Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The upcoming St. Patricks Day Celebration

SaintPatrick and I don't quite see eye to eye. I think it has something to do with the green or the snakes or the fact that my family was almost destroyed by the hero of The Emerald Isle..,

The story goes omething like this:My forefathers, the O'Harrigans, were landowners, once upon a time, and when the crops failed due to drought they decided to branch out into ranching.
Unfortunately they could not afford to buy either sheep or cows or other more common livestock, this being a drought and famine as such.

So they went out on a limb and bought what they could, yup, you guessed it: they became snake ranchers. (remember if you will, this was quite a famine and people would eat anything---and pay dearly for it.) So the O'Harrigan snake trade became a bustling business. Thousands
upon thousands of snakes were raised, sold and slaughtered. This of course helped to eliminate the rat and mouse population which, coincidentally, saved the O'Harrigan clan from dying the blackdeath. Although this fact wasn't discovered until recently.

Even though the snakes "tasted like chicken" people still preferredthe "Modest Proposal" that Jonathan Swift recommended which involved cannibalism and things of that dark nature, and those Irishmen loved those potatoes. Potato stew, potato soup, boiled potatoes, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes... There was an amazing array of dishes that contained potatoes.

Alas the potato farmers felt that my family was encroaching upon the food monopoly and sought to rid themselves of the "O'Harrigan Snakes" as my family was called.

Incidentally the Irish Potato Famine really should have been called the "Scottish Yeast Famine" as the Scots could no longer grow or harvest any starchy foods. So they were a bit angry, and a bit cold (as this was during the "Small Ice Age") and they went on raids into nearby Ireland, stealing cows, horses, sheep, bottles of liquor and casks of beer. They disquised themselves afterwards by growing thick red beards and blamed all of this theivery upon "Leprechauns."
(Who don't really exist and it was just a word that some Scottish folk thought sounded somewhat frightening.) The Irish took this very seriously and were afraid. The Scots thought this to be hilarious, especially since they had made up the entire episode to cover their own misdeeds. So all that was left in Ireland, as far as food was concerned was the common potato and snakes. The Scots stole alot of potatoes but they weren't sure how to make potatoes into any kind of alcoholic beverage so they stopped stealing them. Coincidentally, around this same time in Russia, a Russian businessman had brought some potatoes back from Ireland and through much dedication and perserverance discovered Vodka, and the people rejoiced!

The Irish Potato monopolies summoned a knight named Patrick, who, utilizing trickery and deceit, poisoned all the snakes of ancestors. Despite the best veterinary care of the day all of them died,and Ireland, the Emerald Isle, the land of my ancestors was declared "snakefree."

Sir Patrick was later given his sainthood, whilst my clan was forced out of Ireland and immigrated to the "New World" since there were no more snakes to wrangle and they were declared "persona non grata," though noone knew exactly what that meant since they spoke Gaelic, not Latin. Then in the New World they couldn't find work, they were forced to change their names and move to Mississipi, where they could once again put the trade that is in their blood to good use. So you see, when St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland, he effectively banished my kin.

And that is why I cannot celebrateSt. Patrick's day

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