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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Get Your Irish On

Well, it's St. Patrick's Day, and I'm sitting here at home with the Littlest Fando (who's under the weather). I'm wearing my Celtic jersey (the Arsenal ones are a mite short on green) and the "It's a blessing to be Irish" flip-flops that my in-laws got me for my birthday.

So, what better time for the semi-annual tradition where I pass along some tips for those of you heading out this evening for a bit of libation and celebration.* Éirinn go Brách!

  • Don't try to speak Irish Gaelic after you've had a few pints of Guinness. Even native Irish speakers have physically injured themselves in the attempt.

  • Traditionally, one must wear green on St. Patrick's Day. Drinking until you turn green doesn't count.

  • Irish dancing is a time-honoured tradition, requiring discipline, skill, and rhythm. Flailing and stomping about whilst shouting "I'm the Lord of the Riverdance!"** will only get you beaten up by spry little Irish girls who know better and can stomp like pachyderms, from years of real Irish dancing.

  • Yes, the Irish sometimes wear kilts, but it's more of a Scots thing. The idea of "kilts and nothing more" is more an "exhibitionist" thing, so put on a pair of boxers, pervs.
  • All jokes involving Lucky Charms are off-limits. Shouting "They're magically delicious" after a meal of corned beef and cabbage will only get you strange looks and/or beatings. (The beatings aren't strange. They're just the straightforward bloody type.)
  • Jokes about "bangers" fall into the same category. Bangers are to be eaten, with mash, colcannon, or champ. Save the double-entendres for St. Valentine's Day or Boxing Day.
  • On no account should you make references to your shillelagh, unless you want to be beaten with one.
  • Don't assume that all ginger people are Irish. Many are, but not all. Some are Hungarian.
  • Wearing a t-shirt that says "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" is a sign of sure desperation. With all the drinking that goes on during this holiday, if you can't get someone to kiss you once by the end of the evening, no cheap t-shirt is going to help. "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" knickers are ten times as bad.
  • Don't drink and drive. There's nothing funny about that.
* First tip, don't mix up those two.
** Yes, I know the show was "Lord of the Dance" but that's also a hymn. Plus, I'm fairly certain that Michael Flatley's appropriation of the term got him beaten up by more than a few Irish schoolgirls.

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