Monday, March 19, 2012

When Irish Eyes are Smiling: An Essay on a Morn in Spring

St. Patrick’s Day. It was the top of the morning and the fuzzy sun was making a feeble attempt to shine through the bisque colored sky. I decided my luck-of-the-Irish tog to be the usual martinet of very polished black books, Vegas blue jeans, a starchy long-sleeved white shirt, and in sycophantic fashion, I donned a green and white tam to entreat any of the hoi polloi who claimed even but a dram of Irish in their blood.

Here are some footers from my Chaucerian Parade on St. Paddy’s Day - none of them claimed to be Irish!

Is it okay if we take your picture with me? asked a juicy colleen. (Forgive my middle-age lechery.) I must confess I quite enjoyed the momentary canoodle as her female companion began clicking the camera, while we posed. And for whatever narcissistic reasons, I seem to bask in these Kodak moments of monetary reward and imagined celebrity.

A zaftig cyclist clothed in Amish fashion, hood-over-the-head, long black skirt, plain light top, states matter-of-factly that I ought to join musical forces with some busking guitarist at some liquor store. That way, you’ll not have split the income, she sniped, her head turned back toward me while she peddled away.

A non-versant hector, a middle-aged fat guy wearing torn and soiled sweats and a New York Yankees cap just stood and disconcertingly stared. Eventually, while shaking his head in what seemed to be disgust, he walked away.

An older gentleman, tall and distinguished, asked to play my banjitar. I’ve been playing banjo for thirty years, he says. I allowed him some strums of some undecipherable chords for about a minute. Not as easy as it looks, he said (with a smile).

Two dressed alike little girls ask if they can give me money, after which their dad gives me even more money.

An elderly lady and her middle-age daughter did a jig on the sidewalk to my thrumming.

A little boy, five years old perhaps, bounced to my tunes while his mother, who was in a laughing fit, dragged him to the car.

A man wrapped in denim shirt and jeans, complete with cowboy boots and hat, stopped to chat about his guitar and banjo collection.

To close, just a wee bit o’ Irish blarney and comfort for you buskers, Bartley and Bradan and Sean and Seamus, and Shannon and Sinead and Molly and Maeve, when you're green with envy of those flamboyant folks who are to be tossin’ greenery in your direction:

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at who He gives it to!

1 comment:

  1. I would like to quote you on that if I could?

    One could use it is credit card company advertisement. On Saint Patrick day anywhere; when you’re buying those 5 dollar green beers and when you need to throw down 5 in a hat listening to some good tunes. Irish accent "If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at who He gives it to!" Priceless! For everything else there is (insert name of credit card here)