I was sitting in an Irish bar. It looked like every Irish bar I’d ever been to, except this one was actually in Ireland. No one in the world can get Mexican food right except Texas, but every Irish bar I’ve ever been to is an exact copy of the the one I was sitting in. As I sipped my Guinness and tried to fit in, I suddenly found myself in a conversation with a table full of Irish girls. They somehow figured me for an imposter and that’s how the whole thing started. We started talking about the most famous Irishman in the world. I’m not talking about Colin Farrel, Sinead O’Connor, or even the founder of McDonald’s. I’m talking about Paul David Hewson. You know Paul right? Maybe you know him by his stage name, Bono.
It turns out one of the girls had gone to school with the famous rockstar and knew exactly where he lived. The night was young so we decided to pay Paul a visit. We drove down the wrong side of the road for a few kilometers until we approached a large gate. It was a little like the giant one in the movie King Kong. It was almost 10:00pm, but we figured that rockstars never sleep, so Bono would probably be in the study tuning a guitar or something. We rang the bell. Nothing. We rang it again but Bono never showed. Instead, five security guards appeared from nowhere and asked us to leave. They said Bono was on tour in the US. Just barely missed him.
Years passed since my pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine of Bono, but somehow there I was again in Ireland again. It was St. Patrick’s Day and I was celebrating in a place that had created an entire holiday around the color green. St. Patrick’s Day is the Mardi Gras of Dublin and Temple Bar is the Bourbon Street of Ireland. Everyone was dressed in green and the beer was flowing. No one is alone very long in an Irish bar and within minutes I was being chatted up by some Irish women. They asked me if I’d ever been to Ireland. “Had I been to Ireland? Funny you should ask…”.They had accidentally given me the segue I needed to tell my story about how I got kicked off of Bono’s driveway. I was happy to recount it. Well, as luck would have it, before I could finish my tale, one of these girls informed me that she had gone to school with Bono. Apparently she’d even gone out with him. Did she sleep with him? I had to know. She nodded her head but would tell no more. Was she up for a visit to his mansion? I might still remember how to get there….
The girls laughed politely. No one was going anywhere. We talked about other important subjects like why it was impossible to find Lucky Charms cereal or Irish Spring soap in Ireland and come you never see any shamrocks ? The girls excused themselves to go to WC. I met a few guys with fake red beards as well as some guys with real red beards. Everyone was dressed up having fun. There was even a guy standing in front of me dressed like Bono. I don’t know if you can really dress like Bono, but he had the glasses. I guess if there was one thing you could wear to make you look like Bono, it would probably be his glasses. The Bono impersonator was not very tall and he wasn’t really talking to anyone. There was a girl with him but she had turned and started talking to someone else. I handed my phone to my friend Mona, grabbed his arm and dragged him over for a picture. He was cool about it and acted like people took pictures with him all the time. I thanked him for being a good sport and wished him a Happy St. Patty’s Day.
A few minutes passed and my Irish friends came out of the bathroom and started talking to me again. Suddenly the one girl who claimed she knew Bono stopped talking and smiled at me. She said “I have got a surprise for you Bill. Guess who just showed up? Bono.” Before I knew it, she brought the guy I’d just taken a picture with over and introduced him to me. OMG! I thought…. Are you kidding? That’s really him? I shook his hand and apologized for confusing him with an impersonator. He might be a mortal and he might not be that tall, but it was BONO! There’s very few rockstars that have the demigod status Bono has. Maybe it’s because he’s never been involved in a scandal or starred in a bad movie. Maybe it’s because he’s always doing Live Aid or some other charity thing. Maybe it’s because some of his music has almost a religious meaning. Maybe it’s because he’s just so frigging cool.
And cool he was. Suddenly, I saw all the clues. His shirt said “One”. Sure it’s a famous song he did with U2, but it’s also the charity he created to fight extreme poverty across the world. Then there was the music clue.The pub had been playing U2 songs since he had walked in the door. I had thought it was just a coincidence but apparently not. The glasses should have given him away. Who has glasses like that? No one. No one except Bono.
If that bar had been in America, Bono would have been mobbed. He would have had to have security guards protecting him. Not in Ireland. Everyone just let him do his thing. No one grabbed him and made him take pictures. Well, no one except me. I started to ask him if I could buy him a beer. That was stupid. He could buy the whole bar if he wanted. I suddenly realized that there was nothing I could say to him that would probably be even remotely interesting to him. I politely excused myself and put the picture on Facebook.