Monday, October 10, 2011

Green Ireland

By Douglas Hackle

I went to grade school with this kid named Seamus O’Malley. Seamus’s family had emigrated from Ireland to the US in the middle of first grade. All year round Seamus wore green clothes, shamrock brooches, and pins proclaiming “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” and “Luck o’ the Irish” and the like. And although he was required to take it off in the classroom, Seamus wore a green leprechaun bowler hat at recess every day.

Every St. Patrick’s day, however, the one day on the calendar when everybody else came to school wearing green and shamrock pins, Seamus would show up in black or gray or blue—anything but green. It was the one day in the year the kid did not rock the shamrocks.

Our sixth grade teacher, Ms. Hartindale, asked him about this on St. Patrick’s Day that year. “But why wouldn’t you want to display your national pride on today of all days, Seamus?”

“I have no national pride,” he answered. “The only reason I wear green all year round is because my insane parents make me. They’re also still upset that the Irish government forced us into exile, and they think if we wear green clothes and shamrocks all the time we might obtain clemency and be invited back to the country. On St. Patrick’s Day, I sneak non-green clothes into my book bag and then change into them after I leave my house so my parents won’t see. I do this as an act of rebellion against them and my former homeland.”

“What do you mean your family was exiled from Ireland?” Ms. Hartindale pressed him.

“We were kicked out of the country because we’re human,” Seamus replied. “You see, virtually everyone in Ireland is a leprechaun. And if you’re an Irish citizen and you’re not a leprechaun, it’s only a matter of time before the leprechauns kick you out of the country.”

“Why, that’s preposterous,” the matronly schoolteacher said. “Please pay no regard to Mr. O’Malley’s wild imagination, children,” she said addressing the class.

“But it’s true!” Seamus protested, fat tears springing to his eyes.

“Mr. O’Malley, that’ll be quite enough! One more word on the subject and you’ll go straight to the principal’s office.”

Ours was a private school, and the tuition was outrageous. One of the perks of paying that hefty tuition, however, was that the field trips were typically much better than those provided by more modestly funded centers of learning. For example, instead of going to the stupid zoo or the fucking retarded art museum that year, we took a weeklong field trip to Ireland.

Near the end of our long transatlantic flight to the Emerald Isle, Ms. Hartindale stood up to address us, a haughty smile playing on her thin lips. “We’ll soon be landing in Dublin, children. And we shall see for ourselves if everyone in Ireland is indeed a leprechaun.” All the kids started laughing. Even me. All except for Seamus, who sat dwarfed by his big airplane seat, arms crossed, his face as sour as a near-dead, suffocating ass-hamster.

After landing, we disembarked the plane only to be accosted by a welcoming party of laughing, whooping, singing, real, honest-to-goodness, greenskinned leprechauns who lifted us all up into the air and carried us through the airport like we’d just won the World Cup.

Ms. Hartindale passed out from sheer terror.

The leprechauns carried us outside, where a St. Patrick’s Day parade was happening even though it was November. (As it turns out, every day in Ireland is St. Patrick’s Day.) Everyone in Dublin was a leprechaun—diminutive, pointy-eared, red-haired, skin green as grass. They were all drunk, guzzling pints of Guinness or fifths of Jameson as they sang and danced and fucked and fought and mourned. Those without pints or fifths were drinking McDonalds Shamrock Shakes spiked with whiskey. Music and stepdancing were everywhere, in the streets, on the rooftops. At every street corner one loud song bled into a new one—from a fluty Celtic folk tune to “Danny Boy” to “Jump Around” by House of Pain to “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2.

Many leprechauns dropped their britches right there in the middle of the streets to shit and piss, but it didn’t smell bad because they all shit Lucky Charms (the actual cereal!) and pissed perfectly drinkable green beer. Even their semen was green and minty-flavored when they ejaculated on each other, like a mint jelly. There were even Provisional IRA leprechauns wearing black ski masks, armed to the teeth with AK-47s and grenades. And that demonic leprechaun from Leprechaun in the Hood was there too, no doubt up to his no-good shenanigans. All the lady leprechauns had big boobs, and rainbows were everywhere—rainbows with great, big iron pots at their ends where cute little leprechaun children played and swam in pools of lustrous gold coins.

Because of her general bad attitude, the leprechauns slaughtered Ms. Hartindale and processed her into corned beef.

After a fun-filled week of seven consecutive St. Patrick’s Days, the leprechauns informed us that we did not have to go back: we could stay and live in Ireland forever because parliament had just amended the country’s naturalization and citizenship laws. But to stay, we’d have to get every inch of our bodies tattooed green—even our privates. Also, we’d have to have the lower halves of our legs amputated and capped with prosthetic feet to shrink us down to the height of the general populace.

Seamus and I were the only ones to accept the offer. He called his folks to pass on the good news about the new laws, and they returned to their homeland posthaste.

All four of us were tattooed completely green and underwent the height readjustment surgery. Now I live with Seamus and his family in Ireland. His parents adopted me.

By the way, my name is Shanice. I used to be an American black girl.

Now I’m a motherfuckin’ green Irish leprechaun!!!


BIO: Douglas Hackle writes fictions that are bizarre, darkly humorous, horrific, veiny, vainglorious, stupid or some combination thereof. His stories have [vein poppet] appeared in several online and print publications. Douglas resides in Northeast Ohio with his wife and little boy, and he’s not exactly sure how that blasted vein poppet be gettin' all up in his bio n' shit.

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