Bit of Blarney

This is another tall tale by Bruce E. Golightly (aka Anam) from alt.callahans, that virtual bar where peanuts are thrown at the punsters.

Pat Muldoon and Shamus Finn, were descendants of mighty Irishmen of great renown. (Muldoon could squeeze water from a stone, and Finn could drive fence posts into the ground with his bare hands)

Given that their forebears were mighty men, Pat and Shamus often argued about their own strength and defended their ancestors with great vigor. The Irish being what they are, such debates often got a bit physical, which caused their neighbors considerable discomfort.

At last, in desperation, it was suggested that the two hold a contest to settle the matter once and for all. It was decided that Pat and Shamus would attempt to perform feats their forebears, according to legend, had once done.

The first event was an attempt by the two to match the recorded feat of the great Finn. Accordingly, Pat and Shamus squared off with a stack of fence posts, and tried to stick them in the ground without benefit of a post hole. Now the ground selected for this task was hard and stony, so neither of the contestants was able to get a fence post driven into the ground well enough to stand up by itself. The even was declared a draw.

Everything now counted on the outcome of the second contest. Pat and Shamus would attempt to recreate a feat attributed to the mighty Muldoon – squeezing water from a stone.

Each man selected a likely looking stone, and prepared to squeeze it over a bucket.

Shamus squeezed as hard as he could and got nary a drop of water from the stone. Redoubling his efforts resulted in large amounts of perspiration, but not a drop from the stone itself. Finally in disgust, he hurled the stone to the ground, daring Pat to do better.

Pat looked carefully at his stone, and at Shamus. “Have you worn yourself out, lad?. Let’s see if we can do somethin’ about that”, he said.

With that, he set himself and commenced to apply pressure to the stone. Sure enough, liquid began to first drip, and then flow from the rock into the waiting bucket. Rather than clear water, however, the liquid was dark.

When the flow had ceased, Pat hurled the stone as hard as he could. It flew completely out of sight, leaving one and all in awe of his strength.

Picking up the bucket, he handed it to the appointed referee, who was looking a bit startled at the results. That worthy sampled the contents of the bucket, and was totally astonished to find it filled with Guiness.

Pat was, of course, declared the winner, and Shamus left in shame, emigrating to the Americas.

Years later, he returned for a visit. Meeting Pat at the pub, he confessed that he was still astounded at the results of their contest.

Pat, being in his cups, said, “I’ve a confession to make, boyo. The contest was na fair. I arranged for one o’ the lads to plant a fake stone for me. So, you see, ’twas a sham rock that defeated ya!”.

Anam ducks under the table, taking his glass of Black Bush with him.

Copyright © 2001 by Bruce E. Golightly. All rights reserved, and displayed with permission.

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