Once again, it's the national holiday.
My cousin Maryann spent many long hours creating this needlepoint piece for me. Cead Mile Failte is Gaelic for "One Hundred Thousand Welcomes." Thanks, Cuz.
There is a corned beef cooking in this kitchen where I sit writing. I was 16 before I realized that beef brisket does not have to taste like shoe leather in honor of St. Patrick. Here's a secret: boil the corned beef as you normally would, but an hour before it is due to be done, take it out of the water, dry it, coat it with peanut oil, mustard, and brown sugar. Then put it on the bbq grill for 60 minutes. Nectah from the Celtic gawds.
There's an Irish fellow named Frankie Quinn singing right now on XM Radio. I think the only singer in his family is the sewing machine. Soda bread will soon be in the oven.
Friend Derek from Mason Neck also emailed this Irish joke:
Jacques Chirac, The French President, is sitting in his office when his telephone rings.
"Hallo, Mr. Chirac!" a heavily accented voice said. "This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County Clare, Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you!"
"Well, Paddy," Chirac replied, "This is indeed important news! How big is your army?"
"Right now," says Paddy, after a moment's calculation, "there is meself, me Cousin Sean, me next door neighbor Seamus, and the entire darts team from the pub. That makes eight!"
Chirac paused. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100,000 men in my army waiting to move on my command."
"Begorra!" says Paddy. "I'll have to ring you back.
Sure enough, the next day, Paddy calls again. "Mr. Chirac, the war is still on. We have managed to get us some infantry equipment!"
"And what equipment would that be Paddy?" Chirac asks.
"Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy’s farm tractor."
Chirac sighs amused. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 6,000 tanks and 5,000 armored personnel carriers. Also, I have increased my army to 150,000 since we last spoke."
"Saints preserve us!" says Paddy. "I'll have to get back to you."
Sure enough, Paddy rings again the next day. "Mr. Chirac, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We have modified Jackie McLaughlin's ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Bar have joined us as well!"
Chirac was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100 bombers and 200 fighter planes. My military bases are surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites and since we last spoke, I have increased my army to 200,000!"
"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!" says Paddy, "I will have to ring you back."
Sure enough, Paddy calls again the next day. "Top o' the mornin', Mr. Chirac! I am sorry to inform you that we have had to call off the war."
"Really? I am sorry to hear that," says Chirac. "Why the sudden change of heart?"
"Well," says Paddy, "we had a long chat over a few pints of Guinness and decided there is no fookin' way we can feed 200,000 French prisoners."
Happy St. Patrick's Day