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Pogues Singer Shane MacGowan Dies at 65, Or 112 In Irish Poet Years

DUBLIN — Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan passed away after a lengthy illness at age 65, or 112 when converted to Irish Poet years, according to sodden pub patrons doing the math on Smithwick’s coasters.

“MacGowan is another in the long line of Irish men of letters who were fond of a drop now and again,” said drinking buddy and poet Liam O’Clery. “We live hard, we love hard and aye, we drink hard. It comes with the territory. Thusly, our bodies take such a toll that we age at an entirely different rate than your average teatotalling dryshite. How old d’ye think I am? I’d forgive ye for thinkin’ me to be in my seventies—but I’m forty fuckin’ three.”

Those who were close to MacGowan suspected early on that he was not long for this world.

“I’ve served Mr. MacGowan at my pub going back decades,” said bartender Robbie Walsh, spitting into a pint glass and polishing it with a filthy rag. “I saw the damage the drink and the lifestyle was doin’ to him, prematurely aging him and whatnot, but he told me I didna need to be concerned. ‘Don’t worry ‘bout me, Robbie,’ Shane would say. ‘I’ve lived four or five lives’ worth already.’ That’s just the cost of being a brilliant Irish writer, as I understand it. I honestly never thought Shane would make it past 50, much less live to the ripe old age of 65—or 112, rather.”

Dr. Roisin O’Shaughnessy of Dublin’ St. Vincent’s Hospital confirms the combination of alcohol abuse and the specific conditions of an Irish writer’s life can have a peculiar effect on the rate of aging.

“Excess consumption of alcohol often goes hand in hand with being a creative genius like MacGowan,” said Dr. O’Shaughnessy as she wrote a prescription for Guinness. “Something about the Irish singer-poet lifestyle, coupled with that tendency to over-imbibe, seems to produce the alternate aging rate that we’ve observed. The current model shows the conversion from normal age to Irish Poet age as a multiplier of 1.72 or so. Some studies point to Irish cuisine being a factor. Others cite something specific to the soil or even the ink that many Irish authors write with.”

At press time, the Irish State Pension realized they’d been mistakenly sending checks to hard-drinking writer Finn Doyle, who was revealed to be only 32 years old.

Photo by Marcus Lynam.