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Hey, Hey, It’s St. Patrick’s Day…It’s Also Tuesday.

17 Mar

Hello, my name is Kyle McIrion. I love love love St. Patrick’s day. Every year I wake up at the crack of 11 o’clock and look out upon the fresh, brown grass that is my lawn [Editor’s note: You don’t have a lawn.] and breath in the crisp March air. Today was different however. I had a doctor’s appointment (because I’m what they refer to in the medical community as “dying.”). I had to get up extra early, before St. Patrick had put a lovely trail of beers leading up to my giant St. Patrick’s Day basket/keg. Things felt odd. I went to the Doctor’s office, and after the usual comic banter with my physician, I offered up a bit of the ol’ Irish advice.

“I don’t think a small allergic reaction merits a suppository…or a back rub.” I say.

My doctor was offended by this. After a brief pause, I asked him if he knew the origins of St. Patrick’s day. He said he had other patients to see and really didn’t have time to talk, so I started to tell him the “history” of St. Patrick’s day. I put “history” in quotation marks because I’ve always believed that history is a lot like jazz: much better when improvised.

St. Patrick was not born St. Patrick, much to contrary belief. To become a Saint in the Catholic church, one must first be canonized, which means shot out of a cannon over Vatican City. No, St. Patrick was born Maewyn Succat.

Maewyn (St. Patrick) was born Roman-British. At the age of sixteen, while enjoying a lovely afternoon in his native Wales, he was captured and subsequently enslaved by Irish rebels. He was enslaved for six years, spending much of that time slaughtering Irish vermin (Leprechauns…also rats). Maewyn (remember, St. Patrick’s real name) almost finished the job, pushing the vermin (Leprechauns/rats) to the brink of extinction, before they were rescued by a local chocolate maker and put to work in his factory. St. Patrick eventually escaped his enslavement and returned to his family in Wales.

After joining the Catholic church, St. Patrick returned to Ireland, mainly in the north and west, as a missionary (I’m almost at my comma limit there). Although it can be confirmed that St. Patrick did missionary work around 300 A.D., his writing contains no dates. There are also tons of contradictory, anachronistic accounts of his work. This either means that it’s difficult to chronologically pin down a man who lived almost 2,000 years ago, or that St. Patrick was a time traveler. Did I also mention that historians can’t say with 100% certainty where St. Patrick is buried? Yea. They can’t. One historian, T.F. O’Rahilly, put forth the theory that there were two Patricks. Kind of like how there were two McFly’s in Back to the Future 3…and 2…and 1.

Legend has it (this is not a joke) that St. Patrick, upon his arrival in Ireland, rid the island of its entire population of snakes. This is believed to be symbolic of his conversion of the Pagan and Druid sects living in Ireland at the time. Although his first attempt to convert the Druids was unsuccessful, being told by a Druid priest that “These aren’t the Druids you’re looking for.” St. Patrick promptly repeated “These aren’t the Druids I’m looking for” and walked away, dumbfounded. Eventually though, he fell out of this stupor and converted the crap out of everybody.

St. Patrick often used  the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity. Many scholars (Wikipedia) believe this to be the for the prevalence of the color green…and shamrocks… in St. Patrick’s Day celebration. It could also be due to the fact that St. Patrick bled green because of a terrible incident involving Gamma Radiation. He was also a zombie.

“Well,” my doctor said. “That’s quite a tale. I can understand why you love St. Patrick’s day so much. I feel I should warn you however, your St. Patrick’s Day tradition…it isn’t healthy.” He’s referencing my tradition of not using the restroom for two or three days before St. Patrick’s Day, so that on the 17th I can pee “Patty Green” all day. I was also at the doctor for a bladder infection.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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