A walk down Dublin’s historic Grafton Street, is almost always a pleasurable affair. With shops on either side filled to capacity with gorgeous things to wear and restaurants filled to bursting point with delicious delicacies to eat, what could be better? Well as you saunter down the street, why not increase your enjoyment by counting the number of Irish men and women you see, who’ve been Tango’ed?
Like many of my fellow Irish citizens, I am a member of a mongrel breed. Ireland has been invaded so many times, that there can be very few, if any, of us who don’t have a good dollop of invader blood in there somewhere. Though all of our invaders have been of the northern, pale skinned variety. Add that to the historical tendency of Irishmen to join foreign armies, you know for a good ole paid bust up, and there’s bound to be a goodly portion of Portuguese, Spanish, French, Indian and the Gods only know what in a fair few of us.
The end result of all this genetic diversity, through some form of genetic pinball means that we have not ended up with swarthy good-looks. No, in fact the average Irish person has skin that goes from “so pale as to be see-through” to “oh my that looks like a delicious lobster” in about the same amount of time as it took you to read this sentence.
But there are still so many people who will insist on looking like they were born on the Costa Del Somewhere Sunny. Hence this golden age for those “lucky” women who with their spray guns, get the unequaled pleasure of spraying brownish chemicals onto the nations cellulite riddled, pasty flesh. Lucky girls. Now I am not saying that every Irish person with a fake tan looks like the bastard child of an Oompa-Loompa and a satsuma. There are a lucky few who actually manage to look well while wearing a layer of Bovril colored paint on their skins. But they are vastly outnumbered by those, poor unfortunates, who seem to be of the opinion that marigold orange is a natural skin tone for human beings.
This of course leads to my favourite shopping trip game; Irish Tango Bingo.
Here’s how you play. Walk through your local town, be it Dublin, Cork…anywhere at all that is inhabited by a human variety of the bipedal chocolate orange. As you saunter down the street you watch out for an example of each of the following:
Man in well-tailored suit with skin tone you could toast bread off of.
Woman in well-tailored dress or skirt-suit with skin tone you could warm your hands off of.
Man or woman in a shell suit, which is on the verge of melting from their skin tone.
Teenager of either gender who looks like they’ve been dipped in the toxic waste produced by Willy Wonka’s factory.
Young boy or girl in Communion or confirmation outfit, who has an oddly coloured tan, which ends abruptly at their wrists leaving their hands a pristine porcelain white.
The first member of your shopping party to point out all four examples (which must be verifiably Irish, I leave how you determine this to yourselves to figure out) shouts out, “Tango’ed!” and wins a free lunch paid for by their friends.
Of course eventually the days of this particular game will be over. Someday Irishmen and women will accept, that we do not come from the Mediterranean region. But instead come from a cold island in the Atlantic, where direct sunlight is measured in nanoseconds per year. We will all learn to accept, that our pasty natural skin tone can be just as attractive as a tan, fake or natural. After all there must be some reason why invaders always rape our priests and murder our women…hmmm I may have got that wrong somehow.
But for now I say let us enjoy a good wholesome game of Irish Tango Bingo, while we enjoy the cooling spray of the traditional Irish summer monsoon.