So, it’s March 17th, aka St Patrick’s Day. Ross Keen has been mulling on the subject & has come up with some decidedly tongue in cheek facts for you.

My Grandad would have been 81 tomorrow but he died too young because no-one knew the dangers of smoking. I never got to play or run around with him but he was still a fantastic man & a man who helped shape me. He looked like Harry Hill with hair (in a good way). But it really makes you wonder “what if some modern things and amenities that we have now are potentially deadly”? I’m writing this from my laptop – what if it’s poisoning me? What if hair gel makes your hair fall out (like Harry Hill but in a bad way)? Asbestos, smoking & the thalidomide pill were all wonderful when they came out – it was only later we found out how deadly they were. Even Daffodils, which are in my top 10 flowers of the noughties, have poisonous bulbs. To quote Welsh Poet RS Thomas, ‘Even the clearest of water, if deep enough, can drown.’ All of those thoughts just from remembering it is St. Patrick’s Day.  Personally, I can’t wait for St. George’s day when mere racial abuse will suffice.

So anyway, here are some St. Patrick’s Day facts.

St. Patrick’s Day was invented in 1996 by Louis Walsh to help publicise BoyZone. The music mogul Simon Cowell originally loved the idea until he realised it wasn’t actually St. Fat Pricks day. He went out with Sinitta once though so nobody noticed.

Every year a different ‘Patrick’ is chosen to turn the St. Patricks day lights on in Dublin. This year it is Patrick from Eastenders. It is perhaps surprising that he hasn’t had the job before because he looks like a pint of Guinness.

Patrick Stewart still believes to this day that it is a celebration of his conception. He is always campaigning against it being held in March and Ireland (he was conceived, of course, in England in December in a Wimpy Bar). Patrick Stewart also has two birthdays however so he is seldom taken seriously.

The real IRA always took the day off on St. Paddy’s day to celebrate Irishness. The fake IRA conversely always stepped up their efforts and in successive years launched several not real attacks on British targets, including the assassination of Sherlock Holmes and the bombing of Narnia.

In Chile annual celebrations used to include creating a 40 foot slightly chubby Bono and eating dog food. It got slightly lost in translation and resulted in several cases of dysentry (a move which spawned the album ‘The Unforgettable Fire’). The Irish band themselves took it to heart when they found out and felt incredibly guilty. It left Bono distraught and standing on The Edge.

And all these facts are definitely true; I double checked to be sure…

All word by Ross Keen. Ross has just published his first e-book, Plateau. A synopsis of it & one of Ross’s short stories can be found found here. You can also find more of Ross’s writing on Louder Than War at his author’s archive here.

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