"" Writer's Wanderings: No Baloney--It's the Blarney Stone!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No Baloney--It's the Blarney Stone!

Do you know the difference between baloney and blarney? Baloney is when you tell a 50 year old woman that she looks like she's 18. Blarney is when you ask a woman how old she is because you want to know at what age women are most beautiful. Or so one of the signs said as we made the climb up to the top of the Blarney Castle to see the infamous stone.

We had determined well before our trip that we would not be kissing the Blarney Stone. As I showed in a previous post, you have to lay on your back, stretch out over an open space with a drop of about a 100 feet below you and stick your lips on a stone that countless others have slobbered on. Nope. Not gonna do it.

The castle was an interesting visit however. You climb very narrow stone steps to get to the various levels. The kitchen had a huge place that at one time must have been the fireplace where food was cooked over an open fire. It was about halfway up to the dining area which means that food would have had to be carried up to the kitchen to cook and then carried up more steps to the dining hall. Guess that's why you had servants.

The castle was built back in the 1480s by Cormac Laidir (the Strong) MacCarthy and was said to have come from quite a noble lineage. He was probably the first occupant but was shortly killed by his brother who in turn was killed by Cormac's son. Quite an unsettling start to the castle's history.

As ancient castles go, the actual building went through many changes--additions, repairs because of fire, etc. But this castle holds the legend of the Blarney Stone endearing it to so many throughout the world. Legend says that a descendant of the first Cormac, Sir Cormac MacDermod tried to play both sides during the Nine Years War (1594-1603) when the native Gaelic aristocracy came together in open defiance of the English Crown. The term "Blarney" came to refer to smoothly flattering and cajoling talk.

While I fully believe that some are born with the gift of Blarney, the Monsignor Fulton Sheen had this to say, "Baloney is flattery laid on with a trowel. Blarney is flattery laid on with the lips; that is why you have to kiss a stone to get it."

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...