irc.cuff-link.me resolves to 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11[my.gshou.com]
Those are 3 different IP addresses to 3 different computer machines. 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 have an IRC service on +6697, but 126.96.36.199 does not.
As mIRC rotates through these servers, it's going to fail when attempting 188.8.131.52, until it cycles to one of the other two.
Well. At least I won lunch.
Good philosophy, see good in bad, I like!