Grasshopper Soup: What do those Irish know? |

Grasshopper Soup: What do those Irish know?

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

Wear green, be green and live green. On Wednesday, everybody is Irish. Even the trees are Irish. You thought those were Jeffrey pines. Today they are Patrick Pines. You canand#8217;t get much greener than an evergreen, but pine trees donand#8217;t drink much, so they donand#8217;t have Irish roots.

Many Irish people consider drinking to be one of the Ten Commandments. Thou Shalt Drinketh Until Hell Freezes Over (or you fall over, whichever comes first). Just watch out for those Irish coffees. Too many can make you green for days. An Irish coffee hangover is the worst. If an Irish coffee had a nickname it would be called a Crushed Skull, believe me. I am speaking from experience.

In the beginning, God created the most beautiful place on earth, but he didnand#8217;t call it the Garden of Eden, or Paradise. He called it Ireland. God loved Ireland and the Irish so much he let them stay when he threw Adam and Eve out. The Irish thrived like a morn in May, until they became the most intelligent people on the face of the earth. But their superior intelligence became a problem, even for God. They were so intelligent, God was forced to create whiskey to prevent them from ruling the world.

Whiskey is better than Irish Coffee, especially Godand#8217;s Whiskey, but it can rob you of whatever intelligence you thought you had before you started doing shots.

St. Patrickand#8217;s Day is one of the most popular holidays because it encourages everybody to put aside their differences, free themselves from personal and ideological attachments to, and obsessions with, their own cultural identities and to accept the all inclusive fact that we are all Irish on the inside. If you meet a true Irishman today, or anyone who knows true Irish etiquette, even if you are not wearing green, and are otherwise in complete violation of all St. Patrickand#8217;s Day customs, he will still welcome you with open arms. But not without first putting you through a bunch of good natured teasing, which, if done properly, will steal your heart away and cause a lilt of Irish laughter to pour forth from your mouth. Thatand#8217;s when you know you are in the presence of the true spirit of the day. Thatand#8217;s the kind of person you want to hang out with.

DNA studies conducted around the globe prove that, in spite of differences in skin color, bone structure and other distinguishing racial characteristics, human beings are more alike than they are different. DNA brings us all together. We share a common origin. We are all biologically bound to one another. That is a fact. Being Irish is just frosting on the cake.

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Our religious and cultural identities, our beliefs, clothing, customs and social mores separate us, more than anything else, from the inescapable fact of our common blarney, I mean ancestry. Diversity, for all its wonder and glory, is more likely to cause division. Our common humanity is always more important than leprechauns, unicorns, beards, burkhas, bongos, beads, skull caps, dashikis, kufis, veils, baseball caps, ski goggle tans, tattoos, suits and ties. And St. Patrickand#8217;s Day is as good a reason as any to unite with and celebrate the family of man. If you canand#8217;t do that, even with people you donand#8217;t agree with, keep on roaming and rambling, looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You will never find it, because the pot is your own heart, and the gold is what you fill it with. If your rainbow doesnand#8217;t shine from a heart of gold, your search will be in vain.

When we were little kids, mom told us four-leaf clovers were very rare and hard to find, but if we found one, it would bring us great fortune. We thought, oh yeah, we could find one. Hours later there we were, on our hands and knees in thick fields of clover, still looking. It was a fun challenge. And we were sober.

We showed them Irish. You donand#8217;t have to drink to have fun.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 27 years.