Quick Wit and the Ireland I Love

As I was dashing into the supermarket a few hours back there was a little exchange that made me slow down and think to myself: This is one of the things I love most about Ireland and Irish people. 

A woman in her 40s or so called across the car park to a man in his 70s, I’d say, who was just leaving with his bag of groceries:

Hello Tom, how are you? 

Marian, good to see you. Grand thanks and you?

As she came a little closer, Marian spoke again to the man:

Oh sorry, I was mixing you up with your son.

And his retort:

Sure I’m much younger looking than him!

Yes, it’s these little things ~ the way people  come back so fluently with answers that you associate with the likes of Oscar Wilde or Brendan Behan.




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

16 thoughts on “Quick Wit and the Ireland I Love”

  1. I just love that conversation, Jean 🙂 Banter is such fun, and I’d say there isn’t enough of it in the streets of the UK just now. For example, you great someone with a “good morning”, to get the question thrown at you, “What’s good about it?” Actually, plenty, but it’s what you make of it.

      1. We’re not all miserable, although the prevailing climate is a bit glum just now, and the British can be a bit reserved at times. Maybe quite a number of people are cheery inside, but afraid that they might be met with the “what’s good about it” response if they dare to express that cheeriness!

        1. Dare I ask if it’s about things political. Ireland is certainly in a bit of a flat spin over both Brexit and the US result, not to talk abour water charges BUT people are able to laugh about it all, despite the fears.

          1. I think that Brexit and the US result have been caused by the same set of frustrations — unemployment, alienation, and loss of cultural identity. So they had to blame it on somebody, which means blaming immigrants, forgetting that the majority of them have ancestors that were immigrants too, at some point in history. I know that I have French and Norwegian blood in me! And don’t start me on what’s been done to the indigenous First Americans. Grrrrr. Anyway, the world has gone mad, but my dog still makes me laugh on a daily basis!

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