St. Patrick's Day is an internationally celebrated event, so I've included two additional points of view in this post: Miss Clodagh McFlappahan of Dingleberry, County Begora Ireland and Sean Wee from down the block.
Just The Facts
- It began 300 years ago as a religious holiday but now it's the straight version of the Gay Pride Parade.
- "On that Holy Day it's off to Mass and then back home for tea and biscuits and the men go down the pub"-Clodagh McFlappahan
- "Oh dude, you wake up early and start drinking and you don't stop until you pass out or get arrested."-Sean Wee
- For some non-irish folks one thought comes to mind on St. Patrick's Day: run away!
A Cup of Tea with Clodagh
Through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Patron Saint of the Internet, along with the technical assistance of Clodagh McFlappahan's great-great nephew Seamus, we were able to sit down for a nice cup of tea, via Skype, in Clodagh's Local Authority Accommodation (USA translation: project). Thankfully, I also wrote our conversation down because I lost all my Skype shit when I switched computers.
AJ: It's so nice to see you Miss McFlappahan.
cmcf: Seamus, did the television just talk to me? Am I dead? Finally?
AJ: No, Miss McFlappahan, it's me: Albany Jones. We were just speaking on the telephone a few minutes ago. Seamus has us on a video chat. Skype. We explained this. Remember...?
cmcf: Seamus, the telephone is off its cradle! The bill will be the death of me! Finally!
This sort of thing continued for several minutes so I've included just the most coherent bits below:
AJ: So apart from going to church-
cmcf: receiving the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, yes?
AJ: Yes, apart from that and having tea, how else does one celebrate the memory of a saint who may not have existed? Is it like Santa? Do you tell stories about Saint Patrick?
cmcf: Um...I suppose we might.
AJ: Really? Can you give me an example of one of those stories?
cmcf: Well...there's that one about the snakes...
AJ: What do you think of all the worldwide parades and festivals?
cmcf: I think it's shameful. Nowadays people aren't as ashamed of themselves as they should be! A proper Irish woman should be at home having babies, taking care of her elderly parents and scrubbing the floors!
AJ: All at the same time?
Seventeen Pints with Sean
Since Sean Wee lives down the block we agreed to meet at The Leprechaun's Golden Shillelagh Olde Pub & Grub on South Western Avenue. I was due to meet Sean at 7 but I was eight minutes late. Luckily, Sean was very forgiving, as he had taken the opportunity of my lateness to down 2 pints of Guinness and 4 shots of Jameson. I joined him for numbers 3 & 5.
AJ: So, Sean, Saint Paddy's...What do you think?
sw: SAINT PADDY'S FOREVER FUCKIN-A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AJ: Yes, fuckin-a indeed. I think I have a pretty good idea how you spend the holiday but I'd like to know more about what Saint Patrick's Day means to you, Sean Wee from down the block.
sw: It's more than just remembering Saint Paddy, it's about being Irish! Boo-yah!!!
AJ: Yes. (We then shared a high-five) But what does "being Irish," mean?
sw: It means, you know...um, like it means your great grandparents came from there and they came here and now we're all here and stuff like that. Ready for another one? You're buying, right?
When I look back on my notes I keep thinking that I must've made a mistake: Clodagh and Sean couldn't possibly be talking about the same day. But, sadly, they are talking about the same day and to that I say Saint Isidore: pray for us.
I asked both Clodagh and Sean if they agree with the expression "Everyone's Irish on Saint Paddy's Day." Clodagh said that although other people are "perfectly nice" she thinks the expression is a "load of shite. Everyone's wearing the green on the 17th of March even though some of them have people from Scotland or even worse, Wales!" Sean, in the midst of his seventeen pints, was somewhat more generous: "Absolutely everybody's mother fucking irish on mother fucking saint paddy's! It don't matter. Polish, German, Lithuanian. Every god damned fucker." I asked if Michelle Obama qualifies and he said "No way. Maybe it would be different if she had an Irish last name, like if it was O'Bama, but it's not. Her ancestors didn't even have Irish owners so no. I'm not racist or anything but no."
So I guess the expression should be rewritten to: "Everyone's Irish on Saint Paddy's Day, except the blacks." Sean gave me a high-five and a wink. I went to the toilet and puked. Reminder: never drink with Irish guys.