Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Theme Thursday -- Green



On March 17th, bars all across the United States serve green beer in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  On March 18th, one can buy green beer half-price.

One March 18th, several years ago, when I was a student-teacher (yes, I was a teacher, it's true), I sat on a bar stool, at a place called Flynn's, while a fellow student-teacher of mine, by the name of Art, got completely drunk on half-priced green beer, and tried to explain to me the colors of the Irish flag.  I may have had a green beer or two myself, as the details are a bit jumbled up, but I think this was his story.

"The green is for the emeralds, and the orange is for their hair." he said.

"They don't have emeralds in Ireland." I said.

"They most certainly do.  It is called the Emerald Isle."

"That's because it looks like an emerald from a distance, you doofus." I said, very politely.  ("Doofus," being a term of art at teacher college.)

"Exactly!  Green.  And the orange is because all true Irish have orange hair, which is called red, but is really orange.  Green and Orange.  Get it?"

"Yeah, I get that you are drunk."  I though to myself, very politely.

But, as I squeezed my brain, moist with green beer, I realized every Irish I had ever known (and by Irish, I mean real Irish, not some fourth generation American girl with an obscure Gaelic name her mother picked out of Beyond Shannon and Sean just because her last name happened to be Murphy) had red hair.  But, I only knew two.  And, not a single member of U2 has red hair.  That had to mean something right? 

"What about the white?" I asked.  "The white, between the green and orange."

"Think about it." he said, drunk and condescending.  "All Irish people are white.  Duh."  ("Duh," being a term of art at teacher college.)

I thought about it.  Mr. McGuigan, that girl I knew in high school, and the four members of U2 -- everyone of them, white.

It was obvious then.  I had had enough green beer.  Time to switch to amber.

Dear Theme Thursday, if any future themes are orange, white, or amber, I'm covered.
Click the link to read Theme Thursday entries from other participants!


  1. What a lot of Irish in the USA forget is that the English language is the 2nd official language in this State so most Names have some Celtic/Irish demension. Seán for John, Áine for Anne and so on. Great, lovely, no biggie.
    But then you get something odd at a certain level of the middle class. That level, where mothers getting from the SUV outside the school push down their jeans, where dinner-parties are not a collection of friends but a bloodsport and where the name of the little celtic princess has to be drawn from a text that only the fellow who wrote the thing and two others know of. Lawyers and such,:). So, we have Maeve converted to Meadbh.
    Oh, the Flag of India has the same colours. And for much the same reasons.

  2. Is iomaí slí muc a mharú seachas a thachtadh le h-im.

  3. time to switch to we have a pub in town that dyes their bagels for the sandwiches as the next couple days can be interesting. smiles. fun post.

  4. I'll remember to stay away from that half price green beer.

  5. Ah Willow, it isn'n a question of colour price size nor beer.
    A'd Kris, translate yourself, 'Is iomaí slí'.

  6. Too funny! Green beer just doesn't seem appealing to me! ha!

  7. ' the Flag of India has the same colours. And for much the same reasons.'

    People in India all have red hair?
    How did I not notice this?... ;-)

  8. Vince, you're killing me about India. That is hysterical. Can you translate what Kris said?

  9. The Slí Omey(iomaí slí) is a tidal causeway between the mainland and where my family are buried on Omey Island, next stop on the bus, Maine. Anyhoooos, Trace me-girl, Im is butter. "On the way to Omey there are easier ways to kill a Pig than try to drown it with butter". That's the simple explanation.
    The complex one, see Ven' Bede. The Slí Iomaí is a Pilgrim Road to what was the last light on the Last Day. The Pig is the believer.
    And LOL, with India, they had the same problem as Ireland with Race and Religion. And many do have red hair, as do the Persians.

  10. I know where I'll be on the 18th.

  11. On this Theme Thursday I'm reading about lots of US Irish customs I knew nothing about.
    Green beer - who knew?