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P.F. Condon, Publican and Funeral Director

Ireland, August 2002 —

The combination of pub/funeral parlor is fairly common in rural Ireland....

At Erwin's pub in Cahir, County Tipperary, I asked a young fellow if he was from the town, and he said yes. I said I had to admit I thought it funny that they have a publican/funeral director.

"You mean Condon's," he said. The guy told me, in a straight tone, that they don't do the actual undertaking work at the adjacent shop any more, that they've moved that operation to a newer place outside of town — and as he was telling me, he started to smile, betraying the fact he knew it was funny.

"And," he said, "they're farmers." I didn't know whether or not that was a derisive comment. So I did what I often do when I think I hear derisive prejudice — I said "huh?"

He said "They're farmers, too — they have a large farm out in the country."

"They do quite the business." I didn't know what else to say.

"Did you go there?" He asked.

"Oh, no," I said — "Well, no, not yet."

Of course, then, I would have to.
— 5 August 2002