Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We're comin' ta take yer IRISH CARD, laddie!

I'm Irish.

OK... I'm a mutt. Heh. But my genetic makeup draws heavily from the Emerald Isle. I've got more O's and Mc's and Fitz's in my family tree than you can shake a shillelagh at. (Shows, too. Pasty skin and lotsa red in my hair.)

And I'm self-aware Irish. (I neither posted or thought much about Bloomberg's remarks.) There are perfectly good reasons for some of the stereotypes about us. Many of us are superstitious, temperamental, drunk... Hell, some of us are all of the above.

So, with our Holiest Holy Day coming up, I was genuinely amused to read Kevin Myers' suggestion that Ireland do away with the "demeaning farce" of St. Patrick's Day.

"It should really be called St. Patrick's DNA, as across the world, Irishmen and women have shown in full and shameful manner how we cannot be trusted to celebrate the day without making drunken disgraces of ourselves."
Too right.

I rarely drink alcohol. Maybe a coupla times a year. But you can bet your green beer that one of those days is fast approaching. I'm only disappointed that it's on a Thursday. I figure, if we can put Columbus Day and Presidents Day on a Monday, year after year... well, we oughtta be able to make St. Paddy's the third Saturday of March!

Years back, I can remember a friend trying to make some St. Patrick's Day party arrangements. When I said I didn't know if I'd be drinking (another weeknight) my wise friend (with a Mc at the beginning of his name) gave me the following grave warning:

"Gah! You have to! I'm pretty sure it's a law. If you don't get ripped on St. Pat's, they'll take away your Irish Card!"
Well, you can't take foolish chances, right? Right. Not even aware until then that I'd been in possession of an Irish card, I've nevertheless done my duty and protected it all these years.

(Old friend... if by any chance you read this, you'll know very well who wrote it. Get in touch.)

Anyway, Myers' piece made me laugh. His indignation at Ireland's (and hyphenated, late generation Irish-blooded folk the world over) national past time embarrasses him. As does our lack of remorse.

"Yet far from being ashamed at this achievement, it forms the heart of a really perverse national characteristic."
Yeah, yeah. Except perversity is another trait we're known for.

I have a suggestion. Someone should go pick Kevin up Thursday night, take him to the pub, and pour Irish whiskey down his throat until he thinks he's being waterboarded. He'll see the light.

And if he fights...

Take away his Irish card.


Anonymous said...

I've got a wee bit o' the Irish in me, but I'm also what's known as, if you'll pardon the crudity, a "European gang bang." Along with the brogue, I've got some German, French, Scotch and Slavic. Also a bit of Amerindian.


ScratcherMMBI said...

I'm primarily Irish/Scottish, but it's seasoned with Cherokee, Polish, Russian, and some others. Thankfully, I have a great-uncle who's an amateur genealogist, or I might only know about the parts that show and the last names. :)

Spouse is almost entirely Eastern European. Slavic, Hungarian, Russian with a ton of Italian.

Gets interesting when the kids ask "What nationality are we?"

"American. Eat your dinner."

Matt said...

Why does anyone have to be pinheaded enough to oppose St. Patrick's Day? If there were a holiday that celebrated twits with unwarranted self importance, I wouldn't call for it's ban.