“Ah, but it isn’t,” said St Patrick. “It just looks like clover. I call it shamrock, from the Irish ‘Shiom Róg‘.”
“And what does that mean, in Irish?”
“Well, clover,” admitted St Patrick.
“And you reckon we can sell this?”
“Yes, why not? It‘s a little piece of Ireland.”
Sean looked around him at, well, an awful lot of Ireland. “Er,” he began.
“Oh, I’m not going to sell it here,” snorted St Patrick. “I’m going to sell it, no, market it abroad.”
“Why, are there countries that don’t have weeds?”
“No, I’m going to sell it to the Irish abroad, when they leave here.”
“Leave? Where are they going?”
St Patrick waved a hand around at the grey, rain-swept March countryside. “Anywhere, I’d imagine. They‘ll go to (Editor‘s note: Please ignore the anachronisticism of the rest of this sentence, along with the fact that anachronisticism is not a word) London, Australia, New York, places like that. And while they’re away they’ll miss the old country.”
“Seriously? The one they’ve just left?”
“Of course. Far away hills are always greener.”
“That’s because they’re covered in feckin’ clover,” muttered Sean. Aloud he said “Anyway, you reckon these people will miss Ireland so much that they’ll buy this shamrock stuff. And what will they do with it?”
“Er, they’ll wear it,” said St Patrick, who hadn’t fully thought it through. He brightened. “Yes, they’ll wear it, a big clump of it on their chest, to let everyone around them know they’re Irish. Oh, and giant Leprechaun hats as well.”
“That they’ll buy from the giant Leprechauns, I suppose.”
“No, from us,” said St Patrick, not an expert on sarcasm. “And on one day a year they’ll meet to celebrate their Irishness, and (here a far away look came into St Patrick’s eye) they’ll drink green drinks, and wear T-shirts with “Kiss Me I’m Irish” on them, and sing songs about Ireland, and Google will change its masthead for the day (“huh?” thought Sean) and they’ll have such fun that the next year everyone will want to pretend to be Irish and will buy all the
shite souvenirs as well.”
Sean sighed to himself. This was going to be like the snakes, he reckoned. St Patrick had gathered up every snake in Ireland, convinced that people would buy them for a range of uses such as rope, or washing-lines, or belts. The trouble was, anyone who’d been bitten by their own belt was unlikely to want to repeat the experience, and sales had quickly fallen, along with lots of pairs of trousers. They’d ended up having to give the whole lot away, free, to Medusa, who was experimenting with a new hairstyle.
“And what will they call this one day a year? Ireland Day?”
There may be a Patron Saint of Humility. St Patrick wasn’t it.
“They’ll call it St Patrick’s Day,” he said.
(PS. And he was right about Google, by the way).