Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ireland: Killarney (Saturday, February 23)

Written Saturday, February 23 at 11:46 pm, Killarney (upstairs in the cottage)

Coming back after dinner later, Mom missed the final turn to our cottage (inside the complex).  It was dark.  But she would miss it again at dusk on Sunday, too.  Turns out she was counting the speedbumps rather than the streets, and was remembering the original count from Saturday night.

Had quite good fish & chips for dinner, at a pub which eventually had traditional Irish music playing, after the France v. England Six Nations rugby match.  Watching that — I’ve never seen rugby before, and I still can’t figure out what prompts a new throw of the ball (a “scrum”?) — I can sure see why rugby is popular in the gay community these days:
  • It’s a drinking game.  Every one of the British players (not so much the Frogs) looked like he’d be downing a pitcher of Guinness or Foster’s or something more British after the match.
  • It’s hyper-masculine.  It’s like “tackle soccer” or “football without the rest break after every 30 seconds of play”.  Yes, Virginia, gay guys do fetishize extreme masculinity.  (Well, natural masculinity, as opposed to fake shit like pro wrestling.)
  • It’s off the radar in America.  Gay guys have to be either bleeding edge or at least sharply non-mainstream, at least until the mainstream catches on.  Doesn’t matter if that’s facial hair, showtunes, or sports; rugby is so much easier to embrace when Joe Average Straight Guy has at best a passing awareness of it.
  • Beefy boys in shorts and sweaty shirts tackling each other en masse, pulling at each other, unobtrusively grabbing who knows what bits of flesh along the way.  Good lord, it’s almost an orgy!  Who needs the bathhouse?
  • September 11.  Rugby got a huge boost in the gay community due to Mark Bingham’s involvement in stopping the 4th plane on 9/11.  A genuine gay hero makes rugby a gay sport.
After the game was over, but before Mom was ready to leave the music (we had to eventually in order to get to the SuperValu before it closed), I went a-wandering.  Hoped to find an Internet cafĂ©, but both I found closed at 10:00 (one had already locked up at 9:45 when I got there, grr), so I haven’t checked my e-mail yet and told anyone I’m actually here and intact.  Found a music store and bought some cheap CD reissues (4 for the price of 3 at €3.99 each): Pam Tillis, Dolly Parton, Mickey Gilley, and Charlie Rich.

Don’t know what we’re doing tomorrow.  Maybe driving the Ring of Kerry (that’s some long route around the county) or going to the Dingle Peninsula; I think I read that there are some archeological ruins up there.  If not tomorrow, then later in the week.

Should find the train station tomorrow and get my ticket for Friday morning.

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