An Irishman moved into a village, and soon found his way to the local pub, where he ordered three beers. He took the three beers to his table, sat them down and drank them one by one.

The next day the man again went into the pub, ordered and drank three beers and went home. The next day he did exactly the same thing again. Soon the entire town was whispering about The Man Who Orders Three Beers.

A week later, the bartender raised the subject. “I don’t mean to pry, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers at a time?”

“Tis odd, isn’t it?” the man replied. “You see, I have two brothers, one who went to America, and the other to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order an extra two beers 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 Beers became a local celebrity.

Then, one day, the man came in and ordered only two beers. The bartender poured them with a heavy heart. Word flew around the town. Prayers were offered for the soul of one of the brothers.

The next day, the bartender said 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 beers instead of three, and all…”

The man pondered this for a moment, then replied, “You’ll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well. It’s just that I, myself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent.”