Top o’ the Blarney to Ya
Given that I can trace my lineage, through my mother’s side, back to Ireland, I am the leading authority on all things Irish on this most auspicious of all auspicious days, St. Patrick’s Day.
Lest you be believin’ all the rubbish you may have ‘eard about the origins of this holiday, I am here to give you the straight scoop. As some of you may recall, I have done this before. This true story I am givin’ you today, however, is even more new an’ improved an’ truer than the previous one was.
Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop. ‘e came to live in Ireland at the age of sixteen, having been captured and kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to that country as a slave.
O’Riley, O’Toole, O’Malley, O’My
Sitting in a pub one day, Patrick observed that the vast majority of the people there were named “O” this and “O” that. In this pub, for instance, ‘e could see O’Riley, O’Toole, O’Malley, and O’My. Patrick asked a fellow bar patron why people didn’t just drop the leading “O” from their names. ‘e thought it would be easier to alphabetize their names then.
“Well now, you see, that leading ‘O’ is a part of our heritage,” the bar patron said to him, “We are a proud people, too proud to alter our namesakes.”
Unfortunately, the poor bloke was so drunk that his speech was terribly slurred. The last word in the sentence he uttered sounded like “ames snakes.” Naturally, Patrick assumed the man was making a reference to William Ames, the exiled writer of polemical screeds against Arminianism, whose works are complied in a book called A Gift from England. The patron’s reference to “Ames snakes,” Patrick surmised, was a coded warning that the bar was full of Englishmen masquerading as Irishmen.
Patrick didn’t let on that ‘e knew their secret. ‘e treated them like fellow Irishmen, sayin’ things like “May the rainbow be certain to follow each o’ yer rains,” “fresh and clean as a whistle,” and “magically delicious.”
When closing time came, Patrick was the only one there who was still sober enough to drive so ‘e offered to give everyone a ride home from the pub. The pathetic English sots were so bollocksed that they had no idea ‘e was dispatchin’ them back to their English homeland. The plan worked an’ ‘e wound up driving all those snakes out of Ireland.
Then a bunch of leprechauns an’ four-leaf clovers an’ pudgy old men dancing jigs an’ manly soap an’ people compressing other people’s skin between their fingers for failing to have an item of clothing with the color green in it on their persons appeared.