I’m writing this on the Monday morning before St. Patrick’s Day. This year the greatest of days falls on a Friday. So I suppose the Irish Catholics will be torn between eating corned beef on a Friday during Lent, or going to confession on Sunday. I expect there will be a long line at the confessional on Sunday morning! Unless, of course, you have an Irish priest who can grant you a, what do you call it, dispensation? Like that vegan girl I told you about who was allowed to eat bacon.
I think St. Patrick’s Day has to rate as one of the greatest holidays ever created. A little corned beef. A little Guiness. A shot of Jameson. Great Irish tales and stories to last unto the wee morn.
But, then maybe because I married an Irish/Norwegian. We start watching the calendar shortly after New Years day. We play tapes of Irish music as Shirley cleans the house and I sample the Guiness. The excitement builds up and sometimes I am sure I see the wee people in the tree row behind our house. Especially if there is a full moon and it is after the midnight hour.
Speaking of the wee people. There was a ventriloquist doing a show in a local pub recently. Upon his knee sat the cutest dummy you ever saw. He was wearin’ the green of Ireland and had a shock of red hair and a face wrinkled up like a prune.
The ventriloquist was visiting and telling jokes on the Irish, much as the people on this island tell stories on the Norwegians.
Frustrated, a big burly Murphy boy jumped up from his pint of Guiness, shaking his fist, and proclaimed for all to hear “You tell one more Irish joke and I’ll flatten that ugly nose of yours!”
Seeing his anger was not to be mistaken, the shaken ventriloquist began to apologize profusely.
Murphy quickly cut him off and exclaimed, “You stay the hell out of this! I’m talking to that red haired wimp on your knee!”
There are several Irish sayings I’d like to leave you with.
“An Irishman is never too drunk as long as there is a blade of grass to hold onto, to keep from falling off the earth!”
“In Ireland it is said there are only two things to worry about. Either you are sick, or you are well. And if you are well, there is nothing to worry about. But if you are sick, there are only two things to worry about. Either you will get well. Or you will die. If you get well, there is nothing to worry about. But if you die, there are only two things to worry about. Either you will go to heaven, or you will go to hell. If you go to heaven there is nothing to worry about. And if you go to hell, you will be so busy shaking hands with all your friends, you won’t have time to worry!”
And this one for Shirley. “There are only three kinds of Irish men who don’t understand women. Young men, old men … And men of middle age!!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Dean Meyer is a former legislator and ranches in southwest North Dakota. He has been a columnist around the state for years.