anyone with an ounce of Celtic blood in them should be deeply offended by the naming of a novelty drink after an act of terror against his or her purported brethren.
Hal, don't you think you're being a little sensitive? I mean really, it's just a drink. Screw that - if political correctness can make Florida State question the Seminoles, dub Syracuse's minor league team the "Sky Chiefs" and turn St. John's Athletics into the "Red Storm," then why not keep running with it?
Hal, doesn't this have more to do with the fact that you hate cleaning out the sinks after a round of Car Bombs? Sure, I hate the curdled, putrid mess in the sink from cleaning up Irish Car Bombs, but that just means the drink is offensive on numerous levels. Fact is, an ugly chapter of Irish history may in fact be nearing its end. The conflict in Northern Ireland has claimed well over 3,600 lives since The Troubles, as they've come to be known, began in 1969 - raising a glass to that might be a bit cavalier. Why not toast the historic strides with a drink that doesn't make people cringe? Tell your friends, tell your bartender, tell your bartender's bartender, and let's defuse the Irish Car Bomb once and for all. Let's see if a trivial act of social conscience can't make a difference. And for $*@% sake, drink Guinness the way it should be drank, ye durty bollocks, ye.
Christopher M. Halleron, freelance writer/bitter bartender, writes a biweekly humor column for The Hudson Current and websites in the New York Metro area. He spends a lot of his time either in front of or behind the bar in Hoboken, New Jersey where his tolerance for liquor grows stronger as his tolerance for society is eroded on a daily basis. Feel free to drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.