Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Welcome to the world's largest (and annual) funeral -- bottom's up!!!

I really don't like St. Patrick's Day.

What, you ask? An Irishman who enjoys a Guinness as much as the next guy, or ANY guy for that matter, does not like to celebrate St. Paddy's Day???

Yes, that's what I'm saying.

Why, you ask. (That's is you're practiced in the art of obvious question-and-answer banter.)

Several things, I say. Here they are:

1. He wasn't Irish. St. Patrick was actually brought to Ireland from Wales as a slave. Nice, huh? Peel these 80 dozen potatoes and, when you're done, we have a wee snake issue you might want to take a look at.

2. Snakes might not have existed in St. Patrick's time. Who knows about this -- I'm no reptologist or anything. But parting the waters or making Guinness out of water (or tar) was not original. Snakes! He can drive snakes out of Ireland (and presumbably into water since Ireland is an island), proving snakes or people are kind of stupid. Who knows which is really true. Are we to believe St. Patrick was the Samuel L. Jackson of his time?? "We gotta get these m-therf-cking snakes off this m-therf-cking island!"

3. Oh yeah, he's not a saint. He was not associated with any particular faith. He has never been canonized by any Pope. (Canonize, kids, does NOT mean he was shot out of a canon as a form of saint hazing; it's the act of naming someone a saint.) So for all you (us) Roman Catholics out there who are going to hell if we get divorced, have pre-marital sex, or are gay and want to get married, because that's not what the church teaches us we MUST believe and practice, then you're are probably a hethen if you celebrate on March 17. (But we're all going to hell anyway based on these beliefs/rules so might as well hoist another one!)

4. St. Patrick was not born on March 17. He did not invent beer on March 17. He did not become a Saint on March 17 because, you know, he's not really a saint. Nor did he create Oprah on March 17 (see Really Big Bang Theory for THAT one). He died on March 17. Yes, death....woo hoo! (I wonder how many points that Not a Saint Patrick That Really Cool Welsh Slave Guy Who May or May Not Have Driven Snakes In The Water would have netted in the Ghoul Pool??)
Though in dying on this day and having millions of people revel in death, he did create the Irish wake.
(When I broght an Italian friend to her first Irish wake, she whispered "They DO know he died, right? And that he's laying right there?")

I also don't like the day because I don't need to celebrate being Irish. I AM Irish. Every day.

And celebrating being Irish has more to do than silly Halloween leprachaun outfits, green beer, painting shamrocks on your cheeks (hmmm which ones), and drinking until you forget how many fingers you have.

No, being Irish is about going to church even if you don't agree with it's teachings. Being Irish is about never showing emotions until your family is completely dysfunctional. Being Irish is about never crying until Uncle Seamus loses his left foot to gout, and then getting blind drunk becuase you haven't seen your cousin Courtney since your visit to the old country 10 years ago. And of course being Irish is about drinking because you want to, not because it's March.

Oh, yeah you MUST love the Kennedys. Shhh - it's unconditional. Don't ask why.

Have a great funeral, er, day anyway. Leave all your troubles behind.

And if you don't like Guinness, please take a tip I received from one Jimmy O'Neil back in my college days. "Have a 2nd pint,'' he said. "If you really don't like it after the 2nd one, I'll buy them both for you and never bother you again."

His advice changed my life. At least the portions that I remember...


Dave S. said...

Happy Evacuation Day!

As an Irish surname lurks behind my nom de blog I also tend toward the lower-key observances of the holiday, although my co-bloggers JJV and CRH and I did get to meet Miss Irish Mist in 1992. Primarily I use the day to remind myself of how I need to get more Pogues music.

Sean and Jami said...

Ok, even in March you're a scrooge. It's an excuse to drink & party, like New Years's, Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, Labor Day... holy crap, all holidays are for is drinking.

On the random factual side: Patrick was actually a Roman named Patricus kidnapped from Whales to be a slave.

There were never any snakes in Ireland anyway. But somehow he got credit for for the lack of legless satanic symbols. I picture him drinking and bragging about it with slurred speach:"And let me tell you 'bout them F*%#in' SNAKES!"

He's not a saint? That's news to me.

Dave S. said...

Oh yeah, he's not a saint. He was not associated with any particular faith. He has never been canonized by any Pope.

There seems to be general agreement that he was a bishop of the Christian Church, which I believe qualifies as a faith. Based on an extremely limited reading which I did just now, Papal canonization began later in the Church's history and the designation of saints was often local, but that does not delegitimize their status. If he were not a saint I suspect the Church would refrain from naming parishes and cathedrals after him.

Next round's on you, Tommy.

TommyMac71 said...

I do apologize for the Wales/Whales kidnapping assumption.

However him being Roman (or Italian if you will) is even worse.

Imagine Seamus McGilicuddy at the patron saint of Italy?????

J. said...

Tommy just needs to have more post-marital sex and be shot out of a canon.

J. said...

P.S. Patricius or Padraig was Welsh.

TommyMac71 said...

yipppee!!!! i'm right! I LOVE being right!

Dave S. said...

"Roman" is a designation of citizenship and cultural identity, not ethnicity. Particularly in the later Empire there were large numbers of "Romans" of local birth, of which St. Patrick is a fine example.

By the time of Patrick the Romans had effectively abandoned Britain but cultural identification with Rome remained for some time.

There will be a quiz after the third round. Now who's for a song?

Heather said...

Here's why I hate St. Patrick's Day. Years ago, my cute toddler daughter and her friend built Leprechaun traps. This was pre-golf, when I was totally absorbed in being mom. I decided to leave candy and coins and sprung the traps.

Fast forward many years later, my son woke up angry today because "Lucky" didn't come over night. Lucky never visited over night. He came while the kids were in school.

Broke down and dumped a couple bucks and chocolate coins in the traps this afternoon.

First Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and now a fricken leprechaun. I need a Guiness, or two!

Anonymous said...

"until your family is completely dysfunctional"
remember the phrase dysfunctional family is redundant...

you can always look forward to St. Joseph's Day on Thursday... good food!

Cee Bee said...

I've also heard the background of St. Patrick...(um, should we just call him Patrick now?)explained as Welsh and Italian. Can we compromise and say he's half Italian and half Welsh? The point is, he's NOT Irish!
And, Mr. TommyMac, I actually appreciate having an excuse to leave my work behind and start drinking around 4:30 pm (although I understand that's late for most Irish people to get started)! I agree with Sean... Mardi Gras, New Year's Eve, Cinco de Mayo, and yes, the funeral of the Non-Saint, Paddy Mac :-)

Suzy said...

I'd like a secong pint, please.

Blasé said...

I don't drink, don't go to church, nor have I ever seen 'Snakes on a Plane'.

Guess that means I'll never pass for being Irish??

Anonymous said...

Youre not Irish, you arse american! Grow up, get a grip, and get over it.

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