It’s time for another Stanley installment. As most of you know, this past spring I was asked by my friend Lisa if I would allow a little guy named Flat Stanley to join me on my trip to Ireland so that he would have all kinds of information to share with her son Cairo’s kindergarten class upon his return. At first I couldn’t have been more excited, however after a couple of days with this terror, spent trying to thwart his awkward sexual advances and keep up with his healthy drinking habit, I was having second thoughts about the whole idea. I didn’t want to let Cairo down though, so I made the decision to continue on our trip together in the hopes that we would have something worthy to send back to the kids.
When we last left off, my little buddy and I were in County Kerry observing a brief time-out from one another after getting off to a rocky start on our vacation. Once we had a good hour of quiet time I felt prepared for the next leg of our journey. Stanley did too and even seemed excited until I told him we were going to the Ross Castle in Killarney National Park.
Stanley thought this was a waste of time, seeing as we had already been to a castle in Limerick. As it turned out though, I didn’t really give a shit if he thought it was waste of time because we had to start getting some good stuff to send back to Cairo’s class. A structure on a lake that was built in the middle ages seemed more appropriate than Stanley’s idea to visit the Guinness factory. It all worked out though because once I mentioned to Stanley that it would be interesting to see what kind of jobs were available to a seven inch sketch with no skills, given I didn’t buy him a plane ticket home, he was only too happy to smile for this photo.
Next we were off to the coast, which I thought would be a nice change for Stanley since he was getting tired of castles. On the way there we even ran into some of his long lost relatives who operate a chain of successful hardware stores.
Stanley’s cousin was so excited to meet us he would give a thumb’s up to just about anything we said. I thought this was adorable but could tell he was getting on Stanley’s nerves. When I asked Stanley what his problem was he explained to me that anyone who could wear overalls like that and still keep a positive attitude couldn’t be the sharpest tool in the shed. That’s when I wondered out loud if his cousin would give a big thumb’s up to Stanley stocking shelves at the hardware store for the rest of his natural born life. Stanley bid him a very polite goodbye and got back in the car. I was starting to get the hang of this.
Next we moved on to the town of Dunquin which is a Gaeltacht village, meaning they all speak Gaelic there. I thought that was really cool. There were some ancient ruins down at the edge of this cliff. Stanley told me he was exhausted and that trying to keep up with me was like having a foot race with the Chrysler Building. So I gave him a lift.
This is the Dunbeg Fort. It’s twenty five hundred years old! I was in absolute awe but Stanley told me he’d seen houses built out of Legos that were more impressive. Here I am trying to explain to Stanley the historical significance of such a feat but obviously he wasn’t buying it.
I could feel another time out coming on.
It occurred to me that perhaps some time spent by the water might calm us both down so we headed to Ballybunion which has one of the most amazing beaches I have ever seen in my life. It’s absolutely massive.
Not to mention caves-
and another castle!
I wanted my picture taken with Stanley in front of it but the whole time he kept screaming “What’s the big deal? It’s just another castle! They’ve got more castles in Ireland than we’ve got McDonalds!”
This is me telling Stanley he could take a boat made out of popsicle sticks back to the States for all I cared. We were done.
To be continued once again…