Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick’s day is upon us and it is one of my favorite minor holidays of the year. As a child, I remember all of the excitement at school. Everyone would wear greennand the cafeteria food had unique descriptions and always had green dye added--normally cafeteria food was green, but not because it was dyed that way.

Another part of the excitement of this holiday is my Irish heritage. A wee small part of me is Irish, and I believe it is one of my elbows, but I am flexible on that point.

In classes we would learn about Ireland and its history. We would also learn some of the folklore regarding Saint Patrick. He, apparently, drove all the snakes out of Ireland, into the ocean. A little known footnote to this story is that all those snakes made it across the ocean and took up residence, where they can still be seen slithering across the halls of government.

This mass exodus of snakes gives us an interesting insight into the history of one of the more adult sides of Saint Patrick’s Day; that is the consumption of fermented liquids in great quantities. Anyone who actually believes they saw a man driving snakes across the land and into the sea had to be drunk.

Another facet of Irish lore is the Leprechaun. These are solitary creatures who hide from people and guard great kettles of gold. I have had a lengthy phone interview with one who expresses great disdain for Saint Patrick’s Day. “It is the one day of the year we have to be extra cautious, for every school aged child and inebriated adult frolics through the countryside trying to locate our treasure. If it weren’t for Patrick, people would leave us alone.”

Interestingly enough, I never heard any of the real story behind Saint Patrick in school (probably due to all the politically incorrectness in the story). He immigrated to Britain from Scotland (we all know that immigrants are evil). He claimed to be a pagan and was kidnapped by pagans at the age of 16 (pagan is a negative label for those who worship anything they want). In captivity he converted to Christianity (everyone knows everything Christian is politically incorrect). After he returned to Britain, Patrick felt a call to go back to Ireland to teach them about Christ (see previous statement).

Those are the reasons that the real story of Saint Patrick isn’t talked about in schools. It is much too politically incorrect.

Instead of fuming about this, I am going to enjoy the brisk day outside and go frolicking through the fields. Perhaps I will find a leprechaun and can nab his treasure.

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