From Hair of the Dogma: A Further Selection from “Cruiskeen Lawn,” by Flann O’Brien:
The Dublin man’s attitude to his wife and his pint are identical.
Summarise the situation thus:
He accepts both wife and pint as inevitable; he does not like or dislike either; under no circumstances will he take any notice whatever of either unless something extraordinary happens (e.g., if either is knocked over in his presence). Both are ordained companions, alternative, interchangeable, similar, cognate even in contour. They are complementary.
The Dublin Man’s technique is quite the same, whether he is entering his bedchamber or a public house. He comes in and stands near the counter. He is, of course, quite guiltless of the gaffe of ordering a pint. And let no simple reader imagine he makes his needs known by gesture. He does absolutely nothing at all that can be related to drinking.Â He may fill his pipe or possibly scan a newspaper. But when a soft, moist thud is heard, he carefully places eightpence on the counter; he knows there is a pint there.Â He does not, of course, see this pint. There must be, however, some mysterious method of cognition, some apparatus of invisible pint antennae, to explain this phenomenon. Who has the mind and the pen to convey to the stranger this grand and portentous spectacle
—the Dublin man ignoring his pint!
And what is he at now? An old and dirty document is produced from an inner pocket and minutely perused. It is replaced. Very carefully the face of the clock is read. The pipe is taken apart and prodded with wire.
We have taken our eyes off them for one second and lo, both are gone! The Dublin Man and his pint have vanished.
The tumbler stands, a veritable monument, with delicate traceries of foam slowly sinking to the bottom.
Trace, explain, unmask this Man? It can’t be done, I tell you.