Newgrange has some of the oldest burial mounds in Europe, pre-dating the pyramids. I wont go into too lengthy of a description here— suffice it to say that they’re rather impressive mounds where Neolithic people used to stash corpses.
While at Newgrange Ireland’s weather switched from sunny yet pleasantly brisk to the wet hysteria of a schizophrenic rain god. I’m wearing the same loafers that carried me through Italy last year, as well as large portions of college and my senior year, so they were far from waterproof. This drenching and soaking made it clear to me why Stonehenge or similar circles in Ireland and Scotland couldn’t possibly have been solar calendars. Imagine a civilization trying to farm based on a three day period where the sun shines through two stone pillars:
Urgitt: Uh-Oh. Was the sun on that side of the stone door two weeks ago?
Blangaa: I dunno. It’s been raining for three weeks straight.
Urgitt: Well… Best resort to cannibalism, then.
See, no staggering Celtic civilization is going to grow up with that kind of system.
While we waited for our group to enter the ancient mound, pelted by rain, we struck up a conversation with some locals. We told them that we were planning on camping that evening, which gave them the same “Really? You’re joking, right?” expressions I’ve seen on countless faces in every nation of the British Isles when we inform people of our apparently psychotic plans.
The kindly family offered to let us sleep in a shed on their farm. Then they asked if we had girlfriends (always a perplexing question for me) and said they could probably provide some. To this I replied “Wow! Girls ‘n a shed! Hot damn!” By which I meant to convey my merriment at the prospect of sleeping in a dry tool shed, and, independently, meeting some nice Irish lassies. This is not the same message which fell upon the family’s ears, and we ended up finding another place to sleep that evening.
Andrew Heaton is a writer and standup comedian in New York City. If this post made you laugh or think, kindly "like" it on Facebook.