A Tipsy o’ the hat to St. Pat, by Bill Quill

Leprechaun & green beerBEER … ARE U OK? LOOKIN’ SORTA GREEN…

Top O’ the Season tae ya … That day o’ lushness be settlin’ upon us. Dinnae hafta tell ye to remember to designate yer driver, take a lucky cab … waltz … better yet, jig!  Just keep your hands off the wheel, if you’ve had too many pots o’ gold.

… Or pots of green! The tradition of green beer drinking on St. Patrick’s day has become exactly that, a tradition, after hanging on as a dare, and a fad for —can you believe it— 102 years, by a number of reports.

Always look at your foremost expert, I contend, so I looked into the matter of green beer a wee bit, and I’m happy to share.

Green Beer referenceAccording to The Smithstonian (where my old lady keeps her engagement ring, the Blarney Stone) a hundred years ago, the hue —Original Green, as I prefer to call my green beer’s appearance— came from “iron-based laundry whitener referred to as ‘wash blue.’” There’s a band name for you, The Wash Blues, or Wash Blue!

Moreover, it was “a little poisonous”. Legend purports the inception of sed bizarre concoction had itself in New York in 1904 —at the time, strictly American.

Here’s yer LOL: the Toastmaster, at the Bronx social club on St. Paddy’s Day was a coroner! Dr. Thomas Hayes Curtin…! O’Kaaaayyyy…

Green beer became an oft seen, over the next fifty years. Celebrants are clocking in around 4.2 billion beer, one swig at a time, on a USA St. Patrick’s Day. In Canada? God knows, we’ve probably lost count.

“National Geographic” reports that Patrick, our man o’ the Day, was from a British, somewhat noble family, was kidnapped at 16, and sent to live as a sheepherding slave in the mountains of Ireland for seven years. How convertable did that make him …? But, either way, he converted famously to Christianity, when he heard a voice in a dream saying “escape!”  So he did, back to Britain. Whatta you know, the voice pipes up again sending him back to Ireland to convert the Irish, where he was beaten “constantly.” He was harassed —by Royalty, no less— then actually forgotten, after his death, on March 17, 461 A.D.!

Apparently, he used shamrocks to explain the Trinity, but likely, it was closer to teaching peasants to count to three —ask an old cynic, I guess.

Meanwhile, in his honour, if you enjoy some green grass with your green beer, and if you enjoy the Blues —which in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations of yore appear to be the Greens— always accept three cigarette papers, when you’ve asked for four.

It’s bound to bring ye some LUCKAs the soothsayer told a condemned Caesar, “Beware the Pie-Eyeds of March!”

Cheers! -by Bill Quill