Saul Wordsworth

On drinking with an Irishman

Recently I spent a week writing on the west coast of Ireland.

One evening I drove three miles to the nearest pub and ordered pint a Guinness.

What follows are the words I exchanged with a burly local in possession of a strong Irish brogue and an overpowering handshake.

“Never trust a man who brings a book to the pub.”
“I didn’t know there’d be anyone to talk to. This was my insurance.”
“Never trust dat man. What is this?”
“It’s called The Dice Man.”
“Doice Man? Never ‘eard of it. What’s your name?”
“Saul.”
“Ah – biblical name.”
“Yes.”
[SHAKES MY HAND]
“I’m Michael. Michael O’Toole.”
“Any relation?”
“None. All Irish actors are drunks or bums. What’s your surname Paul?”
“It’s Saul. My name is Saul Wordsworth.”
“Saul Wordsworth? That’s not your real name.”
“Yes.”
[SHAKES MY HAND]
“What do you Michael?”
“Fisherman. Retired.”
“Are you local?”
“Been local all me life.”
“I’m from London.”
“London, England?”
“Yes.”
“You like it here?”
“Very much.”
[SHAKES MY HAND]
What do you do for a living Saul from London?”
“I’m a journalist and a writer.”
[SHAKES MY HAND]
“Writer? Nothing published though, eh?”
“Not yet, though my first novel is coming out next month.”
“First novel you say?”
“Yep.”
[SHAKES MY HAND]
“What’s it called?”
“Alan Stoob: Secret D-”
“Alan what?”
“Stoob. Alan Stoob: Secret Diary of a Nazi Hunter.”
“[PAUSE]
“BIG MISTAKE.”
“What do you mean?”
“BIG MISTAKE.”
“Why?”
“One word.”
“What?”
“Nazi.”
“What’s wrong with writing about Nazis?”
“Huge misjudgement.”
“I don’t see what the problem is.”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“No.”
[PAUSE]
“You’ll have the JEWS after you!”
“But I AM a Jew!”
[PAUSE]
“You’re a JEW?”
“Yes!”
[SHAKES MY HAND]
“Good luck to ya!”
[SHAKES MY HAND, SMALL CRACK IS AUDIBLE]

[AUTHOR FINISHES UP, DRIVES HOME]

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