All Mc'o'Saints Day
IRISH JIG MUSIC FADES UP AND THEN DOWN
KARL: By the sound of that music you know its time once again to talk with White Label Humour's own resident leprechaun, Jackie O'Shaugnessy McSon. Sorry we could not have you on the show for St. Patrick's day Jackie but apparently you're not too upset by this.
JACKIE: Well, noooooo. That's a very commercial
thing. It isn't such a big deal like it is here in
KARL: So basically the day after St. Patrick's day is your big holiday, the major religious celebration.
JACKIE: Ya got that right there, lad. We call it All Mc'o'Saints Day.
KARL: What is that?
JACKIE: What we do is we lump together all the
minor patron saints of
KARL: I didn't think there were any rabbits in
JACKIE: Well that's because one of our other saints I'm going to be talking about drove all our rabbits into the ocean.
KARL: So you don't think St Patrick was all that great of a saint.
JACKIE: No. Not as such. He never did nuthin'
practical. If he was so great why couldn't he have driven the English into
the ocean or balanced his act by trying to keep U2 here where they were respectable
musicians until they went to the
KARL: I guess what you're saying is
JACKIE: Let me be tellin' you, laddy, we got plenty
o' saints. Lots of people in
KARL: Really? A dozen?
JACKIE: More than I can count on my fingers and my toes.
JACKIE: Yes and no. Some of our saints weren't so impressive. Like there was Saint O'Leary, the patron saint of cow owners.
KARL: Never heard of him.
JACKIE: Obviously. He was something of an innovator. He was the first to put bells around a cow's neck.
KARL: (pregnant pause) Err... yeah.
JACKIE: Never heard of that one? Never mind. Maybe we'll have to have an after school special. Maybe you heard of St. O'Hostess.
JACKIE: He's the one who drove all the potatoes out
KARL: That's a bad thing?
JACKIE: Blarney, yes. They took all their cats with them, just depriving us leprechauns one of the greatest pleasures in life! The chance to dance a wee jig around an honest Irishman's garden cat.
KARL: That's one thing I don't under. What do leprechauns find so fulfilling about dancing around cats?
JACKIE: Oh! The cats, they're so smug. They sit there with that look on their face like "I'm a cat. I'm a cat. I'm a cat." So I like to go "Oh you're a cat eh? You think yer a cat? I'll show you." So I dance about them a wee jig and pull on my beard. They get this perplexed look on their face like "oh this little thing is dancing around me in my little serene lifestyle here." Cats. They're the pedants of the animal world. They just sit there and don't talk to nobody. Stuck ups. Anyway we also got St. O'Trump who brought joy to thousands of compulsive gamblers by starting the Irish Sweepstakes. Of course you North Americans ruined it by starting your own million dollar jackpot lotteries. By Mother of God of Leeks! There isn't a whole million dollars in all of Ireland!
KARL: Uh huh.
JACKIE: Of course then we pay homage to the infamous St. O'Blarney: The greatest liar, cheat, and swindle the Emerald Isle hasn't seen since the election of Margaret Thatcher!
KARL: I don't see how Ireland can make a liar, cheat, and swindlers a saint.
JACKIE: Let me tell you. It was just his nerve. The man just had style. Like one time St. O'Blarney sold Loch Ness to a group of Welsh industrialists and he got them to take out a 100 year lease on the monster.
KARL: Isn't Loch Ness in Scotland, Jackie?
JACKIE: Well now you know why we made him a saint. He was that good.
KARL: I see. What about martyrs? Has there been anyone that's laid down his life for Ireland?
JACKIE: Quite a few. Quite a few. Like there was St. O'Surgeon General, patron saint of those who die from injuries suffered after asking people in restaurants and movie theatres to put out their cigarettes and clay pipes.
KARL: The nonsmoking campaign is sort of a religious crusade among some people.
JACKIE: Yes. Then there was Saint O'Bobby Sands, patron saint of people on mineral water diets. Here's quite famous for the Miracle of the De-liquefaction. Perhaps you've heard of it?
KARL: I've heard of the Miracle of the Liquefaction. There's a church in Italy where the dried blood of St. Januarius turns to liquid during certain holy days.
JACKIE: Sure sure whatever. In the Miracle of the De-liquefaction there's a church outside of Ulsterglastondundundurry. In that church there's a bottle of mineral water that, according to tradition, St. O'Bobby Sands backwashed during a hunger strike in the prison. 18 times a year, during religious celebrations, a priest takes a hold of that bottle and the water is miraculously transmuted into a chocolate cheesecake. Imagine that?
KARL: That would be quite miraculous.
JACKIE: Then we have to make a mention of St. O'Barbrawl who drove all the teeth out of the mouth of the lead singer of the Pogues. Then there's St. O'Radiocontrolleddetonator --
KARL: -- Jackie maybe we should --
JACKIE: -- that guy just blew the plaster out of Harrods --
KARL: -- Jackie, I think it's best we move on to talking about some All Mc'o'Saints Day traditions.
JACKIE: Oh yeah.
KARL: Every holiday has its little traditions. You paint eggs during Easter or you kill yourself after the Christmas season. What sort of events take place today in Ireland? Are there parades?
JACKIE: Sort of. There's kind of a parade. It's really the most popular way of taking part in All Mc'o'Saints Day. We call it "The Running of the Protestant".
KARL: Running of the protestant?
JACKIE: It's like in Spain, the running of the bulls. What we do is we grab a Protestant businessman, we hang a sing around his neck that says "the best man for the job is Margaret Thatcher", and then we stuff him in a canvas bag, duff him about the head with a shillelagh to disorient him, then we turn him loose in the streets of a Northern Ireland labor town. We all chase him, banging pots and pans, and we all wager if he's going to make it out alive. It's quite fun.
KARL: How often do they make it out?
JACKIE: Rarely. Usually someone drops a hand grenade atop of them.
KARL: Sounds like a rollick.
JACKIE: It is. And we sell the TV rights to Fox, so that brings in a fortune these days. Another tradition is everyone goes to church to watch the staging of the All Mc'o'Saints day Passion Play.
KARL: What's the play about?
JACKIE: It ballyhoos the virtues of Irish family life. We call the play "Prattle and Glum". And it just so happens that later I have to wink back to Ireland to take part in the play.
KARL: Oh really? There's a part for a leprechaun play? Do you play a statue on a dashboard?
JACKIE: I play the part of the daughter because I've got the voice and the build for it.
KARL: Why do they have a leprechaun playing the roll of a daughter?
JACKIE: By tradition Irish women are not allowed to take part in religious plays, so men have to do women's parts.
KARL: Sounds interesting.
JACKIE: How would you like me to act out a little scene from the play?
KARL: Go for it.
JACKIE: I'll play all the parts. You just sit there and watch my mike levels. There's some screaming. Okay let me set it up. The young daughter, by the name of Helen, is sitting in the family room enjoying a peaceful All Mc'o'Saints day evening after having the holy All Mc'o'Saints seder meal, where everyone eats traditional unleavened potatoes and bitter sour cream. Helen has just finished doing the dishes and walking the dog and sweeping the house and chopping ten cords of wood and servicing the Delorean and Helen's dad walks in.
(dad voice) "Helen."
(helen voice) "Yes father."
(dad voice) "Helen, what is this?."
(helen voice) "What father?"
(dad voice) "This here on this glass "
(helen voice) "It be a spot father."
(dad voice) "Helen, I thought I told you I didn't want to be seeing no more spots on the glasses. I guess if you can't contribute to this household you'll just have to go live in the streets there girl!"
(helen voice) "But father how will I survive!"
KARL: That's very touching. You mentioned some sort of meal. A seder meal with bitter sour cream. How can you have something that's bitter and sour?
JACKIE: Yes. Well maybe I should go over the seder meal.
KARL: Seder meal doesn't sound very Irish. Don't Jews have a seder meal during Passover?
JACKIE: Yes. We learned a great many things from oppressed people all over the world. COUGH COUGH COUGH. Oh pardon me. You don't have no factory dust in this on air booth do you?
KARL: Not that I've noticed.
JACKIE: COUGH COUGH COUGH. It's like a paint factory has been pumping away in here.
KARL: Oh, they repainted the on air booth.
JACKIE: That explains it. Anyway, the family gathers at night and they got their candles and their unleavened potatoes and their sour cream but it's not sour it's bitter. The family gathers around the father and the oldest son asks the traditional four questions. And this is how it goes.
(oldest son voice) Father, why be it every March 18 we eat unleavened potatoes and bitter sour cream with fake bacon bits made from orange peels?
(dad voice) Well son, just in case we have to be leaving Ireland to escape religious persecution and we need to go into the desert or something. We'll be ready.
(oldest son voice) Father, why be it that an Irishman can only be Hollywood movies if he be playing the part of a policeman or a priest?
(dad voice) Ummm, well, that's pretty unexplainable isn't it? So it must be God's will.
(oldest son voice) Father, when are we going to get home rule?
(dad voice) What am I? What am I looking like a political analyst? I don't know. Shut up.
(oldest son voice) Father why did I have to ask those other three questions?
(dad voice) Alright I'm sick and tired of your bloody whining you sprog!
And then they all sit down to their meal.
KARL: And the father later beats the son with a log from the woodshed?
JACKIE: Yes. In the great Irish tradition.
KARL: Wow what a fascinating look at All Mc'o'Saints day.
JACKIE: It's a rich culture I tells you.