four nights in dublin: the luck of the irish

Here’s a little cognitive dissonance for you. Spencer’s, an online purveyor of stuff, is sponsoring, along with Guiness, a sweeps to Dublin. I don’t know what else to call Spencer's inventory but stuff --gag gifts, accessories, collectibles, often made 100% man-made materials. The occasion of course is St. Patrick’s Day. The vibe at the Spencer’s website is a little hard to nail down. Goth, Wiccan, Playboy Mansion erotic, just plain lava lamp tacky? It looks like a little like of all of the above to me.

Now, I very much want to enter a sweeps to Ireland, I’m half Irish, on my mother’s side; when I started blogging about sweeps nearly one year ago, I entered several. With this one, the first I’ve found this St. Patrick’s Day season, I wanted to make sure the prize was worth the entry, as I always do. I wasn’t about to enter if they were doing something like putting up the winner in some marginal B&B above a pub or a youth hostel. Surprise, surprise, they’re putting the winner up in a stunning five-star hotel.

Compare and contrast these sensibilities, in this order. First, THE SPONSOR. Second, THE HOTEL.

Is that not wild? Is that not a visual vortex of the culture wars, of high and low, of maybe even good and evil?

As soon as I saw the hotel, I was in. (Spoiler if haven’t looked already: It’s The Westin in Dublin; the Starwood property is in an elegant, happening neighborhood near Trinity College). It’s for four nights. You get a tour of St. James Gate Brewery, too. NOTE: The winner must travel between June 1 and July 31 this year. Yes, it pays to read the fine print.

To enter, click HERE. The deadline is March 18. Yes, the day after St. Patrick’s Day. Which assumes that people who wait until the last minute won’t be too hung over from the previous evening’s celebrations to enter.

As for Spencer’s goods, where to begin? The Metallica onesie? The portable pole dancing kit? The pimp stein? Thank goodness, the pimp stein also comes in honky.