Well, yesterday, I spoke with my doctor, and his face was grim.

"Mr. P-------," he said, "I'm afraid you have a very serious, incurable condition. It's what we in the profession call 'Blarney Disorder' - an inability to speak in anything but a vaguely pseudo-Irish accent when you're trying your hardest to be ingratiating and charming. I'm sorry."

"Well, doctor, whatever might you be meanin' by that? Sure as I'm standin', I've never heard myself t'have anything but a standard Canadian accent." I smiled, then belatedly added an "eh?" to my retort. He sighed, tapping his pen against his clipboard. He seemed tired, somehow, as though he had been anticipating my response.

"That's part of the disorder. The speaker is unable to hear the accent he's... 'putting on', so to speak - and it grows more intense the longer the interaction continues. For instance, Mr. P------- - how are you at St. Patrick's Day celebrations?"

"I feckin' love St. Paddy's day! I'll put on me best green shirt, and me Guinness boxers, and-"

"That's quite enough. I think I may have to refer you to a specialist - while you'll never be quite free of the symptoms, they can at least be mitigated."


And that, your honour, is how I ended up in O'Malley's Pub.

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