"Hibernia (Ireland) is not worth the trouble of conquest...for it contains naught but whores, drunkards and thieves, and Rome has enough of these already..." -- Unknown Roman Senator
Ah, the Stupid Time is upon us again! That time of year when all things turn green -- especially the urine and the vomit -- in honor of an Englishman who conquered Ireland with a weed, a foreign religion, and a legend regarding the banishing of snakes from the Auld Sod.
In my opinion, St. Patrick did not drive the snakes from Ireland.
The Potato Famine did.
As an Italian, and as a lapsed Catholic, I am perhaps preternaturally disposed to esteem this celebration of a saint performing a worthless miracle with the same regard one would reserve for, say, lancing a boil on your backside. When one considers all of the things one could conceivably be celebrating, the legend of a religious zealot standing in a stream of freezing water reciting Scripture to the barbaric people of the Trailer Park of Europe doesn't seem to measure up.
But, I am told, the celebration is not merely the remembrance of something that most likely never happened so much as it is a festival commemorating just what it means to be Irish. In this view, being the Turd That Fell From Britain's Ass is something to be memorialized, appreciated, and jollified with really bad music, dancing reminiscent of a seizure, and inebriation.
Student of history that the Overlord is, he racks his brain every year in an effort to discover just what there is to be proud of in being Irish. Inevitably, the effort is wasted, for I keep coming up with the same answers:
Your "mascot", if you will, is a drunken midget with poor fashion sense, anger issues and no concept of proper wealth management.
When it comes to defending your land, perhaps the only people worse at it, in historical terms, would be the American Indian and the Palestinians. Some 900 years of "resistance", which essentially meant Irish killing Irish and occasionally blowing up mailboxes in England, was mostly an exercise in fratricide.
Your children will be (momentarily, because the Irish have short attention spans) entertained by a "Leprechaun Trap" where they will be taught that attempting to capture an imaginary creature that is only ever seen when one is soaked in whiskey is a worthwhile investment of their time, energy and emotion.
This is the one time of the year when the Irish will aspire to civilization and at least take the dishes out of the sink before they piss in it.
So, on comparison, while my forebears (Greco-Romans) were creating Western Civilization, the Irish were telling each other stories of "great heroes" who seem to have done little else besides steal each others' cauldrons and wives, engage in cattle raids and rape (and sometimes engage raids and rape cattle), and for some reason which could only make sense to a drunk with a serious mental deficiency, throw spears with their feet, when they weren't worshiping stones and spirits.
The Irish brought corruption to the American political system -- Tammany Hall, The Kennedys -- fuck, even Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have Irish ancestry. About the best thing anyone can say about the Kennedy clan is that they at least tend to have spectacular or interesting deaths that kind of make you forget just how terribly bad they are -- were -- at politics.
Here in the Overlord Household, Mrs. Overlord (unfortunately) is half Irish. That half is apparently the one without taste buds. Every year, since she is unable to cook (another Irish trait; when was the last time you saw an Irish restaurant in your area? Whiskey-and-corned-beef corner bars where Mexicans run the kitchen do not count), she insists that I prepare the customary ration du shanty fucktard of corned beef, potatoes, cabbage and carrots. She not only insists that I do this for her, but that I do it the way her mother did because that's how she likes it.
To give a brief description of what this means:
I am to boil a nice piece of meat that it took 24 hours to soak all the salt out of until it is dull and tasteless. Essentially, it is to be turned into a water-logged mush, hardly fit for toothless predatory animals. To "punch it up", I am to include two of the blandest vegetables known to man -- the potato and the cabbage -- in the same pot. I am NOT allowed to add onions or garlic or anything else. Black pepper is allowed, "but not too much".
Why, if it weren't for the carrots and whatever residual metal leached from the pot during the process, this peasant's delight would have no flavor, at all.
I am then to ensure that there's plenty of ketchup on hand.
If I attempt to cook it in any other way, she will refuse to eat it. "It's not the same", she will tell me.
Our "Irish feast" this year is to be delayed for 24 hours, since a particular relative was unable to make it this evening (fuck social distancing!).
This means tomorrow night I will have to suffer through what I endure every year at this time: a table full of stories of the Old Country none of them have ever been to; repeated references to relatives none of them ever met but they've all heard and have repeated the stories for generations; comradery fostered by alcohol poisoning, piss-poor singing that encourages the neighborhood cats to join in, all of it taking place against background of green.
Green clothes. Green hats. Green food. Green drink. Green skin. Green teeth. Green stains on everything. Eventually a green lump passed out on the living room floor, snoring, a stain on the back of his pants caused by the Jameson's-enhanced green diarrhea.
When all is said and done, the evening will result in at least one broken bone, one broken chair, one divorce, one charge of domestic abuse, one tablecloth ruined by puke, one arrest for DUI, and maybe even one conception (just shut one eye and aim for the wet spot in the middle, Dude!) which will perhaps grace us with yet another girl named after both the Virgin and a dead European monarch, but who grows up to become known in the neighborhood as "Juicy", "Sunshine", "Bubbles", or "Boom-Boom", or one more future Sanitation worker who barely graduated high school and finds the aroma at work similar to that of the house he grew up in with the 11 other undernourished refugees from Oliver Twist.
Don't even bring up Wilde and Joyce. The first is remembered for all the wrong reasons and the second is only remarkable because he was a literate Irishman.
That made him even rarer than the fucking leprechaun.
Yes, all these wonderful things to celebrate! Be proud, indeed.
By the way, this year I'm cooking the corned beef properly and you'll fucking-well like it. If I have to endure this nonsense at least I can enjoy my meal.
Next year, I want lamb.