Sunday, March 17, 2013

Serpentine Logic, or Dublin or Nothing

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Today millions of Americans will don green clothes (a bit redundant if your a boy scout or forest ranger), drink green beer, and subsequently spew green vomit in celebration.

I hear the holiday's popular in Ireland, too.

The above was a joke, but in many way St Patrick's Day is an American invention. It started in Ireland, of course, but as a religious holiday, something to do with that Patrick fellow being a "saint". It was us Yanks who secularized it, in the best way we know how, by excessive promotion (St. Paddy's Day Sale! 17% OFF Anything in the Store That is Green!), excessive merchandising (St Patrick's Day Pimp Hat for only $8.99!), excessive eating (16" corn beef and cabbage pizza for $13.99 plus tax), as I mentioned earlier, excessive drinking (Irish I were drunk, as one T-shirt puts it) excessive horniness (Get lucky tonight--St Patrick's Day Lingerie and Costumes in stock!), and, finally, excessive law enforcement (Police Ramp Up Alcohol Patrols for St. Patrick's Day.)

In recent years, some of these traditions have made their way to Ireland, mainly because American tourists have made their way to Ireland. Still, you're unlikely to see anybody on that side of the pond wearing "Kiss me, I'm Irish" T-shirts. Irish people can kiss each other any time they want; they don't have to wait until March 17.

Of course, parades are popular on St. Patrick's Day. If you go to one today, you might see something like this:

Kilts and bagpipes? That's Scotland, not Ireland! Oh, well, to most American ears the accents sound the same. They might as well dress alike and play the same music.

In case you're wondering who exactly St Patrick was, legend has it he drove all the snakes out of Ireland.

Good reason to celebrate. In Ireland. How about here in the US? What's our snake situation?

According to my research, there's about 130 species of snakes in North America, several of them venomous. We're up to our necks in snakes! Cancel the camping trip! Don't I have enough things to worry about without some long, slimy, creeping, crawling, slithering reptile sneaking into my tent and strangling me in my sleep?

And exactly why do we have all these snakes in the first place, huh? I have my suspicions. When Patrick drove them out of Ireland, they had to go somewhere, right? Thanks to him, we now have 130 invasive species--that's thousands of snakes per species--just biding there time in the weeds waiting to attack. And we're throwing a party celebrating the man responsible for this ecological catastrophe?

All that green beer has dulled our senses. Or maybe just mine.




  1. Happy St. Paddy's Kirk. I am no fan of snakes. Thank God they're all in Washington D.C.!

    1. Except for the ones on Wall Street, Patricia.

  2. Happy St. Patrick's Day back at ya'
    Terrific post today ! very clever. At lest they were wearing green kilts.
    I like the food can't drink any of the beer green or not.
    It's like Cinco de Mayo parties here just add guns !

    Japanese son works weekend at an Irish Bar in Nishinomiya owner is Irish by way of Australia, an English bartender and my crazy American Son. Add all the locals and any sporting event on TV is a hoot, they root for almost everyone ! especially soccer and rugby.

    I have always wanted to go to Ireland, It looks so beautiful and green not at all like were I live.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. They have guns at Cinco de Mayo parties, parsnip? That I did not know.

      Sounds like globilization has hit Japan. At least when it comes to the watering holes.

      You should watch the 1950s John Ford movie THE QUIET MAN. Some gorgeous Technicolor shots of Ireland in that.

    2. Cinco De Mayo, New Year there is always some crazy guy shooting up in the air. You wouldn't believe the stories my brother tells.
      I should to write about my brother and all the crazy weird and sad stuff he has seen from all his year in the law enforcement side of the Forest Service. He over saw the four state region.

      I love The Quiet Man best movie ever !
      I think I read John Wayne took some grief for stepping out of his "niche" for this movie, you would know about this better than me, but I just love everything about this movie. The fight alone is the best !

      Did you get to drink some green beer ?
      Globalization or not their are many days I am the only non Japanese on the train, or if I am with my son the tallest people on the train too. Especially when traveling out from the main city centers it just me or my family.
      I need to start my Wednesday in Japan post again to tell some fun stories, I have one really funny restaurant one.

      cheers, parsnip

    3. I like John Wayne in John Ford movies (which is why I used the director, rather than the star, to describe THE QUIET MAN) not so much when he appeared in other directors pictures, who allowed him to strut his stuff much too much, especially after about 1960. Of course, he did that off-camera, too.

      My favorite part of the fight scene is when they show the guy on his death bed recieving the last rites. He hears "There's a fight!" through an open window, and jumps out of bed to watch it.

      My second favorite part is when Wayne and Victor McLaglen take a few seconds out of their fight to down a beer.


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