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St Paddy’s Day: How Lucky ARE the Irish, Exactly?


Let’s see; they get to drink Guinness; they live in a land where, no matter which direction you point your camera you get a picture-postcard; they have Tullamore Dew, for heaven’s sake! Potatoes with every meal (and most snacks), great music in the pubs, and the prettiest redheaded Colleens anywhere on the planet. (With only one exception worth noting.)

The Irish have some very effective ways of dealing with life’s little woes. Like saying goodbye. They take the longest time possible to actually separate. This gives them time for another round, of course. And who knows, by the time the actual departure point arrives, maybe there’ll be no need to leave at all. So then you can have another pint. They also don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. And believe me, these Irish folk really know how to tell a tale. They have had story-telling greats like William Butler Yeats, James Joyce and Jonathan Swift. But in a country where Oscar Wilde was “just another bloke,” everybody’s into the storytelling. Of all the English-speaking peoples, the Irish easily have the highest syllable-per-word count. No contest.

Speaking of contests, the Irish are maybe the best fans in the world. Football, horse racing, hurling (not that college contest where everybody drinks all sorts of weird drinks to see who’s “hurl” is the most Technicolor; this is a Real Man’s game with dangerously wielded, heavy ash sticks and no pads), rugby, Gaelic football, golf, snooker, and that most genteel of all field sports, cricket. Okay, that last is an English import. It’s maybe the only thing English that the Irish have taken to heart. Their love of that inexplicable game is almost enough to have them forgive the English. Almost.

One of the Irish ways of solving life’s little ailments is to put the kettle on. For the rest of the world, the kettle is a tool for making tea. It’s that in Ireland too, but there’s more magic involved in the Emerald Isles.  MUCH more magic. Brewing tea and then sitting down to enjoy a cup solves everything from hangnails to cousin Thaddy’s spending the night in the hoosegow. And no matter how bad things get, there’s always a joke or two to be made about it. Tea and jokes can even relieve the burden of guilt that Irish folk feel about everything. Literally everything.

There are a few folks, though, who feel the Irish are quite unlucky. As they put it,

Our skin burns in the sun, there’s a “Kick a Ginger Day,” and Julia Roberts butchers our accent…  That pot of gold at the end of the rainbow has got more to do with the pot of gold some of us were lucky to find in California, and little to do with home.”

That’s pretty harsh, but sadly on-target.

However you feel about being Irish (and like it or not, we’re all a bit Irish), today’s the day to let it all loose and enjoy the green. And the ale, the pubs, the jokes, the horrendous singing…

Enjoy the (Cleverly Cloverly) Heat!


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