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Pucker up for St. Paddy’s Day

By Heidi Rice”Please kiss it,” husband-head whispered urgently. “It’s OK, I won’t tell anybody.””Please kiss it,” husband-head whispered urgently. “It’s OK, I won’t tell anybody.”I looked at him rather dubiously.”I don’t know,” I said with hesitation. “I’ve never done this before.””It’ll only take a second,” he persisted. “C’mon, just do it.”The blinds on the window were up, and as I bent down, I prayed the neighbors wouldn’t be able to see me.”There!” husband-head cried out with delight when I was done. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”He proceeded to dance a little jig of joy around the living room.”Now it’s my turn,” he announced.We were kissing a rock that husband-head had found while walking the dogs out on a trail earlier that evening.”It’s my own personal BLARNEY STONE!” husband-head said proudly, bringing his new rock into the house and placing it carefully on the fireplace mantel. “If you kiss the Blarney Stone, it will bring you good luck!”I’m not usually a big fan of making my home look like the site of an archaeological dig, but I had to admit it was a pretty cool rock. It was a pale green with a darker green pattern running all through it as if it had been hand-painted.Husband-head was delighted with his new toy, especially in light that St. Patrick’s Day – one his favorite holidays – was coming up.Having grown up in a large Irish family, husband-head comes by it honestly. The entire clan takes St. Patrick’s Day very seriously – starting the celebration first thing in the morning.”Uh, isn’t it a little early?” I asked husband-head at 7 a.m., peering into the Irish coffee that had been set in front of me as we gathered in his mother’s kitchen one year.”Well normally, yes,” husband-head agreed with a smile. “But it’s … ST. PATRICK’S DAY!”With that, the whole family let out a big whoop and toasted one another.And you wonder why these people claim to see leprechauns …Then they all boarded a rented bus that would take them to the annual St. Paddy’s Day parade and a slew of Irish bars.I don’t recall how many times everybody sang “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” but I do know that by the end of the day they couldn’t remember the words.”When Irish eyes can’t focus!” one guy slurred with a sloppy grin.Needless to say, Irish eyes were bloodshot the next morning …”So what are you going to do for St. Patrick’s Day this year?” I asked husband-head, knowing he was planning to take the day off from work in honor of the holiday.He was silent for a moment as he thought.”Please do not play pin-the-shamrock-on-the-cats’-butts like you did last year,” I warned. “They didn’t come home for four days afterwards.”The food coloring he put in the dogs’ water, which turned their teeth a nice shade of minty green for a week, wasn’t really funny, either.Nevertheless, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday celebrated, not only in Ireland, but throughout the world – mainly by those who just want to drink a lot of beer and pinch people who aren’t wearing green in the hinder.Of course, many of these people, including husband-head, are also big fans of the Green Bay Packers, so green is a staple in their wardrobe anyway.”So what does ‘Erin Go Bragh’ even mean?” I asked husband-head curiously. “It sounds like it’s short for ‘Erin … for the love of Pete – go put on a bra!””No, it means ‘Ireland Forever,'” he corrected me.”Then what’s up with the leprechaun thing?” I continued. “Please tell me you don’t believe in two-foot-tall little men who make shoes for the fairies.”Husband-head looked as if I’d just questioned the existence of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.”I’ll have you know, missy, that according to Irish legend, if you catch one, they have to tell you where they keep their pot of gold,” he said indignantly.And they accuse the Germans of drinking a lot …Later that evening I was turning the lights off in the house as we got ready to go to bed. As I walked by husband-head’s Blarney stone, I leaned down and kissed it again for good luck.I may not be Irish, but I’m married to one. And as they say, “when in Rome … “I Erin Go Bragh!Heidi Rice is a Rifle correspondent for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. Her column appears every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.Heidi Rice is a Rifle correspondent for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. Her column appears every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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