Saint Paddy’s Day

A sketch of a green truck with a leprechaun driving and a sign on the truck saying follow me to the beer. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day
Happy Leprechaun day

My name is Irish, but the bloodlines have diminished since my great Grandfather migrated to Australia all those years ago.

My father was the first family member to marry someone not of Irish descent. He decided to really mix it up.

My mother was mostly Italian, some English, a little Spanish, and who knows what else from around the Mediterranean.

Plus her family had been in Australia for about 50 years before my great Grandfather arrived with his family.

So, a fair haired, blue eyed young man, meets dark haired, dark eyed young woman.

Then 10 years to the day of my great Grandfathers death, I was born and given his name.

Growing up, St. Patrick’s day never meant much to me, except we had fish for dinner that day.

Same as Friday’s, according to Catholic tradition, no meat other than fish.

But it was never a big deal at our home. The old man might have a bottle beer with his dinner but that was about it.

After I left home I never really got into the day either, Mostly it was just another work day.

Although once or twice, when I was single, I got roped into into spending a day at the pub.

I recall one time drinking with two women, one said “You don’t look Irish,” she must have been looking at my brownish eyes and light Mediterranean complexion.

The other woman said “ Yes he does, look at his potato head!”.

So now we know. Irish people look like potatoes.

One other time nearly ended in disaster. 4 of us drinking in the beer garden, We had moved on from the beer and were into rum.

One guy had way more than enough, and had slipped off his chair and was lying motionless on the grass, his legs under the table.

This was understandable, he was so lightly built we often wondered if he ever ate.

Actually, he was so slight we had nicknamed him “pull through”.

For those that don’t know, a pull through is a shaft used for cleaning the bore of gun barrels.

We had determined that the distance between his eyes, was greater than the distance across his shoulders, so the nickname suited him.

We kept drinking, as he lay there blissfully unaware of rum being spilt, dripping between the slats of the table, and falling onto his jeans.

Eventually someone dropped a cigarette between the table slats and pull through’s jeans caught fire. Who knew rum was so flammable?

One of the bar staff saw us trying to drag him out from under the table, grabbed a champagne bucket off someone’s table, rushed over and emptied the icy water on his burning leg.

Amazingly he was still asleep, so the bar tender came back with a larger bucket of water and drenched him.

We survived the day, about the only thing green about us, was the way we looked the next day.

Years later I was doing an extension on a home belonging to an older English couple. She used to be a librarian and had done in-depth studies on genealogy and origin of names in the British Isles.

“Your name isn’t Irish” she told me one day. “It is Scottish, your ancestors emigrated from Scotland to Ireland in the 13th century.”

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Michael Dubhthaigh

Thanks for stopping by. I write straight off the top of my head and sometimes forget to edit. More about me here.