Bobby O’Reilly raised his shot glass of fine Irish whiskey and toasted the devil who wearily raised his in recognition, and tossed it down in one gulp.
Being a clever lad, Bobby knew the devil was coming after him, and had come up with a plan. He may have been somewhat of a rascal, truth be told, but his superhuman ability to consume alcohol made him a legend in the local pub and around the countryside.
Bobby reasoned that the first place the devil would look for him would be the pub where he was known to spend most of his day drinking and gambling. When the devil showed up one muggy afternoon, Bobby waved and invited him to take the empty chair across from him at a table.
“A fine day to you Lucifer,” Bobby began, “I’ve been waiting for your sanguine presence. Bar keep! Send one of your lasses over here with another shot glass will ya?”
“Now, aren’t you a fine piece of work,” the devil chuckled. “Are you really so eager to forfeit your soul this day?”
“Not at all. I’m just a poor man wondering if you have the guts to make a deal with me? I’ll put up my soul. What will you offer, should I win?”
A bar maid set down a shot glass in front of the devil who was considering Bobby’s audacious offer. Bobby picked the bottle of whiskey up and poured the devil a shot. The devil tossed the shot down and then laughed so loudly everyone in the pub looked over at them.
“You know that’s an interesting offer O’Reilly. I enjoy someone who has the gall to try to trick me. But what’s to keep me from ignoring your offer and taking you to straight to hell with me right now?”
Bobby poured himself a shot, and refilled the devil’s glass.
“Because I’ll pray to God to take my soul, and will confess and repent for all the evil I’ve ever done the moment you make a move on me.”
“There’s no guarantee it’ll work for you boyo. You’re quit the sinner. That’s why I’m here. But I’ll tell you what. To avoid having to wrestle with God over your miserable soul, I’ll take you up on your offer. If you win, I’ll take you off my list until Judgement Day arrives. At that time we’ll see what God decides to do with your wicked soul.”
“Fair enough,” Bobby agreed.
“What’s the challenge,” the devil asked.
“You have to drink me under the table. The first one to pass out loses.”
The devil raised his glass and casually tossed it down with a twinkle in his eye. They were still drinking after the bartender closed at 2 a.m. He left a light on near the two drinkers and hoped his friend Bobby would be okay as he locked the doors up and left.
To the devil’s surprise Bobby seemed to get stronger as the night wore on. He told bawdy jokes and rattled off limericks gleaned from public loos. When the bartender opened up the next morning there were empty whiskey bottles scattered around the floor and Bobby was opening a new bottle.
The devil was a little pale, but still smiling and listening to Bobby’s blather. The hours flowed by until it was dark again. Bobby was no longer telling bawdy jokes and the devil was starting to look downright haggard.
The devil got to thinking about how many souls he could have captured if he wasn’t locked into this damn drinking duel for the last 48-hours with this crazy Irishman. He decided Bobby wasn’t worth the effort right now. He knew he could outdrink him, but wasn’t sure how many more hours (and lost souls) he wanted to waste.
“That’s it O’Reilly! I’ve better things to do with my time. We’ll meet again somewhere down the road, I assure you. For now, your safe you weasel.”
“Oh, c’mon mate!” he mocked, “One last drink!”
As It Stands, this tale is a testimony for good Irish whiskey; my favorite liquor.