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The son who will remain nameless returned home, his first year in college complete. He spent the first semester in Ireland where the Crack was grand. It’s actually spelled –Craic – but is said the same way as crack so it can be a little jarring to hear about all the craic your son had. He’d lost a bit of weight in Ireland which confused me even more about this craic stuff. Craic sounded like crack and with him looking like a leprechaun skeleton, it looked like crack to me.  But as usual, I was mistaken. His bony appearance was just commentary on the Irish cuisine. 

Anyway, there are apparently six levels of craic. Good craic means you had a fun night out. Nothing crazy, just a good time. Mighty craic is another level up, there might even be a moment that will be retold through the years. Savage craic means everyone was in top form and the Guinness was plentiful and quick to disappear. Deadly craic – which right away makes you not want details – is a rip-roaring time, somehow a step above savage but just below the ultimate: the craic was ninety.

The craic was ninety means everything was nirvana, amazing, couldn’t be topped and is immediately enshrined in the nighttime hall of fame.

That’s good craic but that’s only five. The sixth?  Minus craic. The night just went south.  You would’ve been better off standing in line in Macy’s behind someone with a pile of returns.

In Ireland he got food poisoning, caught a cold in a bog, and blushed his way through the semester as curse words were sprinkled into every conversation including in class and at dining room tables in the homes of friends he had made. He got to climb on ancient ruins, visit London, and tour the Guinness factory. All in all, it was good craic. But he did not shoot a gun.

That’s what he did in North Carolina, where he spent the most recent semester on the craic College tour.

His friends in Ireland wanted him to experience Irish life as they know it. But other than the steady f-bombs (and another word that everybody hates) the life across the ocean didn’t seem all that different than the Rockaway experience. 

Likewise, his new downhome friends wanted him to experience the south. And in the south it’s guns, NASCAR, and dip, which is some kind of cousin of chewing tobacco.

So basically it took him going down south to be in a foreign country. Guns?  Yeah, when his North Carolina crew found out he’d never shot a gun they said, let’s go. They piled into a car – I don’t think it was a monster truck or El Camino – and drove off campus to an open field not far away. They pulled out some guns and said, “Go  ahead, shoot that tree.”

Kind of mind-boggling. I mean you can turn down a drink, but if somebody with a gun tells you to shoot a gun, you'll probably do it. The nameless one fired away. He said it was kind of awesome.

This is gonna take some getting used to for the tuition-paying parents. The south is a different world. I had to check the course catalog again wondering if the college was offering advanced degrees in duct tape and extension cords.

Anyway, it’s a year in the books. I’m not sure which place he found more craic, but at least he’s no longer scary skinny. My guess is he’d move to Ireland permanently If they ever get a Waffle House and Chick-fil-A.

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