When I was at sea, I was witness to some deep philosophical conversations in the ship’s bar between watches. For instance, I remember once when, by way of comparison, a raconteur referred to something as being “rough as a badger’s arse”.
Later in the conversation, another participant used the expression “smooth as a badger’s bum”.
“Now hold on a minute”, says Hexham Hawkins, “a badger’s bum is either rough or it’s smooth, it can’t be both. Now which is it?”
Much debate followed until someone said:
“Has anyone here present ever seen a badger’s arse?”
Mrs O’Gorman’s Boy took his pipe from his mouth and said:
“Sure and I have seen a badger’s arse.”
Then he replaced his pipe and lapsed into his customary silence.
We were all astonished by this utterance for we all knew that Mrs O'Gorman's Boy lived his life in a state of profound silence, being content merely to witness the folly of others.
In fact, everyone was so amazed to hear a word from that sphinx-like presence that he was not pressed to give any further information.
To this day, therefore, the question has remained unresolved and I burn with curiosity.
Can anyone out there enlighten me?