Monday, March 17, 2014

XLIII: Paddy

I learned this weekend that calling St. Patrick's Day "St. Patty's Day" is some sort of atrocity. I've almost always referred to it as such, so I am going to have to claim ignorance on this one. Of course, this new knowledge brought to mind the story of the real-life Saint Patrick and his overlooked past.

British by birth, Patrick was the son of a wealthy, well-to-do family in Roman Britain. His family was heavily involved in the church (weren’t they all back then?!) and his father and grandfather were both deacons. Basically, he was a pastor’s kid. And I think we all know one of those folk…

Poor Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders at the tender age of 16. Just a child, really. His kidnappers were more or less pirates that sold him into slavery on the west coast of Ireland.  Luckily, Patrick was visited by God in a dream…yep, that’s apparently all it takes to revoke slavery. God told him to escape his captivity and travel to the coastal shore where he could board a British ship and return to the motherland. I imagine his conversation in the dream went a little something like this:

PATRICK: Man, I sure hate being a slave. If only there were some divine being that I’ve spent most of my life cultivating a relationship with who could get me out of this awful predicament. *Sigh* I sure wish god were here.
(Silence broken only by crickets chirping in a dreamy manner)
I said: I sure wish God were here…
            (stillness, noiselessness, awkward silence)
Jesus Christ! Is anyone going to help me?!

            (Boom, crash, thunder, lightening, burning bush, massive flood, etc)

GOD: How dare you use my son’s name in vain!

PATRICK: Don’t chastise me, holy spirit! You’re the one who missed your goddamn cue!
PATRICK: Sorry. Cue.
GOD: That’s better. Now, Patrick, what can I do for you?

PATRICK: Well, I mean, this hasn’t been the greatest experience of my life…any ideas how I could get the hell outta here?

GOD: Nah, Dude. Sorry.

PATRICK: Seriously? Nothing?! Why the dramatic entrance if you’re not gonna help me out?

GOD: Oh, all of that? Ha, I just tripped on my way into your dream—I’m drunk as hell!

PATRICK: So, wait, I’m stuck here in 4th Century Ireland as a slave and you’re just getting hammered in heaven?

GOD: Well if you wanna look at it like that…yep.

PATRICK: That’s so unfair!  Who does that?

GOD: The almighty!  That’s who.  (fist pumps)

PATRICK: This sucks. Why do you get to have all the fun while your human creations are stuck down here going through all the shit we face day after day after day?

GOD: Uh…Cuz I’m God…

PATRICK: Oh. Right.  (starts to cry)

GOD: Now, now. Don’t cry.

PATRICK: (sobs harder)

GOD: Oh, c’mon dude, you’re being such a buzz kill right now.

PATRICK: (sniffles)

GOD: Alright, listen. I’ll tell you what. I am feeling pretty generous today so I’ll let you in on a little secret. Tomorrow morning, on the coast, a ship is leaving for the UK. Sneak out of here, flee to the ship, get on it, and go home.

PATRICK: You make it sound so easy.

GOD: It’s simple, Patty. Just run, board, stowaway, and find your family. Not hard.

PATRICK: (wipes face) Well, I guess if you think I can do it.

GOD: Ha! I know you can. There’s just one little thing…

PATRICK: Isn’t there always?

GOD: It’s not that big of a deal, nothing really! 


GOD: Well, as soon as you get back to Britain, devote your life to me and then spend all of your time in the church singing my praises. Then, later in life, you need to develop Stockholm Syndrome and return here to Ireland because you’ll be so psychologically damaged by this experience that your repressed memories of this place will drive you to inhabit once again and glorify it as your home. 


            GOD: Great! Then it’s agreed. Now get the hell out of here.

PATRICK: But this is my dream….

GOD: And I’m still God.

And so that’s more or less what happened. St. Patrick returned to the UK and devoted his life to Christianity. He later returned to Ireland to spread the good word, where he spent a great portion of his life teaching others about the drunkenness of God. Or, you know, whatever. And so, to this day, because of Paddy’s great influence in Ireland and attachment to the color green—which was originally blue…we really screwed that one up, America—we devote a day to all things emerald and intoxicating.

PS. If you're in the uptown area, you should definitely check out Bull Run Coffee's specialty drink, the Short and Stout. It's really pretty and exceptionally tasty.

It looks like a little baby Guinness!

Happy St Paddy's Day, everyone!

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