Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to break out the shamrocks, chug green beer, and act a complete fool in the name of holiday spirit. The holiday in question, of course, is not St. Patrick’s Day, but my birthday today. No disrespect to St. Paddy, as my ¼ Irishness qualifies me for ample Guinness indulgence later in the week, but that old bugger doesn’t get to take all the limelight.
So, in honor of my having survived another year and the impending St. Patrick’s Day, I’d like to share a little story with you about why I no longer trust leprechauns…
It was a birthday night like every other when I was in college; I was drunk, in a crowded bar, and raising hell on the pool table. The only exception on this night was that I didn’t have to rely on my unruly facial hair and my fake ID to get in, because I’d finally turned twenty-one years old, and was now a responsible, upstanding, adult citizen. Which is why the bouncer was so respectful when he asked me to climb down from my pool table victory dance and to please put my pants back onto their proper appendages.
I’d barely just refastened my belt when the little man in the green top hat and waistcoat showed up and slapped a twenty dollar bill on the table.
“Holy shit, a leprechaun! Take me to your pot ‘o gold, you wily ginger midget!”
He bashed my kneecap with his miniature pool cue and challenged me to a dangerous duel of Nine-ball, in which every ball pocketed called for an opponent to take a shot of Jameson. The wee bastard was quite a good shot, I’ll admit, as he literally “ran the table” on his stubby little legs. He cackled like a madman and did a douchey little riverdance every time he sunk a ball. I tipped back shot after shot of Irish whiskey as the race to seven games wore on, and I realized that I was only getting out of my seat to re-rack the balls. It was at that point when my slurring neurons figured out I’d been bamboozled, and that this Lucky Charms reject’s tiny pool cue was really an enchanted shillelagh.
I had just hoisted my stick to bash that Irish pixie like a piñata, when I recalled those sage words of wisdom imparted to me by the old Catholic priest of my childhood. “My Son, let us practice the vanquishing of the trouser serpent—” Oops, hang on. (rewinding noise) There it is. “My Son, if ever you find yourself matching wits with a leprechaun, remember that the only way to defeat him is through trickery. And, look, the trouser serpent has once again arisen!”
So I paused with chin in hand, stumbled, and finally snatched up the twenty dollar bill. “Sorry, laddie. BCA rulebook says you’ve gotta have at least one foot touching the floor. Technical loss by way of midgetry.”
He sighed, beaten, and agreed to take me to the end of the rainbow to find his pot of gold. Unfortunately, he insisted on getting drunk first and passed out at the bar. So I curled him up in the bottom of a urinal and stuffed his magic shillelagh somewhere safe…and uncomfortable.
Music: Flogging Molly