Thursday, March 15, 2007

Oh My Gawd!

So I'm on vacation...Spring Break, if you like, and I'm spending some quality time with some neglected friends. One such friend, an older, wiser woman than myself called and said, "Hey, let's drink some dinner," to which I obligingly answered, "I'm there...grabbing the keys now and heading out the door." Actually, we made plans for about 6:00pm. About 5ish, she calls me back and says that she invited a friend from work, if I didn't mind. Now how could I mind? She'd already invited her.

I arrived at the fine dining experience that is Chili's promptly at 6 and joined my friend, JoMo, in the bar area. We are having a drink and trying our best to fend off the overly attentive waitress because we are waiting on JoMo's friend, who'll we'll call C-Bag. After 45 minutes of chips and salsa that was working vigorously to absorb my two G&Ts, C-Bag arrives. She breezes over with no apology, no explanation, and promptly sits down and orders SoCo and lime. Not a lightweight's drink, I think, so I decide to withhold judgment. Then...she speaks. Turns out C-Bag is from New Yawk...a Yankee, if you will, and she's definitely got that raspy whiskey voice. And she is HILARIOUS! Since I spent a few years in NYC and NJ, we have a lot to talk about. Of course, she has some great stories, and every one of them is peppered with, "Oh My Gawd...," rather colorful profanities, and raucous laughter that I attribute to her Italian heritage and Rochester upbringing. I think she scared the waitress, but she did attract the attention of people at the bar. So they started to buy us drinks and before I knew it, it was going on 10pm. Now, I'm 36, so I'm no geriatric, but C-Bag is in her late 50s. I swear, when I left, she was on her 8th SoCo and lime and still going strong. As it was, I was praying all the way home that I wouldn't get pulled over and have to blow..I'd only had three drinks, wasn't feeling even buzzed, but I was certain that while I could easily pass the field sobriety test, the breath test might be another story. Ok, now cut to 1am and I get a phone call. It's C-Bag (mind you, I just met her), and she's asking me to come downtown to bail her out of jail! No, this isn't a made up story. I gave her my business card earlier in the conversation because she has a daughter who is a teacher and is looking for a job. Anyway, I digress. So, here's a transcript of the phone call (remember that I have a southern accent, and she's got a definite NY accent):

SB: (groggily) Hello?

CB: SB? Did I wake you up?

SB: Mother? Is that you?

CB: No, it's C-Bag, JoMo's friend...from Chili's?

SB: What time is it? Did I leave something at the restaurant?

CB: No dawling, I need a favor. Are you awake now?

SB: Oh..hey C-Bag. Is everything okay? Did y'all need me to come and get you?

CB: No dear, I'm not at Chili's...I'm at the GPD and need someone to come and bail me out. I can't reach my husband (under breath: "that good for nuthin' mutha..), and they won't let me bail myself out unless I stay here 4 hours.

SB: How long ya been there?

CB: 'Bout an hour, dear. I can't reach my dawrter or her husband or JoMo, and I sawer I had your cahd, so...

SB: You want me to come to the police station and bail you out? What'd you do?

CB: The bastards say I'm over the limit.

SB: The speed limit? You have to double the speed limit before they will take you to jail! How fast were you going?

CB: No dear, the alcohol drive. Your a real blonde, eh? he he he

SB: Um...okay. Let me get dressed...I'll be there in about half an hour. Don't go anywhere!

CB: Hah! You ain't kiddin' me! And can you be a sweetheart and pick me up some smokes on the way? Benson and Hedges Lites. Thank yous, dear. I'll be right here.

I got up, threw on some clothes, my glasses (breaking my rule of never being seen outside of my own house in them), and drove to the police station. I got to the jail and talked to the night sergeant who looked very peeved (or was it relieved? not sure). I asked him why she got pulled over, and he told me that the arresting officer didn't really pull her over but caught her on the side of the road (he named a busy road here) squatting, taking a piss. When he came up on her, she just turned her head and asked him if he hand any toilet paper (in my head I heard, "Oh my gawd!")! This of course led to the FSB and BT, which she evidently scored low and high. We got her all squared away and collected her belongings. I won't even go into the hell she raised when they told her that her car was impounded. So, we are walking back to my car in silence, so I think she is probably embarrassed. WRONG. She writes me a check for the bail and the cigarettes, and turns to me and says, "Oh my Gawd! Boy, am I eva' glad I met yous tonight! I mighta been late to work!" At this point, I'm speechless. This woman is a definite force of nature, and I'm just holding on to the pipes. I drop her at her house, tell her to take it easy, and am now home recounting this story for any who happen to drop by. I'm having a bit of trouble getting back to sleep because every time I close my eyes, the voice in my head keeps saying, "Oh My Gawd!"

Hope I'm not called to testify at her DWI trial, but I think it's pretty much a definite that she ended up on dashboard camera.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I Heart St. Patrick

So it's March, and we are fast approaching the glory that is St. Patrick's Day. So, as I always do for this time of year, I share with the masses the story of St. Patrick. After all, I'm a good Irish Catholic girl, aren't I? Enjoy!

A 'Lil St. Patrick's Day History

We celebrate Saint Patrick's Day each year on March 17th. The festive holiday has everyone wearing green (so they don't get pinched) and chatting of four leaf clovers, shamrocks, lucky leprechauns, and kissing some big rock called a blarney stone....and don't forget that green beer, laddie! Does it all sound a bit strange? It did to me too but after a bit of research it all made sense. Here's what I found out:

Did you know that Saint Patrick's name at birth was Maewyn Succat? He was born somewhere near the end of the fourth century and took on the name Patrick or Patricus, after he became a priest, much later in his life. At the age of sixteen Maewyn Succat was kidnapped from his native land of Britain, by a band pirates, and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for solace. After six long years of slavery he escaped to the northern coast of Gaul.

In Gaul, Maewyn became Patrick (a more christian name) and studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for twelve years. He came to believe that it was his calling to convert the pagans of Ireland to Christianity. St. Palladius was appointed to go to Ireland first but transferred to Scotland two years later opening up the door for Patrick. Patrick was about sixty years old when he arrived in Ireland and it is said that he had a winning personality that helped him win converts. He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, to help explain the concept of the Trinity (father, son, holy spirit).

Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries and setting up schools and churches to aid in converting the Irish country to Christianity. Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Evidently, they all went into the sea and drowned. The snake is a pagan symbol and perhaps this is a figurative tale explaining that he drove paganism out of Ireland.

Patrick's mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. He then retired to County Down and died on March 17 in 461 AD. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. The first year St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in this country was 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts. As the saying goes, on this day "everybody is Irish!" Over 100 U.S. cities now hold Saint Patrick's Day parades.

Here's ya a lil history behind some famous Irish symbols:

The Shamrock
St. Patrick used the shamrock leaf to symbolize the Trinity, and today many people wear a shamrock to commemorate Saint Patrick's Day.

The Blarney Stone
So what's all this talk of kissing the Blarney Stone?
Blarney Castle is located in County Cork, Ireland. Built in 1446 by Cormac Laidhim McCarthy (Lord of Muskerry) the Blarney stone is located in the southern tower wall between the main castle wall and the parapet. In order to kiss the stone one has to lie on their back and bend backward (and downward), holding iron bars for support. It is said that the Blarney stone has magical properties. As legend has it an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly.

Just what does a Leprechaun look like and why are they so special? A Leprechaun (Irish fairy) looks like a little old man. He's about 2 feet tall and dresses like a shoemaker with a cocked hat and leather apron. A Leprechaun's personality is described as aloof and unfriendly. They live alone and pass the time by making shoes. They're special because they also possess a hidden pot of gold. If you listen closely for the sound of their hammer you might be able to capture one. If you do you can force him (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal where he's hidden his treasure. Be careful! Do not take your eyes off him for if you do he will surely vanish and your hopes of finding his treasure will vanish with him.

So why do we all wear green (other than because it's just so pretty)?
Probably because you'll be pinched if you don't! School children started this tradition. Green is also the color of spring, the shamrock and is connected with hope and nature.

The Luck of the Irish
Well now, you have to be Irish for that now, don't you?

In honor of the festivities I leave you with this Irish blessing: May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow and may trouble avoid you wherever you go! St. Patrick's is always full of good cheer, so shut up already and get me a beer!

(You can kiss me...I'm Irish!)