Monday, May 16, 2011

A Wee Little Irish Tiki Spraoi

Monday evening and I had put in a semi-exhausting 8 hours of work. Ok maybe not a full eight hours but at least a solid six. I felt I was due for a little indulging. Secret Agent Man & myself headed to Downtown Melbourne for a 'Bon Voyage' party for a friend heading off to parts unknown in a scary country beginning with an "I." The fete was at Meg O'Malleys, a well loved Irish Bar long the anchor of the downtown bar/restaurant hub of Melbourne. The Gaelic word for party or celebrate is 'spraoi.' And while I would not say we were celebrating the fact she was leaving, we were spraoing our love & friendship for this brave soul we would not get to see again for a while.
After well wishes and pictures, we headed inside for good Irish drink & food. Now there is not a sanctioned Irish tiki drink, and maybe there should not be one.It is not a country known for its fresh fruit or tropical concoctions. Although a fine Irish lass has told me bamboo grows like the dickens in the old country! Ireland is the land of fine Irish Whiskey, good dark beer & potatoes. Not that I'm speaking in stereotypes of course. Secret Agent Man & myself decided to forgo our usual tiki drinks and travel into the exotic Irish fare of Guinness, Jameson Whiskey & Irish Stew.
Oh! Did I mention the towering Burger with Corned Beef, Sausage, Dubliner Cheese & an Egg on it! Whoops!!
 While we were eating I noticed the abundance of leprechauns. I pondered their significance other than the oblivious 'good luck talismen' they are known for. They were scattered about the place. Hidden into corners & niches. Peaking over my shoulder as I sipped my fine Irish Whiskey. A bit creepy but amusing none the less.
 I started considering how much alike leprechauns and tiki are. Both are of ancient lore & are thought to hold strange powers. Both are treated with both reverence by those who love them & kitsch by those who exploit them. Tiki & leprechaun are much loved by their native folk. Both are known to incite indulgences in alcohol. You could consider leprechauns as Irish Tiki.

The elusive condiment leprechaun - Shawn O' Heinz.

The semi-planking tiki - Mordecai Oleaney

 Meg O'Malleys has a great vibe. Much akin to any good tiki bar - alcohol is served with a smile and much enjoyed by its patrons. Food of the homeland is made with care and generous portions satisfy even the hungriest of travellers. There was even a little nautical flair, albeit with a slight ominous tone to it (those darn deary Irishmen!)

A small Titanic & buoy tribute displayed for reasons unknown.

Fine memories of a sea-faring crossing?

I spy two things Meg O'Malley's has in common with a Tiki bar.

While sitting enjoying my fine Irish Whiskey (did I mention I had more than one, always gets the critical mind flowing) and contemplating comparative theories in Celtic & Maori History. I realized this fantastic flow of good cheer could not be from the leprechaun alone. Before leaving I decided to make a long pass around the bar. Actually I was hoping we could stop for one final drink!

Well polished & well stocked bar at Meg O'Malley's
Talented Guinness Bird -plays ball & balances beer

Celtic snake design over the bar
As we headed out the door, I saw the reason for all the good spirits of the evening. It wasn't those little leprechauns - there was a tiki tucked deep into a far corner. Watching over us, ensuring we enjoyed our bit of Irish spirits while maintaining our laid back Polynesian attitude. He was a Celtic tiki -embodying the characteristics traits of both tiki & Celtic warrior. Protecting and inspiring.  

Or this entire post could have been inspired by a little too much of the Irish Whiskey and an obsession of all things tiki - you be the judge!

So until next time- keep your tiki mugs filled (Irish whiskey allowed) & be on the look-out for The Metiki Gal!

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