God Bargains with the Irish

Apparently it is astronomical fact that Easter will not come as early as this year again for more than 200 years. That should mean that it will be a long time before we see the peculiar bargaining around St. Patrick’s Day that we have witnessed this year.

Our local Roman Catholic Bishop, concerned that St. Patrick’s Day revelry would be unseemly during Holy Week, offered the faithful a bargain: forgo getting drunk for St. Patrick on Monday the 17th and, in exchange, eat meat with impunity on the 14th, a Lenten Friday. You can almost hear the voice of a grateful Irish parishioner, “‘Tis only me great love o’ the Lord Jaysus makin’ me get drunk of a Saturday night instead o’ waitin’ for the Monday.”

The religious connection gives me a whole new appreciation of the old Jimmy Buffet lyrics:

Cheeseburger is paradise.
Heaven on earth with an onion slice.
Not too particular, not too precise.
I’m just a cheeseburger in paradise.

But what would Jimmy do about St. Patrick’s Day this year? Well, as any Parrothead is likely to know, forgiveness can be had on Tuesday for what might be done without permission on Monday.

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