Apparently the Irish are sensitive.
Some time ago an IrishCentral writer James O’Brien reported that the Irish Car Bomb drink is more popular than ever in the United States, while it continues to receive vitriol from IRA victims’ groups and self-righteous people everywhere. The inventor of the tasty concoction, a bar owner in Connecticut, has even apologized for his insensitive christening and wishes he could take it back.

In quotations in the article and comments from readers, the Irish Car Bomb is compared to a hypothetically invented European cocktail like the “Al-Qaeda car bomb” or the “Twin Towers cocktail.”

There are two interesting points in this claim of analogousness. One is that the IRA, which disarmed in 2005 and has apologized for causing civilian deaths, is the same as Al-Qaeda, which is still actively committing and encouraging terrorism. The other is that Americans alone would be offended by these drink names.

Estimates of the number of Irish and Irish-Americans who died in the 9/11 attacks range between 700 and 1,000. While Al-Qaeda loves to target Americans, they surely would kill Irish infidels just as quickly if given the chance. The point being, the Irish felt the horror and pain of 9/11 too, as did much of the free and peace-loving world.

The IRA’s terrorist attacks were certainly no better, but they are by no means of the same scale of extremist killers who fight in the name of bastardized Islam.

But all that aside, let’s get a grip, shall we?

People make up drink names to be offensive on purpose. Can you imagine sidling up to a bar and ordering an aAbortion? People do. It’s clear liquor like vodka, with Tabasco or grenadine trickled in it. You know, for the blood! Tasty! There are a whole host of explicit drink names that denigrate women, most of which I can’t even write for this website. (The least offensive on the list is a Red Headed Slut.) And is an Irish Car Bomb really worse than a Runny Duck Fart? If you’re got a sensitive issue, chances are that there’s some idiotic cocktail name that will upset you.

The real equivalent of the Irish Car Bomb is the Kamikaze shot (vodka, triple sec and lime juice), named after the Japanese pilots who used their planes as bombs in the Pearl Harbor attack. Approximately 2,400 people died on December 7, 1941. To put that into perspective, 2,996 people died on September 11, 2001 and the IRA killed about 1,800 people during its active period spanning four decades. So why don’t we have World War II vets protesting young whippersnappers with fake IDs doing Kamikaze shots?

Maybe the drink just needs a new name. How about the Crotchety Irishman? Or the Non-Violent Fun Killer?

Maybe – and this is just a thought – there are bigger battles to be fought. No pun (or violent imagery) intended.

* Originally published in Oct 2010.