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Married . WithOUT Children

“Here’s good luck to the pint pot, good luck to the barley mow! Jolly good luck to the pint pot, good luck to the barley mow!”

I walked into our home office to see what all the racket was about, only to find husband-head singing along to a CD he was burning of Irish drinking songs.

“It’s almost St. PATRICK’S Day!” he reminded me in a jovial voice. “ERIN GO BRAUGH!”



With that, he got up from the chair and began doing a little jig to a song called “Ode to Beer” that sounded uncannily like a rendition of Julie Andrews’ “Doh-A-Deer.”

“Dough – the stuff that buys me beer!



Ray – the guy that sells me beer!

Me – the guy that drinks the beer!

Far – the distance from my beer!

So – I think I’ll have a beer!

La – la-la-la-la-la. .BEER!

Tea – no thanks, I’m drinking beer!

And it brings us back to Dough!”

I watched as my Irish husband-head jigged around the room and wondered if perhaps he was missing a lucky charm or two. .

But St. Patrick’s Day has always been a major holiday in our household and one of husband-head’s favorites, along with Halloween.

At first I couldn’t comprehend his fascination with this holiday in which many people are notorious for drinking until they begin seeing Leprechauns and feeling very green. .

I understood it better when I spent a St. Patrick’s Day with the rest of his Irish family. A bus had been rented to cart everyone AND their Irish coffees to the annual parade early in the morning, followed by stops at every Irish pub in all of Milwaukee. .

“Is that your mother dancing on top of that table?” I nudged husband-head.

Husband-head looked over and grinned.

“Yes, little lassie,” he nodded and took a big swig of his Guinness. “But wait until she starts wanting to kiss the Blarney Stone. .”

With that, he pinched my rear end and the whole family burst into a sloppy version of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”

Another time, we hosted a St. Patrick’s Day party at our house.

Knowing that green beer was the order of the day, I thought I was pretty clever putting drops of green food coloring in everyone’s drink.

A couple of hours later, a half-cocked guest approached me.

“Is it my imagination, or have my teeth turned a lovely shade of green?” he asked, opening his mouth widely so I could inspect.

Indeed, the food coloring had adhered to everyone’s teeth and tongues and we had a roomful of guests with shamrock-colored smiles. .

“How come your parents didn’t give you a good Irish name, like `Paddy’?” I asked husband-head one time.

Husband-head looked at me as if it was the stupidest suggestion he’d ever heard.

“Why, because then in school they would have taken roll call and I’d have been `Rice, Paddy’!” he exclaimed.

But I’ve found the trick to being married to an Irishman and successfully celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with them is to master the art of making a good corned beef and cabbage and memorizing their favorite drinking songs.

Husband-head grabbed a celebratory beer and went back to making his CD and singing along to the chorus of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”

“When Irish eyes are smiling, sure ’tis like the morn in Spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.

When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay.

And when Irish eyes are smiling, sure, they steal your heart away. .”

Yes, you did, honey, but we’re wondering here when the version of “When Irish Eyes Can Focus” will be released. .

New Castle resident Heidi Rice’s column appears every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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