Kill me, I’m Irish.


A couple of Friday nights ago, I was made to sit down and watch that genealogy show, Who Do You Think You Are? After a few minutes of learning uninteresting things about Lionel Richie’s heritage and annoying my girlfriend with comments like “Holy cow, that’s a nice house. More like ‘Dancing on the Cathedral Ceiling,’ am I right?”, I crept off to the computer and started looking up my own family tree, which was more interesting because it was about me.

I turned up some interesting details — for example, that one of my great-great-great-great-grandfathers was a famed Cornish wrestling champion. But then my world collapsed. After a lifetime of boasting about how not a single drop of Irish blood polluted my body, I went back and looked at the 1881 Canada census, and there was great-great-great-grandpa Linn listed there. Birthplace: Ireland.

And yes, I did just write “Linn”. Apparently I’ve been spelling my name wrong my whole life.

All these years I’ve been calling the Irish a “filthy, subhuman race” and boasting about being a full-blooded white man. Now I have to take the “No Dogs or Irish” sign out of my window and take back everything I’ve ever said about that apelike race.

It’s not that I actually believe any of what I just said or that I actually have anything against the Irish. I just hate the conveniently Irish, the poseurs indigenous to North America who suddenly discover their supposed heritage just in time to have an excuse to drink green beer every year. I liked not being one of those guys. And here I am conveniently finding out my own Hibernian ancestry in early March, and here I now sit, already wearing a green shirt. Although I have been told that green is my colour. And now I know why.

I’ve finally gotten my comeuppance. Go ahead and mock me. Just now, my girlfriend’s father sent me a message to wish me and my people a Merry St. Patrick’s Day. Up until my humiliating discovery about my heritage, I said, I never would have called the Irish “people”. He agreed, but said that you can’t change your family or heritage. Sure you can, I say. All it takes is a time machine and a grandmother who likes to party. And the Irish do like to party.

2 Responses to “Kill me, I’m Irish.”

  1. 1 Alex

    I feel your pain brother (kinsman?). I die a little every time I think about sharing genetics with the slack-jawed yokels here in Baltimore that measure themselves as anything other than centuries-bred Americans.

    I used to rent a house from one such doofus who went the whole shillelagh. He played Irish folk music (badly), bought every Flogging Molly album, drank only Jameson, which, if you don’t know, tastes like a frothy mixture of whiskey and dishwater. I won $20 off of him when I bet that he couldn’t name a single Irish city and he answered ‘Liverpool’. When you can’t name Dublin off the top of your head, you ain’t Irish.

    Around here I’ve noticed that the Italians are far worse about this kind of thing. My girlfriend’s grandfather takes to long rants about the Italian food always being sub par in the restaurants around town, and I’ll egg him on by saying, ‘Oh tell us Pop, how did they use to make it back in Tuscany?’ My girlfriend gets mad about it, but if you’ve never been more than 30 miles from where you were born maybe shouldn’t talk about the old country.

  2. 2 Schroeder

    Every year around St. Patty’s, I break out my “Fuck you, I’m Scottish” t-shirt.

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