The clocks in Ireland were set forward an hour as we slept, so when the child bride and I awoke at 7 a.m. on Sunday we had enjoyed even less sleep.
At breakfast, I found myself giggling over a short conversation that Linus and I had the night before:
ME: "Did you get me a Guinness?"
LINUS: "No. I thought you didn't want one."
ME: "OK. No worries, I thought I had said I did want one."
LINUS: "No, I asked you if you wanted a Guinness and you said, 'Fuck off, Irish," which I thought was rude."
Rachel and I were at the bus stop in city center at about 8:30 a.m. and the area was deserted enough that she and I were able to stand in the middle of Suffolk Street and take pictures of one another. When I travel, I usually try to time things to allow for the possibility of everything going horribly wrong. Almost always this results in everything going exactly as it should. So, the child bride and I arrived at the Dublin airport some two hours and 45 minutes before our flight.
Fortunately, we were kept occupied by security checks. In line to get our boarding passes, we had to talk to a bloke with a thick Dublin accent who used "ya's" as the plural of "you" ("I just need to ask ya's a few questions about your luggage."), which was an element of speech that I didn't think really existed. As soon as we were finished talking to him, a woman pulled us aside for a "random bag search." Once we got our boarding passes, we had to go through the metal detector security check to get to the terminal. In the terminal we then had to go through U.S. Customs before we could get to our gate. And as we were boarding the plane, Rachel was pulled aside for a "random bag and body search," that involved one fellow breaking the zipper on her carry-on while she was frisked by a slightly butch female security official.
The flight to Chicago was tedious, as you would expect, with the highlights coming from the head flight attendant who appeared to be suffering from age-related dementia. Her cabin announcements were filled with very long pauses and occasional rambling statements. She also displayed a true skill in driving the drinks cart into my knee.
"Do you have root beer?" the child bride asked.
"No. We have beer," the flight attendant said.
In what world is beer the same thing as root beer? In Crazy Person Land, that's where.
We sat amid a group of three girls from Los Angeles who had been in Ireland for spring break. One of the girls had four canisters of Pringles in her carry-on. Because God forbid you should trapped in a foreign country without any Pringles. Another girl sat directly across from me and appeared to be mildly disgusted when she saw me reading "Tocyn I'r Nefoedd" by Dafydd Llewelyn, which is obviously a Welsh-language novel.
"That is crazy looking. None of it even looks like words," she said.
"It's Welsh," I said.
That usually gets a blank response, so I added: "It's the root language of Irish."
"It doesn't look like any Celtic (she pronounced it 'Seltic') script I've ever seen," she said, as if I were lying.
In Chicago, we got to play Security Fun House again. We deplaned, had to collect our luggage, go through customs, then give our luggage to a sort of Oompa-Loompa assembly line of grumpy TSA agents, then go through another metal detector security check. But we did eventually make it back to Minnesota. We went to bed at 8 p.m. and slept for 12 hours straight.