St. Patrick, What Have You Done For Me Shillelagh?
It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, that amazing time when rivers run green and people of every background drink like they’re Irish. A lot of people find themselves perplexed as to why people would drink green beer and color their waterways. To understand this you have to go back to the roots of the holiday.
- It was 432 when St. Patrick arrived in Ireland. History is unclear as to how we know the time so precisely – but it can be surmised that he’d already missed his afternoon tea.
- He introduced the shamrock to the Irish. This was a popular move as the shamrock was much easier to walk on than the regular rocks.
- He banished many animals from Ireland with a wave of his shillelagh: the hippo, the giraffe, the moose, the rhino and the snake. In modern times he is only credited for the snake since the other species have crept back in and become quite a nuisance in many parts of the country.
- His stay in Ireland was only supposed to be tipperary but he saw the population was dublin and he knew he had to help.
- He taught the locals many things, including poetry. St. Patrick told the very first Limerick, and the county where he told it is now named after that kind of poem!
There once was Catholic Priest
Who came here from somewhere back east
He drowned all your snakes
and healed all your aches
and now would enjoy a good feast!
(It’s even better in the original Gaelic. I bet.)
But why is St. Patrick associated with green?
There are many theories. Was it because he invented recycling? Was it because of the animals he made leave? Was it because I couldn’t get Wikipedia to load so I have to guess?
It probably goes back to the shamrock. Shamrocks are green. Shamrocks are Irish. Irish drink beer. Irish love St. Patrick. Turn everything green to celebrate St. Patrick! That’s called logic. Deal with it.
When I was growing up St. Patrick’s day was the day when people would pinch you if you weren’t wearing green. Wearing green was like garlic to a vampire, only you were warding off jerks. Thankfully we live in more enlightened times and there is an app to flash green if you see a jerk approaching, and to call the police if they assault you.
Hopefully your office is free of such folk. After all, aside from the pinching there is all that lovely green. We’ve decked out our cubicles in green notebooks, green pens, and filled the printer with “green” recycled paper. At OfficeZilla you can save green while you buy green – how great is that?
I’ll leave you with this true story. I’d often heard that there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Recently I was out driving with my kids after a rainstorm and we saw the rainbow ended very near us. They wanted to go see the pot of gold. I tried to tell them this was a waste of time, but they insisted so we began to drive towards the elusive arc. The rainbow looked so close, but as we tried to get to the end of it, it kept creeping further away. I had almost given up when we saw it seemed to come to a halt near one of those little travelling carnival shows that sometimes setup in parking lots of run-down shopping centers. It really did look like the rainbow was ending right over the little carnival.
The rides were all off because of the storm but I got out to check the place out before I let the kids go in. I walked around but nobody seemed to be working there. Then I noticed an old man in a wheelchair. I walked over to ask him about the rides. He was a mess. He was missing several fingers and part of his nose, but he had three cups and a ball on the table and a small pile of money. He beckoned me to play his game, but I politely declined and went back to the car.
“Was there a pot of gold?” the kids asked as I got back in the car? “Nope,” I replied. “No pot of gold – but I did see a leper con.”