St. Paddy's Day I was quite alone in the house. Everyone had gone early to a science fair being held at the middle school a few towns over. Not being a science buff, I preferred to sleep in and me excuse was because it was St. Patricks Day, and I being Irish, I should be allowed the luxury of an Irish holiday. Of course me little gray haired, apple cheeked Mam piped up that she was as Irish as Irish could be and she didn't need to sleep in. Well, I said I worked all week, and as I know me work can't compare to house cleaning, laundry washing, cooking and the myriad of chores she does to keep this house in running order, I wanted the morning off because, well . . . just because. None of the wee ones had any exhibits at the fair so I was not being a deadbeat Da. I got me way as it turned out.
As I was saying, it was just me, the dog and the cats. I saw the coffee was on the burner so I poured me a cup and was quite content to stand by the window, basking in the sunlight, looking out at the field and woods in the back. Me dog, being an Irish Red and White Setter was sitting by the fridge looking at me like she was waiting for a treat because she too, is of Irish decent and a St. Paddys Day treat was in order. I got her one and went back to me stance by the window to the sound of her crunching a hard treat. I thought it was too quiet, so I asked the Kitchen Alexa to play me St. Patricks Day music. I was thinking a pub song or two, and maybe a few jigs and the like, but that be not what I got.
"Playing St. Patricks Day music from Amazon Music." The kitchen Alexa announced.
I poured me another coffee thinking a little Jamesons would go good with it and maybe a touch of whipped cream. But I didn't get to do that because next thing I hear is:
"I'm a sailor peg
And I've lost my leg
Climbing up the top sails
I've lost my leg!
I'm shipping up to Boston, whoa
I'm shipping up to Boston, whoa
I'm shipping up to Boston, whoa
I'm shipping off to find my wooden leg."
"Alexa! Next!" I shouted. The Dropkick Murphys stopped and then this started:
"Well I stumbled in at two a.m all drunk and full of smoke
My wife said I have had enough that's it, I'm sick get out
so I stumbled down to Kelly's Pub, across the edge of town
An I told the boys me story and we had another round."
"Alexa, next!" I was getting frustrated, the Boston Irish band of the Dropkicks was not my idea of St. Patrick's Day songs.
"In the town of Milton
One Brian Flnnigaun battered away till his money was spent
Then he hit a big one and felt like a man again
Bought a three decker with two floors for rent."
"Alexa STOP I SAY! That be quite enough." Annoyed I left the munching dog and went to me office. I sat down with me coffee completely forgetting that I was going to doctor it, when the silence began to get to me. I looked with squinted eyes at the office Alexa. Well, I'd give it one more try and if I got Dropkicks again, I'd unplug both the kitchen and office Alexas.
"Alexa, play me St. Patricks Day music."
"Playing St. Patricks Day music from Amazon Music." It said, much to me dismay as that was the same thing the kitchen Alexa had said.
"Oh, as I went home on a Monday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw a horse outside the door
Where my old horse should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her
"Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that horse outside the door
Where my old horse should be?"
Ay, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool
Still you cannot see
That's a lovely sow that my mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
But a saddle on a sow, sure, I never saw before."
Well, THAT was more like it. I listened to tunes by the Dubliners, Celtic Thunder, The Chieftains, The Clancy Brothers, and the Irish Rovers to name a few. I felt like I was back home, well not exactly back home. Northern Ireland isn't the place to celebrate St. Paddy's Day, but the times I had been to Dublin on the day and had a wonderful time on pub crawls throughout the day and night. In me younger years to be sure, but still.
I don't know why one Alexa will play one thing, and the other when asked the same plays another. There have been times I'd ask the kitchen Alexa about American measurements from Brit ones and get told she doesn't know. Or, I'd ask her to play a type of music and she'd play something entirely different. When I ask her things she be snarky or ignores me altogether, but the one in the office be an entirely different sort she be. She answers me with the right information, or she plays what I request and its like night and day. I don't understand how one can be so different from the other. Of course me cousin Sean says its because the kitchen Alexa be a leprechaun and that's the trouble. OK Sean!
Anyway, later when everyone was home and the day had worn on, me Mam was preparing (under protest) corned beef and cabbage for the Irish Americans in the house. It was the dish expected, not the traditional Irish stew Mam made with potato soup, soda bread, baked beans (those from Boston I'll give the beans that), and she did not make her Bailey's chocolate cake. No instead we had the poor man's dish of beef and cabbage with brown bread (the only authentic Irish thing on the menu) and cupcakes with green icing shamrocks for dessert. I tell ya! I didn't enjoy any of that. I wished for the real Irish fare, and made a secret pact with me Mam that next year, even if I had to cook it all I'd make what we usually ate on St. Paddys.
The whole idea of the corned beef and cabbage was started by me eldest, O'Hare O'Sullivan (now there's an Irish name if ever there was one). Yes, he be 11 years old and already we are experiencing teen angst. The temper matches his red hair, his skill at complaining about everything be reaching epic Irish heights, he be not interested in sports this year, it be the drums so we are all pretty deaf as a result and he has to have designer clothing or he'd rather wear the same thing over and over again (unwashed) of designer duds he does own. Well, Christmas everyone saved their pennies to buy him his Lucky Brand dark jeans besides other things, but the Lucky Brand was what he wanted most. I was rather taken aback by the request for clothes instead of toys, but realised he be growing up he is. So Lucky Brand he got and our purses were quite empty as a result. Now when I saw the jeans, I was thinking they weren't worth the price. They be all ripped at the knee and faded here and there, but he was happy.
"Did ye get those jeans second hand?" I asked Tonya,
"Hells no! Why do you ask?"
"Look at the knees all ripped up." I pointed at the knees.
"That's the style."
"Ok, if you say so." I said.
Now me Mam was thinking the same as I about those jeans, but she wasn't there when Tonya explained 'style', no she was oblivious that these are the trend AGAIN. I thought all that went out twenty years ago, but we can thank Kim Kardashian for the comeback I be told. To make a long story short (I know nice attempt), me Mam was not happy changing her menu for St. Pats. No she wasn't at all. Needing something to do to relieve the stress she spied these on O'Hare's bed.
|O'Hare's fav pair of Lucky Brand jeans - no more|
Tonya and I listened patiently as he exploded and anything American about him went out the window and there he was his red hair about on fire from his anger shouting at us like a true Irishman, only he wasn't drunk!
I patted Tonya on the shoulder and indicated he was all hers to deal with. I opened the laundry door and slipped inside.
"Mam," I said, "you did a nice turn but unfortunately that's the style, the ripped knees."
"Tell em' the leprechauns did it because he requested an American dinner for an Irish saints day."
I stopped in me boots I did. Well, OK I could see she and Sean were certainly related to come up with the same universal excuse. I did tell the freaking out O'Hare that. I said we had no idea how the jeans got sewn together and must be the leprechauns done it. I said this as I came out of the laundry, me Mam peeking out the cracked door. He stopped his ranting and looked at me like I was crazy. The silence gave me Mam courage to come out of the laundry.
"They play wit yer head dey doo." Me Mam added before she quickly went back in the laundry because the laughter was bubbling up and she'd give herself away.
One thing, the boyo suspects it was his grandmothers doing the sewing of the favourite jeans, but he can't prove it and he can't fathom why she'd do that. His mother got thread rippers and ripped the neat stitches out so his jeans are back to Lucky Brand normal and he's back to the American lad he's supposed to be. The Irish is quelled for now, but I be sure when he sees that Irish stew simmering on the cooker next St. Pat's Day that fit of Irishness will be back. The boyo does like his baked beans and corned beef and cabbage. Yup he does.
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