Ah "The Luck of the Irish." Has a crueler phrase ever been coined? The sad truth is, the Irish are about as unlucky as a race can be while, you know, still being white.
While we may all be a little Irish on Saint Patrick's day, after this little history lesson you'll be grateful you no longer have to be Irish once your liver has filtered the green food dye out of your system (and if you actually are Irish, well, we're sorry).
6The Damned Vikings
Historically the best protection a civilization can have against invasion is to be located on an island. Just look at Japan. Until being occupied by America following World War II (USA! USA!) it had never been successfully invaded (although you could argue the high density of ninjas in the country had something to do with it).
At any rate Ireland is an island, they should have had it made, right?
But what if around the 8th century a civilization living not far from Ireland were to develop a culture based on seafaring warfare, piracy and sporty horned helmets? Oh shit ...
... here come the Vikings.
The Vikings' modus operandi was to attack exclusively from the sea, pillage, rape and burn then sail off while trading hearty high fives and congratulatory butt slaps. In other words Ireland being an island nation, something traditionally of great advantage, ended up being a first-night-sober-after-an-alcoholic-binge sized nightmare.
Today we have a fairly harmless image of Vikings (due to the poor research that goes into Hagar the Horrible) but trust us when we tell you that the real Vikings were grade-A dicks. They were basically the bullies of the middle ages, and like that poor red-headed kid that spent most of middle school stuffed in his locker, the Irish were the Vikings' favorite targets and spent over 200 years being metaphorically swirlied.
5The Ginger Problem
Speaking of red hair ...
In the Middle Ages, red hair was thought to mean you were a witch, werewolf or a vampire, so apparently there was a time in history other than our own where the sight of David Caruso would have been considered the ultimate horror. For other stretches in history, red hair was believed to mean one was surely a whore or had a wicked awful temper (later research has shown only around 60% of redheads are angry whores).
And even if you didn't fall victim to the superstitious associations with the world's rarest hair color, you certainly wouldn't enjoy some of the crappier consequences of having low levels of dark pigmentation. Like burning to a blistered, bubbly crisp when spending 15 minutes in the sun. Or ending a day at the beach with ungodly spots all over your face and ears and back and shoulders.
And if Al Gore knows what he's talking about at all, most of the world's redheads should be constructing a vast underground bunker for themselves as we speak, if they know what's good for them.
Of course this would only sort of suck if these creatures, most vulnerable to the rays of our otherwise life-giving sun, weren't also the most sensitive to pain. Seriously. By the way, which country has the world's highest concentration of redheads? Oh right, Ireland. We suppose it has a better ring to it than "God hates Irish people" but as far as appropriate national slogans go, "The luck of the Irish" isn't far behind "The easy and high paying jobs of the Mexicans."