A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another St. Patrick’s Day is in the books and soon the green beer and corned beef and cabbage will disappear from the restaurants and bars of our little slice of America. It’s kind of amazing this nostalgia for the Emerald isle. It’s not a very big place with about six million people living there now and a land mass roughly equal to the state of Maine. About 40 million Americans claim Irish ancestry and on parade day in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre it seems that everyone regardless of heritage is wearing green. It also seems that some folks can’t get enough of things Irish and as someone once said, there’s a sucker born every day and one born to take him. So it should come as no surprise that the newest export from The Auld sod is, well, the old sod. Yes you can now buy bags of guaranteed Irish dirt. Four 12 ounce bags for $20 if you buy before the end of March and the vendors will include shamrock seeds. The website, officialirishdirt.com offers some possible uses for the bagged dirt. Make a centerpiece of cascading Shamrocks on your family table. Grow an Irish Rose for your sweetheart. Plant a tree in it to mark the birth of your child. Or scatter it over the casket or grave of a dearly departed loved one. According to an article in the New York Times a lawyer in Manhattan who is 87 and soon to go to whatever reward New York Lawyers go to has purchased $100,000 worth of the Irish dirt to fill in his grave. Another former native of Country cork now living in Massachusetts sent $148,000 American dollars to Ireland in return for seven tons of Irish dirt to spread under his newly constructed house so he could feel like he was at home in old Ireland. As amazing as this all is I think there is an important lesson for all of us here in Northeastern Pa. If The Irish can sell dirt we should certainly be able to sell culm, don’t you think? All we need to do is to develop some sort of story that the stuff left over after the coal mining operations is imbued with mystical healing powers. A bag full of culm will cure any disease and increase your manhood and bank account in equal proportions. We could export the mountains of slag a bagful at a time and make money in the process. Hey, it’s at least as believable as the idea that some guy in Nigeria wants to give you 60 millions dollars, right? Or then again I could be wrong.

1 comment:

Jim Rising said...

i suppose that shamrock seeds planted in Irish dirt are better than St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast, eh Nanook?