Long before coming to Ireland I had heard about the stories of how the locals would pee on the Blarney Stone at night and have a good laugh when the tourists would line up to kiss it in the morning. I always laughed about it until we arrived to Ireland and were told by a tour guide in Dublin that that little story is in fact true.
But even more disgusting is the little known fact that the Blarney Stone was once the deflector stone at the bottom of a toilet. And they charge people to kiss this thing?
There was no way that I was going to leave Ireland without putting my lips on a chunk of rock at the top of a castle, in the bottom of a hole, that has had 100’s of years of urine, feces, and tourist slobber all over it. I mean, you can’t go to Egypt without seeing the pyramids, so why would I miss kissing the Blarney Stone when visiting Ireland. That might be a bad comparison, but you get the point.
So, this week we took the drive over to the little town of Blarney outside Cork and paid a small fortune to see Blarney Castle and to kiss the Blarney Stone, aka “potty rock.” The castle was really impressive looking as we zoomed past the other tourists on our way to the top of the castle. The weather had been very volatile and the top of the castle and the Blarney Stone is exposed and it could have been a really wet wait if it had started raining. Fortunately, it did not rain and there was no line for the Blarney Stone. Our lucky day… or was it?
Kerri decided to go first and show us how it was done. She had visited Blarney Castle with her grandmother 15 years earlier and had survived. There are two assistants that help the tourists kiss the stone. She laid down on her back on a cushioned pad and put her hands on metal handrails along the wall. One of the assistants helped lower Kerri backwards down the hole to get her into the proper stone kissing position. Once down the other assistant snapped photos (€10 each) of her kissing “potty rock.”
Our 8-year old daughter, Sydney, was refusing to kiss the stone. I guess years of telling her to wash her hands and to avoid germs had really paid off. Because now we wanted her to forget all about the hygiene conditioning and to put her lips on what has got to be the dirtiest, nastiest, and most disgusting rock in Ireland. After much prompting, she finally agreed and got lowered down into the hole and kissed the rock.
Next was my turn. As I was lowered down into the position that 1000’s of others had been in before, I decided to do something different. Instead of kissing the same spot that 1000’s of germy lips had been on I moved my head sideways and kissed the stone in a less-kissed spot. It was moist. Yuck!
After coming back up I pulled the alcohol based hand sanitizer out of my pocket and liberally applied it to my lips and to Sydney’s lips and offered some to Kerri.
Having kissed the Blarney Stone we hopefully now have the “Gift of Gab.”