My Favorite St. Patrick's Day Story Ever


On St. Patrick's Day 2004, Courtney and I were on vacation in New York.  We hadn't intentionally planned our trip to coincide with St. Patrick's, but this was when Courtney was still teaching Head Start, so it was her spring break.  The morning that we left Lubbock, we found out that Courtney was pregnant with Blake (although of course at that point we had no idea if it was a boy or girl, let alone that he would be named Blake).

(As an aside, this also led to one of our best friends in the world knowing about the pregnancy before either my parents or Courtney's did - something I have never told any of them.  We had decided to wait until after our trip to tell them.  Chris Blake was living in NYC at the time, and we met him and some other friends for dinner, a dinner at which Courtney was conspicuously the only one not drinking wine, which led to questions, which led to us spilling the beans because we couldn't hold it in any longer.)

Knowing a baby was on the way made us much less interested in souvenirs for ourselves - there was a baby to shop for!  I even went a little overboard and bought a silver rattle/teething ring from Tiffany & Co.  On St. Patrick's Day we watched part of the parade, since the route went right past our hotel, and then tried to spend the rest of the day away from all of the tumult.  That evening found us in the Toys R Us in Times Square, where we decided to get a Statue of Liberty teddy bear for the baby.

Now, I don't know if you know this, but thousands of Irish citizens travel to NYC for St. Patrick's Day.  That doesn't entirely make sense to me.  I mean, the parade and surrounding celebrations are a lot of fun, but it seems like leaving Ireland for St. Patrick's Day is akin to celebrating Mardi Gras by leaving New Orleans or observing the Hajj by leaving Mecca.  Anyway, we were at Toys R Us, second in line at the Build-A-Bear workshop, right behind a couple from Ireland.  The man was very drunk.  A friendly, charming drunk, but still: very drunk.  (For the next part of the story to be funnier, please imagine everything he says in a big Irish brogue with heavily rolled R's.)

At the Build-A-Bear workshop, there are these little felt tokens with words like "Love" or "Courage" on them.  The man picked one up, moved it back and forth a bit until his eyes could focus on it, and then asked the girl who worked there, "What's this all about, then?"  She told him, "You choose one to put inside of your bear, so that it will be filled with Love or Courage!"

Without missing a beat, he tossed the token back into the bin, leaned forward and roared, "CAN'T I JUST GET ME BEAR FILLED WITH RRRRRAGE?!?"


Springer said...

That's a great story. Happy St. Patty's Day, my friend.

Ali said...

it IS funnier when you read it with an irish brogue.

and, fyi? i think your parents know about you telling your friends about blake first now. (don't worry, dude, it was a hard lesson for me to learn, too: that other people actually can READ and UNDERSTAND the words i put on my blog. it's ok. you'll get the hang of it. ;)

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