Dia dhuit, Mateys!
Conas tá tú? No, the Cap’n’s blog scroll page isn’t broken and he also isn’t (completely) drunk. This is Irish. Now, ye may ask why is this here pirate Cap’n suddenly speaking Irish? Well, matey, St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. Needless to say, we’ve got a St. Patrick’s Day sale Friday, Saturday & Sunday to help ye celebrate this holiday.
Why, ye may ask, do we have a sale on St. Patrick’s Day? Swarthy swashbuckler, did ye know that we owe St. Patrick’s Day to pirates? Indeed, we do. Without us, there would be no fun and merrymaking on this here day. Here is how our buccaneers helped create this day:
Patrick, or Patricius, was the son of a well-to-do Roman living in Britain (in the olden days known as Britannia). We’re talkin’ sometime around the year 400. Yup, that’s four, zero, zero. The mighty fifth century. Well, actually the Cap’n isn’t sure if it was indeed mighty. Not even he was around back then. When Patrick was 15, Irish pirates raided near his home, and he was captured, taken back to Ireland and sold as a slave. For the next six years, Patrick herded sheep, lived in a stone hovel, and enjoyed no rights at all. In my circles, we call this a landlubber. Finally Patrick had a dream. He dreamed that he should leave his master and find his way home. He walked through hundreds of miles of wilderness, found passage on a ship, and made it back home to his parents in Britain.
Funny thing, the Cap’n never has dreams like this. The Cap’n dreams of rum and busty wenches… and his pirate lady chasing him with a rolling pin and he can’t get away ‘cause his peg leg got stuck between two floorboards… oh, wait… that last one was a nightmare. Never mind, we were talkin’ about dreams. Patrick’s dreams.
Once Patrick was back in England, he had another dream. This time, he dreamed that the people of Ireland were calling for him to bring them Christianity. Patrick used his family’s doubloons (nowadays ye might call it dough) to learn all about priesthood. (The Cap’n will never understand how that lad could say no to the lasses and the rum. At least keep one!) Patrick returned to Ireland. The religion of Ireland was a form of Celtic paganism and a large part of the culture. Patrick started the conversion process. He died in about 460, and quickly faded into obscurity. But years later, when Christianity was more popular on the island, he was recalled as the originator of the religion. In the Irish tradition of heroes, it was expected that Patrick should have some adventures or accomplishments. This next part might come as a shock to you, brave mate, but Patrick never actually chased snakes out of Ireland. This may have been a metaphor – yes, the Cap’n can use big words even when he’s a few sheets to the wind – for overcoming paganism, since the snake was a symbol of re-birth for pagans. Patrick’s fans also invented epic battles between Patrick and the Druids. And, don’t fall overboard here, even the date of Patrick’s death, March 17th, was nothing more than a guess.
To make a long pirate story short – even though us pirates never spin short yarns — drink to the pirates who captured Patrick. Without them Ireland wouldn’t have its patron saint, and we wouldn’t have anything to celebrate on this here day.
Now, how do ye properly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Well, swashbuckler, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but an actual Irish person would probably rather walk the plank than be seen in a “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” getup. Just wear a friggin’ T-shirt with a Guinness logo on it, mate. Ye can also put a shamrock on yer lapel or paint yer face green, white and orange (ye know, like the Irish flag). I’d suggest eating some banger and mash or some colcannon. Boxty or stew will do, too. Then listen to some Irish music – like The Chieftains or The Dubliners. Okay, if ye must, The Cranberries will do. Ye can also try yer hand at makin’ yer own music using the tin whistle, the bodhrán, the harp, the fiddle or the uilleann pipes. Just please make sure the Cap’n isn’t anywhere near when ye give those instruments a try for the first time.
But now let’s talk about the most important way in which to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. What is it, mateys? Ye know the Cap’n so ye know his answer. Of course! Ye need to drink like a true buccaneer. Matey, if ye drink Budweiser on St. Patrick’s Day I’ll maroon you on the next lonely island surrounded by shark invested waters. Ye drink a Guinness! Or Irish whiskey (the Cap’n’s favorite). Some of the pirate ladies like their Bailey’s Irish cream. Matey, whatever ye do, drink like ye mean it! And avoid green beer. Seriously, it’s a cliché for the tourists and you, dear swashbuckler, are a pirate.
The Cap’n and his crew wishes ye a great holiday!