She has also shared with me her DNA-based data from Ancestry and 23andme which is NOT in complete agreement as to specific ethnographic heritage. Here one has to question how accurate the specific conclusions from any one source can be. Both, however, do suggest strongly that the largest component is Irish. Both also seem to agree that the rest of our genetic makeup is dominantly English, but with some “European,” (French and German, with some Scandinavian and a touch of Iberian also present). And, of course, it’s true that the DNA examined is from my sister. So, while I have no reason to think that there’s any problem with that, I suppose that one should never claim total surety in such things. In any event, I’m satisfied that the probability of our DNA being pretty darn similar is quite high, and this isn’t a “scientific” tome in any event.
What this says to me is that I seem to have at least SOME genuine claim to having at least SOME Irish ancestry. Normally, of course, I don’t see anything special about that, although I have enjoyed Irish “folk-type” music since I was going through my “folkie” period in the late-Fifties to mid-Sixties. None of this is particularly relevant to anything except that I don’t wish to be accused of anti-Irish sentiments if I have some fun with “Irish” humor. After all, Sheridan, the author of The Rivals and The School for Scandal, who may be thought of as English, was actually born in Dublin and described his homeland as the land of “happy wars and sad love songs,” which is certainly born out in traditional Irish music. Anyway, in honor of the approaching of St. Patrick’s Day, here is a bit a humor which relates to the Irish.
For some reason, the vast majority of “Irish” jokes have to do with drinking. Now, I am only making an observation, but here are a few which I have enjoyed.
I’m not suggesting that Irish priests drink, but…
An Irish priest was driving down to New York for the St. Patrick's Day parade and got stopped for speeding in Connecticut.
The state trooper smelled alcohol on the priest's breath and then saw an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car, so he asked the priest, "Sir, have you been drinking?"
"Just water," said the priest.
"Then why do I smell wine?"
The priest looked at the bottle, picked it up, sniffed it and said, "Good Lord! He's done it again!"
Still, the Irish ARE known for having more than an occasional tipple.
Two men were sitting next to each other at O’Reilly’s Pub in London. After a while, one bloke looks at the other and says, “I can’t help but think, from listening to you, that you’re from Ireland.”
The other bloke responds proudly, “Yes, that I am!”
The first one says, “So am I! And where about from Ireland might you be?”
The other bloke answers, “I’m from Dublin, I am.”
The first one responds, “So am I!” “Mother Mary, faith and begorrah. And what street did you live on in Dublin?”
The other bloke says, “A lovely little area it was. I lived on McCleary Street in the old central part of town.”
The first one says, “And it’s a small world, isn’t it? So, did I! So, did I! And to what school would you have been going?”
The other bloke answers, “Well now, I went to St. Mary’s, of course.” The first one gets really excited and says, “And so did I. Tell me, what year did you graduate?”
The other bloke answers, “Well, now, let’s see. I graduated in 1964.”
The first one exclaims, “The Good Lord must be smiling down upon us! I can hardly believe our good luck at winding up in the same place tonight. Can you believe it, I graduated from St. Mary’s in 1964 my own self!”
About this time, Vicky, a regular patron walks up to the bar, sits down and orders a drink. Brian, the barman, walks over to her, shaking his head and mutters, “It’s going to be a long night tonight.”
She asks, “Why do you say that, Brian?”
“The Murphy twins are drunk again.”
I’ve also noticed that the Irish can’t seem to resist having a laugh, or two, even at the expense of their nuns. Here’s an example which isn’t too risqué.
The wise old Mother Superior from County Tipperary was dying.
The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her comfortable.
They gave her some warm milk to drink, but she refused it. One of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen.
Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.
Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother Superior drank a little, then a little more. Before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop.
"Mother," the nuns pleaded, "Please give us some wisdom before you pass."
She raised herself up in bed with a pious look on her face and said: "Don't sell that cow."
I am quite fond of a “local” pub here in Omaha known as the “Brazen Head.” Here’s their logo:
Speaking of being sober, St. Patrick was credited with have driven all of the snakes out of Ireland. I suspect there are SOME of the Irish who could wish he had done so with the English, but I’m not going to go there, being (partly) English myself. Still, I have, on occasion, wondered if St. Patrick had any regrets….
This isn’t really an “Irish” joke, as it could be told about anyone from anywhere, but this is the way I heard it.
Seamus opens the newspaper and is shocked to see his OWN obituary.
In a panic, he phones his friend and asks: “Did you see the paper? They say I died!”
The friend replies: “Yes, I saw it! So, where ya calling from?”
Then, there’s this one, which clearly REQUIRES an Irish frame of reference:
What do you call an Irishman sitting on a couch? "Paddy O'Furniture."
For some reason which I have never been able to figure out, anyone NOT wearing Kelly Green on St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be pinched, while anyone who IS, is supposed to be kissed. I’ve not been able to figure how this notion got mixed up with a celebration in honor of the patron saint of Ireland, but there it is. Anyway, this has led to all sorts of cute variations, of which THIS (below) is a favorite of mine.
Have a great St. Patrick’s Day!
As Arnold says, “I’ll be back!”