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Core Samples

It’s not that the Irish are cynical. It’s rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.

–Brendan Behan

If memory serves, according to the dictations of circumstance, he has not once in his current lifetime attended a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Go figure! Most all prerequisites have been in place for years. He grew up a Notre Dame fan and he moved to Utah due to an overwhelming "jones" for green Jell-O. More than sufficient qualifications, to be sure.

The dude, in fact, bleeds green — unless, of course, you’re talkin’ Boston Celtics. Theirs is a subtext of green — more like spinach or sage or split pea or olive drab. Even chartreuse might come into play on the parquet. But if their uniforms are tinted from that which they exude, it would have to be peacock.

Anyway, the time is nigh for our hero to mosey on down to the Gateway Center this Saturday and participate in the social donnybrook that is the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. And the participation must be official, bona fide if you will. This is due to the fact that, the way the parade literature has been interpreted, only "entrants" will be invited to attend the "Siamsa," the post-parade gala.

Research into this year’s gathering of Irish entertainers shows that music from "Jim of the Mill’s Pub" in County Tipperary, Ireland will be featured along with songfests and dance. All this guy wants to do is get inside the joint and check out the talent and if legitimacy is what is required to gain entrée, well, so be it.

The theme for this year’s parade is "Ireland, Land of Myth and Magic." And it appears that the powers that be are of one mind that the theme should be the primary concern when planning an entry. Well, that doesn’t put too much of a heavy onus upon the humble applicant.

In that it first got the Irish walking upright, off all fours, as it were, the entry will be a wheelbarrow. As they say in Guinness ads, "Brilliant!" And on the off chance that he might encounter any of the Irish persuasion who take issue with the metaphor, he could reiterate the theme of the parade and try to "sell the dummy" (rugby term — not necessarily a swipe at the "mick" in question) that the wheelbarrow story is the myth component.

As back-up, however, it might prove prudent to air-brush a mural scene featuring the mythic "mother goddesses" of Ireland upon the interior and exterior of the proud entry. Powerful female figures embodying earth, fertility, fruitfulness, and well being need love, too. Nothing unlocks a door like a relatively obscure yet highly revered Celtic deity.

From most all the pertinent information sources available, it seems that after assembling at the prescribed intersection, the entry units will "march with great precision smartly south" through the middle of the Gateway. Is it just me or has someone actually been staying up late learning to speak fluent Father Pat Carley? Syntax "changes utterly" the closer one gets to Utah’s own mythical Irish figures.

He shouldn’t have too much trouble with the entry form. In that they don’t appear to have fees attached to them, the "miscellaneous" and "novelty" categories look relatively promising. It does note, however, that, when filling in the form, NEATNESS COUNTS. Wait ’til they get a load of him.

Adding a ghetto-blaster belting out continuous "Sean McDonough and The Pogues" might instigate a few rounders and bounders to join in along the parade route. He could always replace it with a bit of "The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem" when nearing the reviewing stand. Either way he could check the "yes" box where it asks if the entry contains music.

It would also seem a good call to negotiate the parade route in the company of other like-minded pedestrian types rather than put one’s self at the mercy of early-bird revelers operating the controls of various autos, trucks, pick-ups, semi-rigs, golf carts, ATVs, and still-yawning horseflesh.

Positioning the single-wheeled hauling implement immediately behind a precise yet bonny group of step-dancers might be the way to go. Prudence must be served.

Let’s see. "Describe your entry (Use back of form if necessary.)" That shouldn’t be too difficult. How ’bout "In keeping with this year’s theme of ‘Ireland, Land of Myth and Magic,’ the wheelbarrow draws attention to the ongoing search for a Celtic creation myth and those alchemies that caused the Irish people to attain such magnificent internal glow and insight."

What do you think? Has our friend gained orthodoxy sufficient to the point where he will be welcomed at the "Siamsa" following the parade. Or should he try another tack. Knowing the Irish heart as they do, security at the door will, no doubt, not be slight. A diversion, perhaps.

Maybe they could be bought off, or at least their attention diverted, with free servings of "poundies." Poundies, also known as "champ," are Irish-style mashed potatoes containing a healthy dose of green onions. Actually, rather than being mashed, the red potatoes are "pounded," hence the name.

They are served piled high on the dish with a well of melted butter in the center in lieu of gravy. Poundies are generally consumed from the outside in, with each bite being dipped in the butter well. Now, one would think that a Hibernian volunteer who has already worked the parade and must now man a door would, at this time of day, come with an appetite as standard equipment.

There are additional means of gaining favor, of course. There was a time in Heber, when a mini-bottle of Jameson in the collection basket would garner a grin as it made its rounds. One could imagine "festive liquids" being occasionally consumed at a Siamsa, if only on the sly.

Anything to get through the door — from a dish of poundies to the promise of a pint down at The Republican to a "special dispensation" from Rome. Who needs a wheelbarrow anyway? Erin go bragh! Slainte!


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