I Would Have Helped, But . . .

I Would Have Helped, But . . .

tripping-hazardIt’s a phrase that I have said a few times in my life, and a phrase I have thought probably thousands of times. In my youth this this phrase was often shared when another siblings chores where introduced in the throes of playtime.

My brother and I would be playing and eventually Mom would call out, “Michael, go clean your room!”

Finally, after two or three more reminders, my brother would shy away from playing and head to his room. Yes, there was more than one time that my brother was called to clean his room when I wasn’t. This was a result of me shoving everything under my bed and then making my bed in a way that the top blanket hung low enough off the side of my bed to touch the floor, thus hiding the mess under my bed. That way there was no way Mom would see everything under my bed if she just walked in my room.

Of course, on more than one occasion, I was called to my room to clean my room properly thanks to her doing the unthinkable and actually setting foot in my room and pulling up the blanket to do a little motherly investigative research.

When my brother would arrive back, he always returned with the same question, “Why didn’t you help me.”

LegosTo which I always had to reply, “I would have helped, but I was playing Legos,” or the more direct and honest approach, “I would have helped, but I didn’t wanna.”

It was a statement that no adolescent boy could refute. There were plenty of times I asked him the same question followed by his usually verbatim reply.

I believe most everyone has used this phrase at some point in their life. For some it might even be a daily or hourly endeavor. Some reasons are valid, some are absolute rubbish, and some you just have to share with others, which brings me to yesterday.

I was at work, hanging out in my little back corner with the rest of my team. Most of us were enjoying our lunch. One team member was getting through some coaching and as the coaching session ended, the girl being coached got up to leave, but ended up getting her feet tangled in some headphone cords and tripped.

As far as trips go, it was epically uneventful. No screams, or bruises, or pulling anyone down with her trying to keep her balance, just a quick, “Ooof” and a half second later she was pushing herself up off the floor.

Then, piercing the silence that followed (we were waiting for her to let us know that she was okay) was the voice of my boss, Sorya, who had witnessed the whole thing.

29 sitting with hand in pocket“I would have helped, but . . . my hand was in my pocket.”

Everyone started to laugh. It was both one of the worst and absolute best “I would have helped, but . . .” reasons I’d ever heard in my entire life.

To his credit, he did mean something different. He was sitting down with a hand in one pocket. He tried to pull it out to give her a hand getting up, but because he was sitting down his hand was a little stuck. Also, the fall and getting back up happened so fast that he didn’t have much time to react. Still out of all the things he could have said he went with, “I would have helped, but my hand was in my pocket.”

I still giggle when I think about it.

He was so pleased about how well it was received he even asked if I’d make a Smirk out of it. I thought about telling him I wouldn’t be able to write about it since my hand was in my pocket, but I thought he’d earned it. It was a Sorya-ism worth sharing. One that I highly recommend using the next time you find yourself in a “I would have helped, but” moment.

So, what are some of your favorite “I would have helped, but . . .” responses? Either given or received.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: tripping, Legos, sitting with hand in pocket.

Copyright © 2013 Richard Timothy

Three Reasons why Not Wearing Pants makes you more Productive at Work

Three Reasons why Not Wearing Pants makes you more Productive at Work

I found this delightful little antidote the other day and shared it on my Facebook wall. I liked it because for me it was so resoundingly true every time I work at home. The clever observation was, “I worked from home the other day and got a lot of stuff done, which has led me to the conclusion that pants limit productivity.” I was going to leave it at that until a friendly, well, friend commented, “I hope there’s a smirk coming for this one.” In truth, up until I read that comment there was no… actually there was a Smirk in the works, it just wasn’t about that. However, thanks to Sarah’s comment, I gave it some thought …

Now I’m not sure why, but there seems to be the expectation that when you work from home, the last thing you put on is your pants, and that is usually around noon, but only if you are leaving the house for lunch. Otherwise, the pants get put on just before the misses gets home. This brings me to an interesting point, working at home without pants on is typically a male tradition, women prefer sweats or pajama bottoms instead, and since men are the pantless performers of the working from home stage, our only pant wearing requirement is at the curtain call at the end of the day, when the wife gets home.

Usually, it’s one of those things women don’t get, but men do. We really can’t describe why we get it and can’t comprehend for the life of us why women don’t. When we emerge triumphantly from our home office without any pants on after a fully productive day, women don’t care; they just shake their head and order us to, “Put on some pants.”

So why is it that I’m more productive when I’m not wearing pants? Here’s what I’ve come up…

Reason 1: A Cooler Self Increases Energy and Alertness
I am of the belief that when the temperature rises, my vigor and productivity wane. The warmer it gets the more I feel like I’m being wrapped up in a preheated blanket that has just been pulled out of the dryer, accompanied with the mental euphoria I get when eating a piece of fresh homemade bread that has just come out of the oven, which instantly begins melt the butter as soon as the butter touches it. See just the thought of that level of warmth gets me feeling a bit lethargic. Well that and makes me want to call my dad to see if he’s baked any of his homemade bread this week.

The warmer it gets the more I just want to nap out for a bit, and pants, they add insulation to the body’s natural thermostat, warming you up with fewer surfaces to vent out the constant heat your body is creating. Now let’s remove the pants… ah that’s much better. I’m not overheating at all. Actually, I’m cooling down quite nicely, which transforms me into being more awake and more energized, hence crating a higher level or productivity.

Reason 2: Physical Constriction Leads to Mental Constriction
According to my personal experience, when a part of the body is constricted that feeling transfers to the brain and then back to the entire body. If I am wearing jeans the natural outcome in the manner in which they fit around the body is to bunch up, either around the back of my knees when my legs are bent, or, and most commonly, around my unmentionables. I have to keep standing up and pulling my pant legs down to remove that uncomfortable restrictive feeling. The problem is that when you wear pants, even pants that fit perfectly or pants that are too baggy or too tight, the constant pulling up or down, or unbunching this or rearranging that, your body is very constricted, which translated into a restrictive work flow.

Remove the pants and you remove this anti-work block. If you remove the element that is hindering your ability to focus on your work, you become more focused on what you need to get done. Your mind isn’t constantly distracted from your work because something doesn’t feel right, or is simply uncomfortable. Removing the pants means reinforced focus to your work.

Reason 3: Pockets Lead to Distractions
Pockets hold distractions. Don’t get me wrong, they are very handy at the right time, in the right place, say like when you win at slots and all those coins start pouring out. The more pockets you have the more coins you can carry. However, when it comes to working, pockets seem to hold nothing but distractions. Cell phones for instance, a lot of people store them in their pocket or in little holsters attached to their pants, usually by means of a belt. Then the phone goes off people not only stop working, but it takes a while for them to readjust their entire body to be able to get access to their phone. This is a constant distraction from work for many, not just the phone, but the digging around for the phone in your pocket and then the rearranging of one’s seated working position to put the phone back.

Let’s take the phone out of the equation. I am a firm supporter of using the pocket function on my pants… I put things in them all the time. Just yesterday as I was at work I leaned back in my chair to stretch and my hands brushed against my front pockets and I felt a bump. I had put something in my pocket… what was it? Now I had to investigate… oh yeah my voice recorder. I have a little hand held voice recorder for ideas… Smirks, stories, funny thoughts, something I need to remember to do, and so on. I get some rather grand ideas when driving from time to time, and pulling over to jot them down or hoping I still remember them by the time I get home has proven to be a less than efficient way to keep those thoughts… that’s why the recorder.

Turns out I had three messages on the thing with no recollection as to what they might be. So clearly I had to distract myself from work long enough to listen to those messages. The first one was a success, because I had remembered to take the trash out. The other two were possible Smirk topics, which I made a note of. Now had I not been wearing pants I would not have had any pockets, and without pockets comes the lack of having things in pockets… long story long, the ability to get distracted is greatly reduced without pockets, and if you don’t wear pants you don’t have pockets and you remain more focused on your work.

Sure some people are going to suggest that the reason people get more done working at home is a result of few interruptions, but let me just point out that if you let people come to work without any pants on then people would interrupt you a lot less at work too… see, once again the “no pants” work ethic prevails.

I’m not saying these reasons are grounds for the business office attire standards around the world to change, but when it comes to working at home, these are pretty legitimate reasons for why I feel I’m more productive working without any pants on verses working at home with pants on… or working at work with pants on for that matter. I’m sure the same reasoning still applies; the only trouble is that if it became a standard some people would find the prospect of working in an office with a “pants optional” dress code a bit distracting. I would like to point out that if your gripe is that guys might go out of their way to distract a coworker that they fancy, pants aren’t going to make a lot of difference. You already know who those people are and they are already distracting the coworkers they fancy… ok thongs might be an issue, but that’s the reason for a dress code damn it.

It’s not a perfect science just yet, but I still believe there are some valid supporting points. If you are a supporter of the “no pants increases work productivity” work ethic I’d be curious to hear some of your reasons for increased productivity when you work from home pants free… or did I cover it well enough?

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: working at home in boxers, woman pointing, napping at work, phone in pocket, and no pants.

Dressing for the Success?

Dressing for the Success?

I do enjoy the ongoing and amusing observations about life, either of my own devising, or from others. Occasionally, someone will point out something about me that I’ve personally never thought about before. It’s usually something telling, but at the same time so obvious to me I never took any notice until it was pointed out. So here’s what happened…

It was a typical Tuesday morning, where I begrudgingly got out of bed for two key reasons; first, I needed to pee, and second, I had one of those things to get to… “a job” I believe most people call it. So, when I got out of the shower I was smelling of cucumbers and mint… clearly I’m not the one who purchases the body soap in our house, but I’ve got to say thanks to my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh for her affinity for smelly soap. My aroma has never been lovelier.

Soon I was robe wrapped and staring at my open closet wondering what to wear for work. All of my normal work clothes were waving to me from the dirty clothes hamper, and I have a rule about the dirty clothes hamper… once clothes go in they are not allowed out, unless, of course, it’s to take a bubble bath in the washing machine. That’s the thing about hampers… it’s that dark dirty place in the corner were foul odors go to mate.

Now I’m a firm believer that under average circumstances I can get at two to three wearing out of a shirt. That is if I don’t do anything in the shirt that turns it into a perspiration sponge, like going to the gym, shoveling out the driveway, chasing my niece around the house for an hour playing tag, I see no reason to condemn the shirt to the hamper. However, once an article of clothing touches the hamper it almost instantly becomes a playground for all the other smells already play in there. Smells like socks that have spend the day marinating in my old leather shoes, tee shirts ripe with the fragrance of days were I forgot to add deodorant to my pitters, well used sweat pants, and knickers… yep just knickers. We all know they smell; let’s just leave it at that. All those odors and more violate any clothing you add to the mix, making it entirely unwearable, unless of course you have a part time job as a homeless person and you feel it’s important to smell the part.

The point is when I arrived at work I was wearing a mostly wrinkleless burgundy colored polo shirt with some black dress pants, which I usually only wear when performing weddings, or some other occasion where Angela tells me I need to dress nice. When I got to work my office mate (yes the one in the ghost story) looked at my outfit and asked, “You going to a job interview today, Rich?”

“No, I just ran out of clean clothes.”

He started laughing and said, “You are the only person I know that dresses up when he’s out of clean clothes.”

I try to make a habit out of not arguing things that are irrevocably and universally true, so I just nodded in agreement. He was absolutely right; well, except for the random and rare event that our client is visiting, then I make sure I’m wearing my “out of clean clothes” outfit. However, I don’t think I’m the only one that does this. I’m just one of the supervisors that does this more often than all of the other supervisors at work. Besides, they all end up dressing like me on Friday anyway.

The whole thing got me thinking about the phrase, “Dress for Success.” I hear people talk about that all the time, but what does that mean? A successful what? If you’re a tattoo artist dressing for success you are going to dress entirely different than a banker who is dressing for success, or a professional wrestler who is dressing for success for that matter. I mean Gandhi was a success and look what he wore. Which bring me to this; I don’t think it’s the clothes that makes a person a success, it’s the person themselves.

Sure, in some instances you have to make sure the packaging looks good, and there are definitely times where you need to dress for the occasion. For example, no one wants to see you wearing a tuxedo at an 80’s themed party, unless, of course, it’s a tuxedo tee shirt. Also, if you are being knighted, you don’t show up in a long pajama shirt and matching hat. You wear that to your midnight book signing of your latest best seller… see Terry knows.

I guess the point is… just be you, and dress for the occasion. Oh yeah, and one last thing… for god’s sake please make sure you put on some pants before answering the door… because it’s the right thing to do, that’s why. Unless it’s a religious person proselytizing and you want a quick and easy way to get out of talking to them. Trust me, it works like a charm… they haven’t comeback in over a year now. I’m not saying I’m proud of what I did; I’m just saying it works.

So, what are your thoughts on this whole “dress for success” concept? I’d love to hear them.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: hobo, hamper, no pants, and Terry Pratchett.

An Ode to Haunting Conversations

An Ode to Haunting Conversations

I’ve have a friend and office mate, same person actually, who is exceptionally susceptible to anything supernatural, and is easily swayed in support of their ghostly existence. Left to his own devices he would be convinced that every image he came across on Google Images under the key words “ghost pictures,” would stand as irrevocable proof that the whole Earth is hunted. And even though it’s not on my list of job requirements, when he gets a little overly sensitive about the issue I’ll spend some time Googling these “images of proof” in hopes that his haunt-expecting persona will be able to let it go long enough to get back to what makes him, him… namely going off on obscure tangents that results in at least two people in the room reminding him to use his “inside voice”.

Of course he’s also terrified of midgets, or little people, as they prefer to be called… I’m not sure what that has to do with any of this, but it does give you a little back ground into his personality. I suppose if there was one thing on the planet that could put this guy into a fear coma it would be some sort of proof (fake or fact), such as a photo, Youtube video, Destination Truth episode, a blog post… anything really, which revealed that there was, in fact, a little person ghost out there maliciously haunting people. I wonder if it would overload his fear capacitor and he would become the next Evel Kinevel?

On more than one occasion it’s taken me about half a day to convince him that his house is not haunted and that he can go home again. To be fair these are the exceptions and not the rule. I’ve talked him though a code red on two separate occasions. He arrived at work determined that he would not set foot in his home ever again. By the end of the day his resiliency was worn down to the point that maybe he’d be willing to take a nap in the house just to make sure nothing was going on… but if something else happened, I had to promise to help him move. So far, he’s deferred hiring any moving vans.

I’d say that at least once a week we have a “ghostly” discussion. Here are a few actual conversations I’ve had with him:

  • All old houses are probably haunted, which is why he’ll only move into newly built houses, apartments, etc. He even had his realtor research to make sure his current home was not build on or near any old relocated cemeteries.
  • He wanted to know if I could help him find a Buddhist exorcist to get the spirit out of his house, which was making his dog freak out and bark at nothing. There were two spate occasions where a “ghost” had played hide and seek with his ring and then another time his watch… these were the code reds.
  • For a few weeks this year he sulked everyday because his friend had just moved into an old house, which He was sure was haunted, you know, because of how the house looked from the outside. Eventually, over time, he started to go over and visit, but he refused to be alone in house. If there were two people in a room, and he was one of them, and the other person got up to leave, he’d follow them out of that room.
  • If Ghost Hunters didn’t find anything and deemed a location as a “ghost free” zone, he was pretty sure they just didn’t try hard enough. And let’s not forget to mention the play-by-play of what happened on the Ghost Hunters episode he watched the night before.
  • He is certain most ghosts enjoy Christmas, and are traditionally in a better mood, which explains why there is always an abundance of positive energy surrounding the holiday season.
  • He wanted to know if I wanted to start a ghost hunting club. He’d been researching what type of equipment to buy and thought we could make some money catching ghosts. Eventually he admitted to drinking a lot and watching Ghostbusters the night before and that it seemed like a really good idea at the time. By the end of our conversation, he apologized.

I must admit that there has been a time or two… probably more… okay, definitely more, that I have taken part as the instigator. Telling him stories that people have told me, or sharing blog posts I have read, like a recent one about a child ghost playing with some little kid’s toys, which a friend of mine wrote about just this past week on his blog Atypical Read. It’s a pretty good story and worth checking it out… though please note, the author does have an affinity for using abrupt language that most people would consider “not safe for work”, unless you work at sea that is.

I’m not sure why I instigate it. Perhaps it’s my fascination with my seeing my friend light up and get so passionate about something so frightening to him… it so, well, brilliantly human. It’s oddly inspiring really… embracing what scares us, instead fleeing and hiding from the unknown. So, I’ve decided to start doing just that. At least once a week I will get my brain out its lazy boy and do something a little uncomfortable, scary even. I think my “ghost days” will be a good reminder of that. Today, I’ll be submitting a story to someone that may want to share it with others, or that may want to print it off and use it to start a fire that their children will use to make a batch of s’mores for a community bake sale to help earn some money to buy new pots and pans for a local soup kitchen… which is still pretty cool. Either way I’ll have done something that is a little scary for me sometimes. Still, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good day.

What would your first “ghost day” action be?

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: ghosts, haunted house, and poke a badger with a spoon.

When Scary Movies Break the Scary Movie Code

When Scary Movies Break the Scary Movie Code

I want to start off by saying I do not like scary movies. Suspense films? Sure, I can do those. What I am referring to are films of the horror genre, namely the slasher, serial killer, psychopath, lots of blood and gore type of films. For the record, there has been the occasional film that gets me to invite them over for a sit down and while we spend 90 to 120 minutes together. You know, things like Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, and, um… Ghost I guess.

When I was young I remember trying to watch the classics like Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and the camp site one… oh yeah, Friday the 13th. The problem was I just couldn’t get into them. It was even a scary movie that gave me had my first nightmare. Granted, I was 7 and the film was Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. The wolf man in the film scared the hell out of me. In my dream the wolf man kept trying to catch my mom and eat her. I woke up in tears and ran to my parent’s room to make sure she was in bed and ok. Just to be on the safe side I even spent the rest of the night in bed with my folks… damn you Abbot and Costello and your evil wolf man.

I did make ample my efforts in my teens and early twenties to watch and enjoy horror films. I got the watch part down, but I never got to the enjoy part. It just wasn’t a good fit. So I stopped trying to get to the enjoyment phase of the films and moved on the films I would enjoy. I still have a number of friends and a lot of co-workers that are have much love, devotion, and adoration to the genre that is the horror film. I have one friend that is so dedicated to the cause that almost his tattoo collection consists of creatures from the horror film genus.

He loves the gore and goo and splatter of red paint being thrown against walls. He also has an ever growing list of the best horror movie kills. I know one of his top ten kills was is from the 2005 release of House of Wax. It has two levels of satisfaction for him. The first was the simple gore factor involved in how the person was inhumed in the film. The second part of his appreciation comes from the fact that it was Paris Hilton who was the one meeting her demise.

I was originally not aware of this, but after hours of horror movie conversation I’ve learned that there are actually a number of factors involved for the horror minded to enjoy a horror film. Here is what I have picked up so far:

  • Rule 1. The film must be rated R. This reassures the fan that the film maker was willing to cater to the classic staples that make a horror flick a horror flick. This equates to graphic deaths scenes, lots of blood, and ample and consistent use of colorful metaphors, i.e. profanity, oh and a scene or two of your standard 10 to 21 year old nakedness.
  • Rule 2. The film must cater to the classic staples that make a horror flick a horror flick, namely graphic deaths, lots of blood, and ample and consistent use of colorful metaphors, and a scene or two of nakedness. I know this may seem a bit redundant, but for the record we are talking about horror films here and if there is one thing you can count on when it comes to horror films its redundancy. Think I’m kidding? Well then answer me this one little trivia question… How many Friday the 13th films are there? I don’t know either, but I imagine it’s somewhere in the 20s, with plans to make more.
  • Side note: Interestingly enough to the devout horror fan the “lots of blood” factor only seems to add to the comedy level of these types of film. It was explained to me that, “A lot of blood makes it funny because it’s so obvious that it’s fake. For myself, a lot of blood only grosses me out and wants to make me close my eyes.
  • Rule 3. The killer needs to be masked or have a deformed or scarred face… or both. I think this has to do with the “what does this crazy person look like” factor that keeps the viewer entranced throughout the film in hopes that the killer loses their mask at some point and you get a view of the crazy hiding behind the mask.

With all of that now explained, you can begin to understand my befuddlement when I walked into my office one morning to find my co-worker and office mate a touch grumbled because of a horror movie he had watched that weekend. The first thing he told me is that he had watched one of the scariest movies he’d seen in some time. Not sure what to do with the sudden lull in conversation I congratulated him. It seemed like the proper response to someone who was such an advocate of horror. I figure if someone that dedicated to watching scary movies can find something that scares them that would be a bit like that Charlie giving the everlasting gobstopper back to Willy Wonka, or Picasso painting something that wasn’t blue.

According to my own imagination, Picasso’s blue phase was a result of purchasing a year’s supply of paint from eBay and didn’t read closely enough to realize that the supply of paint only consisted of blue and white paint. This realization put Picasso into a deep depression, which he did paint his way though. Still, it wasn’t until he actually sold a blue painting that he was able to finally purchase a different colored paint and bring a little color and joy into his life. Yeah, I know. I really should have become an art history professor.

As it turned out my friend was bothered because the movie which had sucked him in and freaked him out was rated PG-13. To the devote horror fan a PG-13 horror movie is actually cinema blasphemy. The only feeling I can think of that would compare to this is that moment when you realize that all of your fame and hit songs as a recording artist are a result of 10 to 13 year old girls being in love with you. And in another year or two they will be burning everything they own that has your picture on it because of the immense embarrassment they will suffer at the realization that they were so into you. That’s right New Kids on the Block, I’m talking to you. You might want to call Miley Cyrus and tell her what to expect.

Yeah it was weird. For something so trivial it was kind of a big deal to the lad. He even admitted that had they changed nothing about the film and just given it an R rating he would have felt much better about the whole thing. The movie was 1408, and in a sentence, the film about a writer staying in an evil hotel room for the night. That’s really all I can give you about the film. Have I seen it? No. Will I? No. Do I recommend it to others? No idea. Does it have John Cusack in it? Yes, so that’s cool. And a bonus for all you Cusack fans… that like scary movies. I only bring it up because I did find it rather amusing that my friend, who is a horror movie aficionado and a zombie movie connoisseur, would be bother by being scared by a PG-13 movie. I tried to help by telling him if he really wanted a scary movie, try watching any of those Land Before Time cartoons. G rating aside, they are horrific.

I did offer to buy my friend a beer in hopes that it would help him feel better. It seemed to work. He had a Homer moment where he started smiling and then under his breath said, “Mmmmmm… beer.” It’s nice to have friends that are easy to shop for and who are always willing to improve their mood at the prospect of a free beer. And from what I’ve heard, beer makes almost every movie better.

Any thoughts on today’s Smirkiness?

Image Sources:
Google Images, key words: watching horror movies, Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein, rated r, Willy Wonka, and beer.

When Scary Movies Break the Scary Movie Code

St. Patrick’s Day… Irish? Your Choice.

It wasn’t until I was in college, the second time, that I made my first real Irish friend. I mean “Irish” Irish not some Irish mutt, which is made up when somewhere along the family tree there is a small branch or neighboring shrub associated to the tree. This equates to the individual being 1/28 Irish or something like that. This friend, let’s call her Jen, because, well, that’s her name, even though she always insisted that everyone call her Irish. So Jen and I use to always get in discussions about being Irish. Her stand was that because she was Irish she was better than everyone else. I took up the opposing view telling her, “Naut Uh!”

To which she would retort, “Does too.”
And then I would follow that up with the always reliable and irrefutable, “Does not.”

We would keep this up for a good three to five minutes, and then would be asked to pipe down by our teacher, threatening that they would take away our recess if we kept it up.

My perspective at the time is that national pride meant elitism. I thought, at the time, when you start expressing pride you begin segregating others. The goal of unity and people coming together would always go away when people would start advertising that people not of their heritage were lesser people. I use to blame the heritage for this segregation. Turns out it has nothing to do with heritage, but more to do with whether you’re a complete and total prat or not. I mean jerks are everywhere. It has nothing to do with where they come from. It’s a personality type that tries to make others feel inferior. It has nothing to do with where you or your ancestors are from. Usually, I think it’s just a matter of how you were raised.

I’ve been doing a little study on St. Patrick’s Day, turns out it started out as a Catholic holiday. Initially it was a one-day break during Lent, which included consuming a fair amount of alcohol. It wasn’t until the 1600s that the Catholic Church put it on their calendar to be an officially observed holy day.

Something I didn’t know is that on two separate occasions the Catholic Church changed the day of St. Patrick’s Day. Once in 1940, they moved it to April 3rd, to avoid having it with Palm Sunday, and again in 2008, when they moved it to March 15th because the 17th was during Holy Week. For the record though, the rest of the world still celebrated it on the 17th.

One of the things I get a kick out of in regards to St. Patrick’s Day is that it is much more inclusive than once thought. Sure, initially it was for St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland, but it’s evolved a bit over the 1000 years it’s been around. It’s true, the Irish have observed March 17th as a religious holiday for over 1000 years now… at least that’s what the History Channel told me. Personally, I’m going to trust the History Channel on this one. But today, St. Patrick’s Day has become a sort of an “everyone gets to be Irish if they want to be” day. On March 17th no one cares if you are Irish or not. You can even claim to be an honorary Irish on the 17th and everyone is pretty much fine with it, as long as you are wearing green and/or have a green colored beverage in a pint sized glass.

It’s also amazing to me how many people I have met that are not Irish in any way, but can claim Irish rights and heritage simply by being born on March 17th. Surprisingly, I’ve never met anyone who disagrees with this practice either. It’s really the only day I can think of that offers participators a choice of nationality. The day has sort of taken on its very own mythology in that regard. Personally, I think it’s kind of groovy.

That being said, there is one more thing I need to share, which I really could not pass up. It’s about what happened at work today, which on a plus note did not take place in the lavatory. It is about today’s division wide potluck. On occasion the department I work in and its sibling department plan an occasional potluck for the month’s token holiday. Meaning yes, we had a potluck planned for St. Patrick’s Day.

I even made sure that my donation to the pot luck was the color green. The thing is, it was guacamole green because I had signed up to bring guacamole to the potluck… the potluck was a nacho and taco bar. Yes, my work had a taco bar to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day. Isn’t that kind of like celebrating Thanksgiving with sushi, or New Years with just water, or, I don’t know, maybe St. Patrick’s Day with tacos? Even though the gesture was appreciated, I think it sort of missed the point. But in the event of a free lunch I’ve learned that people don’t really care if the food and holiday match. What really matters is that it’s free.

To make up for it I think we’re having Tai food tonight for dinner… don’t worry I’ll get some green food coloring to make it legit. Hey, Angela is craving Tai food and when that happens, even on St. Patrick’s Day, my job is to enjoy dinner with my wife. I’m neither Catholic nor Irish so I pretty sure that karmically I’m still good.

So Happy Irish-if-you-want-to-be Day to you all. I hope it’s been grand. Cheers.

What are your thoughts?

Image Sources:
Google Images, key words: St. Patrick’s Day, taco bar, jerk, History Channel, and good karma.