"Are you kidding?" I asked.

"No! It's nice maybe two weeks a year there," he said. "It's too cold, too windy, and too rainy. But here..."

"It's none of those things, basically ever?" I volunteered.

Jason Crosby

"Exactly!"

"I do have one accolade for this bar already," I told Gary. "It's damned hot outside, and this is the coldest place I've been all day."

"Worth coming in for our air conditioning alone," Gary said.  

Mickey Byrne's is a "real" Irish pub, with a long wooden bar, framed portraits of Irish athletes — engaged in field hockey, football, boxing, track — and plenty of British brews on tap (Guinness, Harp, Carlsberg, Smithwick, etc.). The spot boasts dartboards, a pool table, and the usual beer signs, plus a hilarious poster that reads "Irish yoga." Beneath those words is a picture of three Irishmen, all passed out in various uncomfortable positions, booze bottles littered all around their bent bodies.

A patron named Tom — who was watching European football on TV — declared that he had lived in London for two years. "I can say with authority that this is a very authentic pub."

"I'd like to go to London," I said with a sigh of wanderlust. 

"There are pubs on every corner there," Tom said. "But — that's because there's nothing better to do over there. The weather is awful. Also, the people are miserable. My English friends come here and are shocked at how friendly the people are."

I almost burst out laughing. "Have they ever been up to Boca?"

"Seriously," Tom said. "They're surprised when waitresses actually ask how they're doing. It kind of freaks them out."

After Mickey's, I was pretty sloshed, so I decided it was time to go home. One day, when I grow up, I'm gonna learn to hold my liquor. Then maybe I'll finally achieve the coveted rank of badass, currently held by biker bar babes, tattooed bartenders named Voodoo, and basically anyone of hard-drinkin' Irish descent.

 

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