Lost Journal: Restoring Tradition to St. Patrick’s Day

By Tim Mollen

Journal entry:  March 10, 2004 (age 34)

The following is a transcript of a recent speech I gave at a brownfield that’s being considered for development into a Bennigan’s.  It was simulcast on GreenSPAN, the 24-hour Irish-American news channel.

“This is a magical time of year.  Everyone seems to have a smile on his face, and a sparkle in her eyes.  Children clamor to be taken to McDonald’s for a milkshake the color of hospital scrubs.  Adults get out their favorite pieces of clothing; the ones that say ‘Kiss Me – I’m Wearing the Same Color T-shirt as Everyone Else!’  Seniors clamor for early-bird stew specials.  Folks of all ages line up at Carvel, where all the unsold Fudgie the Whale ice cream cakes have been turned upside down and covered in green frosting, transforming them into Seamus O’Cookie-Puss cakes.

But is that what St. Patrick’s Day is all about?  Or in the hustle and bustle of our modern world, have we forgotten the true meaning of the season, replacing it with crass commercialism and green Schlitz?  I think we have, and as an Irish-American, I’m taking a stand.  I’m pale and red-haired, and I’m not gonna take it anymore.  We need to get back to the basic purpose of this holiday – driving the snakes out of Ireland.

‘But, Tim,’ I hear you saying, ‘I don’t live in Ireland.  What can I do?’  Well, you may not live in Ireland, but I’m willing to bet you live near a street or other location with an Irish-sounding name.  In my hometown of Binghamton, we have Stella Ireland Road.  It could use a good snake rousting.  Or what about Margaret Street?  It hasn’t been ‘deserpented’ in years.  O’Hara Drive, Murphy Avenue, the entire village of Greene – the list goes on and on.  MacArthur Park is probably crawling with snakes, on the hunt for cakes melting in the rain.

So this year I’m starting a campaign to spend St. Patrick’s Day ridding our streets and neighborhoods of snakes.  Starting early on March 17, I’ll be patrolling McKinley Avenue in Endicott in my car, on the lookout for limbless lizards.  I want the rest of you to fan out across your cities, towns, and villages, making sure our Irish-American bars, homes, and combination bar/homes are free from elongated reptiles.

I leave the snake-driving methods up to the collective creativity of you, the people.  But here are a few suggestions.  You can set up snake traps, by disguising your alligator handbag as a potential mate.  You can tether a slow-moving goat in your yard.  (For some reason, the Discovery Channel insists that a majority of snakes like to swallow goats whole, thus becoming goat-shaped snakes.  Use this heretofore useless knowledge to your advantage.)  Also, be sure to clear away any twigs or sticks that kind of look like snakes – they are a frequent cause of fear and panic among our young people.

Together we can restore traditional values to this joyous season.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day.”

Tim Mollen
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