Travel Thursday: Kiss My Blarney

In honor of my friend Christiane’s birthday, and the fact that she was just in Ireland, and that she’s the one who recorded the song that shares its title with this blog entry, here’s the story of what happened on my first trip to Ireland, and why I was okay with not kissing the Blarney Stone.
It being my first time in Ireland, I was on a bus tour with about a dozen other Americans, most quite a bit older, though there was one obnoxious college guy as well. In addition to the bus driver, we had a gorgeous local blonde named Yvonne as tour guide.
About a week into the tour we were heading for Blarney in the pouring rain. During the entire trip the obnoxious college guy had been hitting on Yvonne and not getting her hints to leave her alone, or simply ignoring them. Some of the older people were clearly embarrassed for him, but no one said anything as he struck out again and again, to the point where you could see Yvonne clearly hated him but wasn’t about to risk losing her job.
So once at Blarney we’re told the rain is falling too hard for us to get off the bus, let alone walk the stone steps into the castle, then up to the top where the stone was located. As everyone tried not to look too disappointed, College Boy goes over to Yvonne and tells her, “Since it looks like I’ll never kiss the stone, and I’m sure you have, you can kiss me so that it’ll be like I did kiss the Blarney Stone.”
With the sweetest innocent smile as well as a thick brogue—thicker than usual—she cooed, “I’ve never actually kissed the Blarney Stone, but I have sat on it. . .”
There was a pause, and then the driver guffawed so loudly everyone else got into it too. Looking like she’d won the lottery, Yvonne took her seat at the front while College Boy stood there stunned, almost falling when the bus lurched into action. Grumpily he made his way to the back of the bus; I heard him mutter “Lesbo bitch!” as he stalked by, to which I said, “The fact she doesn’t want you doesn’t mean she’s gay, it just means she has great taste.”
The story would have been good enough had it ended there, but that night at our hotel I ran into Yvonne in the corridor, after we’d all changed into dry clothes and were going down to dinner. After I told her what a great comeback she’d delivered, she smiled and invited me to eat with her. When dinner was over she led me to her room, and. . .
We pick up as I’m leaving her room the next morning, still putting my shirt on, when I run into College Boy, who knows damn well which room this was. Again he’s stunned as I walk by him to my room, murmuring, “Told ya she has great taste. . .”


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