Wednesday, March 14, 2007
The Luck O' the Irish
Now that I've ruined every one's week with my views on Medjugorje I'm prepared to suffer myself with what I was shocked to find is now being called "St. Patrick's Day Weekend."
This is wrong on so many levels.
To begin with, I have always made a habit of ducking certain holidays as much as possible. They are the ones that have to do with excessive drinking squared. By "squared" I mean the whole point of the holiday is excessive drinking (a sin, by the way) plus an added bonus.
Excessive drinking + guns = New Year's Eve
Excessive drinking + masks = Halloween
Excessive drinking + small bombs = July Fourth
Excessive drinking + more excessive drinking = St. Patrick's Day.
My father used to call it 'amateur night'. My father was no amateur himself.
I have never quite been able to figure out what happened with St. Patrick's Day. Here we have a great saint whose feast day is celebrated only by excessive drinking and Irish food. Everyone knows the Irish have the worst cuisine on the planet! St. Patrick wasn't even Irish. Poor St. Patrick. What went wrong?
Just today we were in the supermarket. I couldn't figure out why they had put squeezy bottles of mustard over by the meat section. Or why party food, like salsa and avocados, were on sale. Sister St. Aloysius reminded me of the Church fund raiser this weekend. As I am all set with my fuzzy pipe cleaner shamrock, I had let the whole thing out of my mind, as I always do with the wretched excess holidays.
Sister St. Aloysius does not have a pipe cleaner shamrock to wear yet, so we were perusing them there in the store next to the leprechauns and the shiny green top hats. Two women joined us at the rack. "Look," said the red head, "these shamrocks don't have four leaf clovers!"
"They're not supposed to," I told her. "The shamrock is a symbol of the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick used it to teach people that there are three Persons in One God...see...one stem, three leaves, but one clover...it's one, but it's three...see...? If it had four leaves it wouldn't be a shamrock."
It was at that point that my eyes fell upon the shopping cart they shared. A case of "Shamrock Ale." Poor St. Patrick and his lesson plan, literally gone to hell in a hand cart.
The only explanation I can come up with is that since Irish people drink a lot (don't start in on me about this, I've been to Ireland and the people there drink a lot, so much so that they remain sober), someone decided that the way to celebrate the saint that brought Christianity to the pagan Irish is to drink. Oh! and to have the beer dyed green! So appetizing.
Just another level wrongness. The leprechauns are tossed in there for those remaining heathens clamoring for gold.
At least this year the festivities don't land on Friday, so every one's Church fundraisers are safe from having to obtain a special dispensation from the Bishop to eat the corned beef. You can even have some at home around your supper table this year. You should eat the Church corned beef if your parish is serving it up, whether you like it or not. They need the money.
I really can't abide corned beef, so I'll be having extra for Lent.