Let Shamus Be Shamus

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On that very same rainy day in Snowsville about an hour had passed since Skibootch pulled Father O’Doul and Mick to the end of the brass railed bar. McGuinty, face flushed and teeth clenched, forcefully confronted Skibootch with fire in his eyes. The bar became suddenly silent. All eyes focused on the unfolding confrontation. McGuinty’s face was the bright red of a summer sunset. Electricity crackled in the tense atmosphere. What now – was the question running through everyone’s head?

As fortune would have it, Father O’Doul was on the scene, and with the power of his office, was able to step in and open up a relief valve. He was able to release the accumulating steam by quickly reverting to his effective “change the subject” switch.

Being both loquacious and wise, he switched the runaway locomotive onto a quieter and more sheltered side track. O’Doul knew well the likes of his Irish cohorts and their fancy for all varieties of wondrous tales. Especially those of ancient Irish glory, and its accompanying fighting. He spoke out:

“So what’s in a name?”

“Very much and very little. It’s like night and day. It shines brightly and lights up all the beauty it touches, or it doesn’t shine at all, and no beauty, no matter how well-endowed can be seen at all. So then, it is not the name that matters, but the light we receive from it. That light is what brings out beauty for all to see. There’s no need for fighting over a name. We Irish are a peaceful people. So much so that we’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.

“There is an old monastery in Ireland that during the Dark Ages housed Monks who saved civilization when Rome was destroyed and devoured by barbarians. What civilization existed at that time, that is. The Monks laboriously copied ancient manuscripts that were rescued from the barbarians.”

Ironically, those Monks were descendants of another bunch of wild barbarians who tore up the beauty of Ireland until Patrick arrived from England and calmed them down. Not only did he calm them down, but he instilled in them a love of writing and preserving all that was good. Including, mind you, precious recipes for mead and stout. Where would we be without all those precious memories and treasures those toiling Monks restored.

“My guess is that we would be attending pinky fingers tea dances and church socials. Thank goodness for the Monks saving, not only civilization, but much more. The bases for this fine place of refreshment and rest, for one. Brother McGuinty is the inheritor of the best in the Irish tradition of drinking and storytelling. He is to be honored, not insulted or battered.

You like your wild, but devoted ancestors can do good. You can contribute. You even have the power to overcome your wildness and preserve saloons like McGuinty’s here. Just like the Monks did for their Monastery gardens and green hills. Ah, such a sight! Such a delight! Such a responsibility!”

“When that light doesn’t shine on those gardens and all is darkness, the spooks and spirits are given leave to appear in those same beautiful surroundings. They frighten children, and drive them away. Chaos reigns.

Worse that that people move away, and pubs close. No more stories. No more beer. No more good times.”

“Who wants that?”

Let’s rewrite the names we have for each other. As crazy as they might be, let’s find goodness in our names and stories. Let’s keep the stories coming. Let’s let bygones be bygones.”

“Let’s let Shamus be Shamus.”

“There’s no Shamus in that!!!shamrock