Thursday, March 16, 2006

the real meaning of saint patrick's day

A thin branch of my ancestry, no doubt fleeing a number of angry redheads and unpaid bar tabs, crossed the Irish Sea a few centuries back to immigrate from Ireland to Scotland. Perhaps it was really the kilts, bagpipes, or all-you-can-eat sheep entrails that drew then to and then scattered them about Lochalsh, Inverness, and the Isle of Sky, but that bit is lost to history. All I know for certain is that they inhabited this area for centuries and briefly inhabited a bona fide castle. The castle actually belonged to Clan MacKenzie who happened to be away fighting Clan MacDonald at the time. My people were obviously betting on Clan MacDonald and had a bit of explaining to do when the MacKenzies showed up victorious after the Battle of Blar-na-Pairc in 1477.
Clan MacKenzie: What the hell are you bastards doing in our castle?
My People: Uh…Yourn be on the other side of yon loch. However, thee hast made an honest mistake, as methinks we hath used the same builders and floor plan.
Clan MacKenzie: Our name is still on the bloody mailbox.
My People: Shite.
Clan MacKenzie: And why the hell are you talking like you’re Amish?
My People: Isn’t this how we talked in 1477?
Clan MacKenzie: Hell, no. We probably use Scotch, Gaelic, Middle English, or a combination thereof. I don’t really feel like looking it up at the moment, as I am a bit tired from saving your sorry asses from Clan MacDonald.
My People: Ah, yes. Thanks for all that. We never doubted you.
Clan MacKenzie: Then what’s up with the “Welcome To Your New Home, Oh Conquering Clan MacDonald” banner hanging outside?
My People: Uh…We figured whoever won would most likely be illiterate and not notice anyway.
Clan MacKenzie: The fifteenth century has been the beginning of the “information age”. With the advent of Johaness Gutenberg’s printing press in 1455, the ability to copy books and manuscripts more easily has allowed for literacy to spread exponentially.
My People: We never read the papers. You can’t trust the liberal media.
Clan MacKenzie: Didn’t you notice our bloody library?
My People: Uh…about that. With all that afternoon sunlight it seemed like the perfect place for a bar and hot tub.
Clan MacKenzie: What manner of banshee is this that I hear coming from there now?
My People: The music? Oh, it’s Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’ Whipped Cream & Other Delights on the Crosley Stack-O-Matic. I think the Star Wars disco record is up next. Care for a martini?
Clan MacKenzie: Do you get paid each time you mention that damn thing on your blog?
My People: Not yet, but I keep hoping for a celebrity endorsement.
Clan MacKenzie: You know we happen to be living just after the medieval period.
My People: Vinyl is still cool, right?
Clan MacKenzie: No, we’re pointing this out to let you know that it is well within our rights to get medieval on the asses of castle squatters.
My People: Point well taken. Keep the hot tub and congratulations again on the whole "Battle of Blar-na-Pairc" thing.
Clan MacKenzie: Thanks. Those MacDonald bastards didn’t know what hit them. May their offspring mire for a thousand years in the industry of fast food.
My People: There was one other thing.
Clan MacKenzie: Yes?
My People: We had the snake exterminators over while you guys were gone and were wondering if we could get reimbursed for that.
Clan MacKenzie: Snakes?
My People: Yep. This Patrick guy was already doing some castles in the neighborhood and stopped by to offer us a special deal.
Clan MacKenzie: Snakes have been gone from the British Isles since the last Ice Age some ten thousand years ago. What are you, Irish?
So, I think that we’ve learned from this that St. Patrick was full of shite and that he preyed upon the gullible Irish and then the gullible Irish who had long since left Ireland. He knew full well that people in history are poor students of history and was thus able to charge a fortune for the removal snakes from Ireland and other assorted snakeless lands.
Never mind that Patrick had already been dead for some nine hundred and eighty-four years in 1477. I left out the part about him being a vampire.
Maybe we'll get to that story next year.


Anonymous Sarcastro said...

I would pay good money to hear the Star Wars disco record again.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

I picked it up on vinyl for two bucks a few years back and still listen to it on a fairly regular basis.

It may very well be the most inspirational piece of music I own.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Sarcastro said...

By Meco, as I recall.

Back in 1977, I used to call the local radio station and request that song every hour. Finally, the exasperated DJ said "Kid, how old are you?" Evidently they weren't too interested in appealing to the key 11 year old demographic.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

Meco it is. Good work, 'stro. I had never even paid attention to that.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Joe Powell said...

Man, History is fun to read!

Abd btw, found a copy of Whipped Cream by Herb Albert in a Goodwill store a few years ago - still had the plastic around the album and a $3.99 price sticker.

Didn't Buffy fight St Patrick in a episode of her old show??

10:11 PM  
Blogger Exador said...

Next I suppose you'll claim that St Nuk Nuk didn't drive the snakes out of Antarctica?


8:11 AM  
Anonymous Joseph William Perry said...

I didn't know exactly what a Stack-o-Matic is but I clicked on it and of course I used some generic form of that machine in my childhood. I'll tell ya, you just haven't lived until you have put about five of those 45's on one of those things and by the time the third or fourth has dropped down the sound is wowing from the drag of the stylus arm. The slippage increased with each one that gets under the one being played.
Another fact about the technology of the "ancient days" - Did you know in the 1920's the Edison record player had a non-skip feature. The stylus arm tracked across the record by means of a hidden worm gear of some sort. It might skip once or twice but then, since the arm kept moving it would move on ahead to the next groove. Aren't you glad I told you that?

12:06 AM  

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