Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The True Meaning of St. Patrick's Day

Today is St. Patrick's Day, and as usual, I have taken care to deck myself in green if by green you mean black. I do not, but maybe you do.

I seem to be among the last living white guys in the United States who claims no Irish ancestry, not even on this day, when it is all but mandatory. Not that I have anything against Irish ancestry or the Irish -- there was a brief but intense "Irish phase" in my life when I gravitated to Irish music and held James Joyce to be the only author worth considering -- and it's true to say that many of my friends are Irish, if by friends you mean people who have not yet decided to refuse to acknowledge me. That's how I use the word.

But onto the importance of this holiday, and surely it is important, for it commemorates the man, St. Patrick, who is credited with driving the snakes out of Ireland. And this account is entirely factual if by St. Patrick you mean the principles of biogeography. I almost never make that substitution, as I consider it misleading every day of the year.

4 comments:

Mikayla Starstuff said...

There never were any snakes in Ireland, were there?

Dale said...

Mikayla, no, I don't think so. I did a quick google on it and it seemed to confirm that snakes never lived there. Maybe they should?

Dave said...

I am also a non-Irish-American.

I spent a week in Ireland and the Irish I met were delighted, and apparently surprised, that my reason for visiting the isle was for pleasure, not because I was "searching for my roots."

However, on St. Patrick's Day I am extraordinarily Irish!

Dale said...

Dave, by "extraordinarily Irish" do you mean "full of Guinness?" Sometimes I mean that before I black out.