Sunday 17 March 2013

Saint Patrick’s Day

Between 1845 and 1852 Ireland suffered what became known as the Irish Potato Famine. Over a million people starved to death and another million emigrated, leaving the countries population depleted by 20% - 25%. I just can’t imagine what life would have been during the famine.
I also can’t imagine what life in Canada would be like if the Irish hadn’t come and populated our country. At the time, the Irish were looked down upon and would do any kind of menial job that would provide a pay cheque. They were the lowest of the low in our “classless” society.

Over time they became accepted as contributing members of Canadian society and eventually came to look down upon other races that have come to our shores looking for a better life. Now, they have to wear buttons and silly green hats so that they will be recognized as people of Irish ancestry.

I don’t think I really give much thought to the Irish. Well, unless I see someone with red hair, freckles and a fiery temper. It isn’t a given that someone like that is Irish, but it is a safe bet. This time of year and this day in particular is a day that we all celebrate being Irish whether we are or not.
I have heard that on St. Patrick’s Day in New York City they would put green dye in the east river to help the celebration. We had the Don River in Toronto, and it was so polluted that it would change colour from day to day. One of those colours would be a greenish brown, but no one ever wanted to celebrate because of it.
I have never been a fan of Saint Patrick’s Day, but then I like my food to be its normal colour and not dyed green. Green milk shakes at McDonalds have never appealed to me, nor has the green beer served at so many bars on and around this day. Other people love the idea, but in my mind, green food means it has generally gone bad. I have some green meat in the back of the refrigerator that seems to be growing hair. I have no intention of celebrating with a green meat sandwich and washing it down with some green beverage.
I tend to be a little bit of a hypochondriac anyways, so if I saw that my urine had turned green I would probably pass out. I wonder if the sewage workers notice that the water gets a little greener on St. Patrick’s Day.
Well, I hope all of the Irish and wanna be Irish have a great day today and can sober up in time for work tomorrow morning. Work comes too damned early at the best of times.

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