An Irishman moves into a tiny hamlet in County Kerry, walks into the pub and promptly orders three pints of Guinness. The bartender raises his eyebrows, but serves the man three pints, which he drinks quietly at a table, alone.
An hour later, the man has finished the three pints and orders three more. This happens yet again. The next evening the man again orders and drinks three pints at a time, several times.
Soon the entire town is whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers.
Finally, a week later, the bartender broaches the subject on behalf of the town. "I don't mean to pry, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three pints at a time?
Tis odd, isn't it?" the man replies.. "You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia . We promised each other that we would always order an extra two pints whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond."
The bartender and the whole town were pleased with this answer, and soon the Man Who Orders Three Pints became a local celebrity and source of pride to the hamlet, even to the extent that out-of-towners would come to watch him drink.
Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two pints. The bartender pours them with a heavy heart. This continues for the rest of the evening. He orders only two pints. The word flies around town. Prayers are offered for the soul of one of the brothers.
The next day, the bartender says to the man, "Folks around here, me first of all, want to offer condolences to you for the death of your brother. You know-the two pints and all"
The man ponders this for a moment, then replies, "You'll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well. It's just that I, meself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent."