I like stories which are a wild ride to the dark side – bloody, darkly humorous, irreverent and populated by anti-heroes who were once or never were human. One of my recent finds was John L. Monk’s novel Kick, about suicide Dan Jenkins whose after-life job is to return from the dead and hijack criminals’ bodies, and make sure they reap their just rewards. He gets to be alive again – albeit in another’s body – and if in the course of administering justice he clears out their bank accounts, spends their money and lives in luxury, so much the better. Each successful performance earns him the right to return and do it all over again to another who needs retribution. I enjoyed the novel so much, I tracked down John on his Facebook page and website, and made his acquaintance.
What has this to do with St. Patrick’s Day? Nothing. But . . . .
I discovered John has an offbeat sense of humor I can appreciate. With his permission, and in honor of Saint Pat, here is John’s illuminating blog post which divulges the real reason for St. Patrick’s Day.
THE WAR BETWEEN IRELAND AND THE UNITED STATES.
Many years ago, before I made my millions as an independent author, I wrote freelance history for one of the largest history clearinghouses in Spokane Rhode Island. The details aren’t important, but what I’m about to say is. Shortly before my breakthrough novel, “Kick”, while pouring through dusty old tomes and ledgers, I came across a little known episode in American history which has since been hushed up: in 1897, Ireland declared war on the United States.
The president at the time was William McKinley. Now, as everyone knows, McKinley was one of the least warmongering of the U.S. presidents, and had a kindly disposition in all things except one: everyone knew to never, ever ever, interrupt him during breakfast. The staff in the White House had even placed a sign outside the presidential dining room, reading, “Do Not Interrupt Breakfast.”
One day (a terrible day which will live in infamy), President McKinley was eating breakfast and “minding his own business” as the press reported it, when, out of nowhere, a tiny little man in a green outfit popped up — as if by magic — and stole his Lucky Charms.
The documents reveal an angry, vengeful president who immediately sent warships to blockade the small island. Back then, Ireland was mostly cut off from the Western World. What little trade they had with anyone was centered around shamrock production — until McKinley, in his rage, had the farms destroyed in a series of devastating night raids.
The furious Irish people invaded the U.S. through a magical rainbow that spanned from Belfast to Fort Knox. Millions of angry, red-headed Irishmen poured through, slashing and butchering their way towards Washington. McKinley was terrified. He sent his best troops down — only to have them captured and left tied and gagged on the side of the road wearing hilarious green hats (years later, these “green berets” would learn brawling tactics from the Irish and become a mighty fighting force, but that’s another story).
When the mob got to Washington, the angriest Irishman with the reddest hair banged on the White House door, and yelled, “Come out of there you son of a bitch! You’re gonna pay for what you did to my sister’s shamrock farm!”
What happened after has been mostly lost to history. Rumor has it McKinley was made to hand over a generous weight in gold from Fort Knox. Whatever the truth of that, there can be no doubt he was forced to declare March 17th a holiday, so that we Americans will never forget the destruction of all those shamrock farms.”
So there you have it, the truth about St. Patrick’s Day, compliments of John L. Monk. I don’t know about you, but it made me think .