Call Me Padraig

“Evenin’, Palladius.”

“Evenin’, Kevin.”

“What can I get for ye this sunny day?”

“Wusky, my dear.”

“The Jameson, I assume?”

“No indeed. Give me the Glenlivet.”

“Palladius! You don’t say so.”

“I just can’t take it anymore, Kevin. Not another gory day of it. Look at them all, out there on the streets of the heavenly city, drinking that green watery piss. It’s a bleedin’ abomination.”

“But surely. The Glenlivet?”

“Well, why not? What did the people of Ireland ever do for me? Packed away from Rome to convert those godawful Celts. Who was the first on the island, that bags of a show-off Patrick? No sir! It were me. Your man Palladius. I built three churches altogether in that bog Wicklow and what did I get for me troubles? Not one solitary disciple and then bang, off to Aberdeen (and did they know how to treat a man of the cloth with respect there? did they hell, but at least the food was good and they weren’t eager to kick me in the pants for trying to do a good deed). Two years later, that Syrian missionary-come-lately Succat strides into town and scoops up all the glory.”

“Sure and you’re not one to hold grudges, though, man.”

“I can’t help meself, Kevin! You know Patrick weren’t even Irish.”

“Well, nor are you, be fair.”

“But he was Welsh. You know how them boys are.”

“I still can’t believe you’d forsake the drop, though. The Irish make a fine tipple and no mistake. I can see how ye’d not celebrate the holiday…”

“Holiday hell! They can kiss me saintly arse.”

“…but there’s no point in being a poor sport about it.”

“Poor sport! Poor sport! His whole act, ye know…here’s my question: how is it done? The man’s a fraud from tip to toe, ye know that, don’t you? That whole hogwash about the snakes.”

“Oh aye. Don’t get me started on that. Patrick cudgels your man the blue-painted savage senseless and they change it in the book to snakes so they can make him the hero. But I toss one blonde baggage off a cliff for tryin’ to tempt me, and a bunch of troublemakin’ revisionists are calling me the patron saint of domestic violence.”

“He’s the patron saint of Nigeria, too, ye know.”

“No! Why’s that then?”

“He invented the e-mail scam!”

“Ye’re a bitter man, Palladius.”

“I canna be other, Kevin. I hate to see a man rise in station on the strength of some trumped-up miracles. You and me, we earned our canonization.”

“Oh, I’ve had me share of talking up by the auld official biographers.”

“Ye don’t say it.”

“I do. I didn’t live to be a hundred and twanny. I was sixty if I was a day. Bloody intestinal parasites.”

“Aye, they were a dark cloud even in the good times.”

“And I didn’t have an otter who caught salmon for me.”

“No?”

“No indeed. What I did was, I ate salmon and otters.”

“Aw, no one’s blamin’ ye, man. I suppose that story about the bird egg was a lot of smoke as well.”

“No, as it happens, that one is true.”

“Not really!”

“As I live and breathe. Well, as I used to live and breathe, anyway.”

“So a blackbird laid an egg in your hand and you just stood there not movin’ until it were hatched?”

“Oh aye.”

“But…but why, man?”

“Well, it was the fifth century, Palladius. There weren’t fuck all else to do.”

“There’s truth in that and no mistake. How about that Glenlivet?”

“I do believe I’ll join you.”

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