Friday 16 March 2012

The Ghost of St Patrick’s Past

It was only fitting that St Patrick’s Eve should begin by waking up on the living room floor with a fairly major hangover. Memories came flooding back of me reassuring my girlfriend I wasn’t going to sleep on the kitchen floor, no I would crawl several feet to the living room and sleep there. Yes, this truly was a sign that – for all my thinly-veiled disdain for the potato worshipping bog-bastards from across the sea – there is probably some Irish in me after all. And I don’t mean like there is a little by up the bums of little boys who were abused by their priests, right kids?

I would continue to worship the ghost of Ireland’s most feared snake chaser as the day continued. What’s that? You are shocked I am admitting that jolly old St Pat chased all the snakes out of Ireland? Well I never said that did I? I merely acknowledged that the intelligent people of Ireland recognise St Patrick as the man who ended the reign of terror that snakes never had over Ireland because snakes have never lived on Ireland’s green and glorious land. Other than the trouser snakes priests would use to rub against the bottoms of innocent little boys, right kids?

Yes, in respect of St Patrick I would lie around waiting for the world to owe me a living. This is a lie, un-Irishly I was owed a living as I was having the day off on leave, so my employers owed me a day’s salary.

I also behaved unIrishly in getting to the pub, ordering a taxi and paying for it; rather than riding a horse and cart (full of scrap metal). I did drink Guinness, though. And surround myself with simpletons. Yes, St Patricks Eve is truly a magical date in the calendar. It is the true celebration of St Patrick if you ask me. I am alternative though, having always seen something nonsensical in the widespread celebrations and wearing of Guinness hats as somehow irrelevant to my existence. “Stop being such a traditionalist and get a big foam hat on: it’s Paddy’s Day and we’re having the craic,” people would say. And I would remind them that just saying you’re Irish doesn’t make you completely Irish, especially when you were born in Stockport and have only been to Ireland once (for an unenjoyable weekend in 1997).

One true sign of St Paddy’s Eve magic did occur though. There were about seven people in the group I was with (not with me). And we all managed to back the same horse in one of the later races. One of the rules of betting is if everyone backs the same thing then it won’t win. But this horse won.

Maybe St Patrick does exist after all…..

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