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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Kevin O'Cuinn

On St. Paddy's Day, you traditionally:
a) wet the shamrock
b) eat the shamrock, sauteed with champignons
c) smoke the shamrock

Your beverage of choice is:
d) 12 pints of porter
e) Latte Frapuccino with a dash of Creme de Menthe
f) Isotonic sports drink

Darby O'Gill was:
g) King of The Fairies
h) King of The Little People
i) code for a hallucinogenic vision brought on by fermented potato skins

The quintessential Irish accent is:
j) I don't understand the second word.
k) Bono
l) South Boston

Finn McCool sucked his thumb...
m) because Mummy wasn't there no more.
n) because it smelt good so maybe it tasted good too.
o) because it helped him fathom the sheer stupidity of people who came to him looking for answers to dumb-ass questions. And besides, he thought no one was looking.

The Salmon of Knowledge was
p) a very clever fish.
q) the first Irish rapper.
r) the best salmon to consult if you felt drawn to return to the place you were spawned, but were uncertain of how to negotiate the route.

Which of the following is not a real place?
s) Inexpensive accommodation in Dublin
t) Limbo
u) Purgatory

Fun with idioms, derived from the names of real dead Irish people. You are an unashamed opportunist, you are:
v) The real McCoy.
w) In like Flynn.
x) Murphy's Law.

More fun with idioms: Which of the following verbs is not derived from the name of an Irishman, but is nonetheless nasty if you are on the receiving end?
y) to boycott somebody
z) to lynch somebody
aa) to char-broil somebody

If you had had an Uncle P.J., he would have died an untimely death, having:
bb) been shot in the back by the Black & Tans.
cc) OD'ed in a Thai brothel.
dd) drown in a boating accident on the Thames.
ee) been found dead in the bath with a goat, a hairdryer, and shortcake biscuits.
ff) contracted scurvy while incarcerated without trial on a British prison ship.
gg) returned the Van Gogh to its rightful owner.
hh) miscalculated the length of the fuse.
ii) contracted hypothermia, after queuing for U2 tickets.
jj) finally invited the neighbour for cocktails.
kk) made the final instalment on the loan.
ll) kind of guessed this would happen someday.
mm) been raped and eaten by mutant leprechauns, who'd been contaminated by toxic waste washed ashore from Sellafield, the British nuclear power plant which continues to disperse its waste into the Irish sea. Regular leprechauns never did that type of thing.

Your Ould Fella woke you (and brother Conor) in the wee small hours and made you promise to die for Ireland, and:
nn) cover his ass while he went next door to "comfort" Mrs. O'Reilly whose husband was serving in the Congo with The UN Peace Keeping Force.
oo) never drink whiskey, God created whiskey so that the Irish would never ever rule the world. And anyway there wasn't enough for everyone.
pp) then write a best-selling Catholic-Irish-childhood-memoir about what a miserable time everybody had, especially those who survived. Before allowing you to return to the draughty-damp bedroom that you and Conor shared with 11 asthmatic siblings, he requested that you sing:
qq) The Boys of the Old Brigade.
rr) something bluesy.
ss) Ave Maria.

Which famous nationalist was known for his extraordinary girth?
tt) The Big Fella
uu) The Long Fella
vv) The Bald Fella

The tattoo you never got is:
ww) a Celtic cross
xx) a Celtic Tiger
yy) An heraldic black panther with a forked tongue, in the belly of a lizard, on a ship leaving Belfast for the new world, pretty much like the Titanic on its maiden voyage

30 million Americans claim to be Irish, because:
zzz) with an Irish passport they can live and work anywhere in Europe.
aaa) they love the old country.
bbb) their geography is appalling.

Your answers are:
ccc) Mostly "a": then it's probably your round.
ddd) Mostly confused, but interesting nonetheless.
eee) Snot green and stately-plump: Happy St. Paddy's Day.

Kevin O'Cuinn's a native Irelander. His ancestor, Conn of The One Hundred Battles, foresaw the coming of Patrick. Way back. And his wonderful niece Amelia gave a big handout on this piece.