Friday, February 24, 2006

Got Any Irish In You? Want Some?

Hey boys and girls! St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and it is one of my favorite times of the year. Besides the weather getting warmer and Opening Day of the baseball season to look forward to, March 17th usually ushers in the beginning of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Good stuff indeed! But it is St. Patrick’s Day itself that is the centerpiece of the lovely month of March. So without further ado, I give you my Top 10 favorite things about St. Patrick’s Day:

10) The Quiet Man – Having this pearl on DVD doesn’t stop me from watching it every time AMC or some other station plays it during the days leading up to March 17th. Hey, they even showed it on Christmas Day this year and I watched it. John Ford’s tale of a retired boxer coming home to his birthplace in Ireland gets better with every viewing. Who would have thought that the Duke could play a romantic lead so well? I could do a Top 10 list of my favorite parts of this film alone. I could, but I won’t.

9) Corned Beef Sandwiches – Sure you can get them any time of the year, but don’t they just taste better on St. Patrick’s Day? Or you could go hog wild and get the full dinner with cabbage and great big hoarkin’ potatoes. Funny thing is that this only became an Irish-American staple after the immigrants made it to America because it was cheap beef. Go figure.

8) Andy Cooney – If you haven’t heard this Irish-American crooner do his version of “When New York was Irish”, well then I guess you simply haven’t heard it. My mom is a huge fan of this singer and we have seen him a few times upstate at an Irish resort. Plus, his brother teaches my nephew karate. So there! Oh yeah, and he also does a rockin’ version of “The Unicorn Song”. Can’t seem to get it out of my head once I’ve heard it though. Must…think…of…something…else! Aarghhhhhhh!

7) Black Bush – C’mon now, this is a PG rated blogsite so get yer minds outta the gutter. I’m taking about the Black label of Bushmill’s Irish Whisky. I just recently found out that it’s “Whisky” without an E if made outside of the USA and “Whiskey” with an E if it is made here. But then I saw a bottle of Maker’s Mark Bourbon that is made in Kentucky and they spell it without an E so maybe I’m just talking out of my ass. Good trick if you can do it.

6) Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers – I had a live album by these gentlemen some time ago and I only seemed to listen to it around this grandest of holidays. “Ahem, ahem…me mother’s gone to church. I ain’t supposed to play with you cause you’re in the dirt. It isn’t because you’re dirty, it isn’t because you’re clean. It’s because you have the Whooping Cough and eat margarine.” I still don’t have the foggiest what that means, but it makes me smile every time I hear it.

5) St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Not the one in NYC that is shown on the telly, but the one in Huntington Village which is always on the Sunday prior to St. Patrick’s Day. It pure drivel, but it’s a great day outdoors with my friends from town and it nearly always ends up with someone puking in one of the bathrooms at JD’s. Ah…good times!

4) Green Beer – Okay, I really don’t like green beer and I don’t know anyone who does. But I have to give props to all those bar owners who think that people actually do like green beer. The foine city of Chicago goes it one further and actually dyes their river green on St. Patrick’s Day. And we think the Dutch are crazy with all those Orange colored outfits at the Olympics. Strike that. The Dutch are crazy.

3) Irish Sweaters – I’ve got two hand-made Irish sweaters and St. Patrick’s Day is one of the only times I choose to wear them. It’s not that I don’t like them or they look bad on me. It’s just that I run a little hot most of the time anyway and these things make me sweat like a whore in church, and sweaty, chubby guys don’t get a lot of lovin’ from the ladies.

2) Irish Eyes – I love that on St. Patrick’s Day its cool to be Irish even for those without an Irish bone in ‘em (I refer you to the title of this article). Now I know that it’s cool to be Irish 365 days a year, but that’s because I’m just about 100% of Irish descent. I say just about because there is some debate over one of my grandmother’s claim to not being Irish. Her parents emigrated from England, but they were originally from Ireland. In fact her first cousin was Padraig Pearse who was a great poet and hero of the Irish Revolution. I think she just likeS busting our balls about the whole thing. That and she was Protestant.

1) Guinness – Mother’s Milk. The Black Stuff. Irish Viagra. Whatever you want to call it, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the only so-called holidays with an official drink. Lay down the Murphy’s Stout, put away the Killian’s Irish Red (made in America anyway) and save the Harp for another day. On St. Patrick’s Day we drink Guinness Stout. The only stout! Okay, we drink it the rest of the year as well, but damn it…we drink more on St. Patrick’s Day! Slainte!

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