An Irishman moved into a tiny hamlet in County Kerry, walked into the pub and promptly ordered three beers. The bartender raised his eyebrows, but served the man three beers, which he drank quietly at a table, alone.
The next evening the man again ordered and drank three beers at a time. Soon the entire town was whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers. Finally, a week later, the bartender broached the subject on behalf of the town. “I don’t mean to be prying but folks around here are wonderin why your always order three beers and drink them alone?”.
“Tis a wee bit odd I would be supposin” the man replied. “You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America and the other went to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order two extra beers, whenever we would partake, as a way of keeping up the family bond.”
The bartender and the whole town were pleased with his answer and with the reverence for family and soon the Man Who Orders Three Beers became a local celebrity and source of pride to the hamlet.
Then one day the man came in and ordered only two beers. The bartender served them with a heavy heart. This continued for the rest of the evening … ordering only two beers. Word flew around the hamlet quickly. Prayers were offered for the soul of one of the brothers.
The next day, the bartender said to the man, “folks around here, me first of all, want to offer our condolences to you for the death of your brother, you know – only two beers.”
The man pondered for a moment then replied, ” You’ll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well. It’s just that I, meself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent.”