As a proud second generation half-Irish American, I get very offended every year when St. Patrick’s Day comes around. It sickens me that everyone tries to take advantage of their diluted Irish heritage just to get kisses, that imbeciles think “Patty” and “Paddy” are interchangeable, and worst of all, that the Kelly green shamrock is trotted out in all the tackiest ways possible as the official mascot of all things Erin Go Bragh. I’m not anti-shamrock, but if I had been in on the meeting in which it was decided that a tiny little clover, that could easily be confused for marijuana if you squint your eyes, was going to represent me and my ginger ancestors, I would’ve voted nay. Irish people are about so much more than little plants! We’re hard workers! We have a rich culture! We could claim Niall Horan of One Direction as one of our own if we wanted to (which we don’t)!
It’s from my Irish pride and desire to preserve our culture that I propose we oust shamrocks and adopt a new icon to represent all of us Irish people out there. Here are a few suggestions:
SPF 100 SUNSCREEN
A girl without freckles may be like a night without stars, but for most of us Irish folks, where there are freckles there will also soon be a searing third-degree sunburn, complete with unsightly peeling for which even whiskey couldn’t compensate (just kidding, whiskey always compensates). Irish people are known for their near-translucent, vampiresque skin, and I think it’s about time we celebrate the fact we’re the honored demographic that scoffs at all the shelves filled with pathetic bottles of Coppertone SPF 30. Let’s end SPF shame this St. Patrick’s Day!
…But if that doesn’t work out, I guess we could always just stay inside.
Who the blarney is Uncle O’Grimacey? Why, he’s the former stereotypical Irish mascot of McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, of course! Because in the 80s, brazenly counting down to Sham(e)rock Shake season wasn’t degrading enough. Unlike his un-Irish purple counterpart, regular Grimace, Uncle O’Grimacey wears a green vest and hat, and even has good ol’ fashioned shillelagh (or cudgel). I think it’s time we bring good ol’ Uncle O’Grimacey back from the dead and give him the status (and collector’s cup!) he truly deserves.
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE AND/OR SODA BREAD
When your ancestors endured a potato famine, eating meat soaked in hot water, cabbage, and the plainest bread ever baked doesn’t seem so bad. We Irish should celebrate the bland foods we’re willing to endure, because unlike those damn Italians, we don’t need any fancy flavor in our food!
If you’re Irish and you haven’t seen Boondock Saints, you may have to forfeit that Claddagh ring you’re wearing. Boondock Saints, perhaps more than any other film (including Leprechaun), truly encapsulates the breadth of Irish culture and heritage. Beyond the fact that Willem Dafoe is in it—wait, he was born in Wisconsin? Well, anyway, it has drinking, an epic bar fight, that token Irish levity (“Get your fuckin’ rope, then!” Classic Irish adage.), profanity, brotherly love, justice, and religion. I think the Blu-ray movie cover would look much better on a lanyard than a bunch of stupid (fuckin’) shamrocks.
ANY CEREAL EXCEPT LUCKY CHARMS
Have you eaten Lucky Charms? Toasted oat pieces and marshmallow-flavored shapes do not belong together in a box, let alone submerged in milk. I find it offensive that such a sordid cereal is represented by the leprechaun, a mythical creature with deeper ties to the Irish community than John F. Kennedy. I recommend we give Lucky the Leprechaun a promotion to Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Golden Grahams mascot. (He might miss his red balloons at first, but once he sees the pension package, he’ll get on board.) I know there aren’t any rainbows in those cereals, but who needs rainbows when Irish eyes are smiling at a breakfast that doesn’t taste like a homeless man’s s’more?
By the way, for all you tattoo-loving Irish people out there, I hear Wrecking Balm is a successful tattoo removal system; I know 80% of you have a shamrock tattoo somewhere on your body (often in addition to a Celtic cross).