To fully comprehend the story of St. Patrick, most people would have to watch the History Channel, or stare at one of those bulky things with the pages. I, on the other hand, am like a giant, ever-squozen sponge; with nary an effort do I soak up the prodigious amount of information constantly cascading from the cumulative clouds of our collective cultural consciousness. Being also the benevolent sort, I sometimes bother to distill what I have learned so that it may be appreciated by those less brainially inclined than myself.
It is for your edification that I hereby share what I have come to understand about the life of the person known to history as St. Patrick:
St. (a traditional Irish abbreviation for "Stanley") Patrick was a Druid leprechaun who, in ancient times, lived in medieval Ireland. As a young man, "Lucky P," as he would have been known to his friends if he'd had any, was a bony, balding gadabout, always doing magic tricks and charmingly scamming children out of their jewelry and morning meals. Though as a young man the decidedly dapper Stanley lived a life carefree enough, as he grew older he found himself increasingly distressed by his beloved town of Gakearnei Egrhhe o Kieaierainieau Blagraiehor e' Lehkrkhaerneyai nee' O'Ianietraneourenlochnegear-by-the-Bay being run over by green, alcoholic snakes.
"Tis the work of Beelzebub!" famously declared Stan. Though he only liked saying the name and had no idea who Beelzebub was, Patrick was one day nonetheless stirred to genuine action when a snake with an inner ear infection accidentally tangled itself up in one of the flamboyantly out-sized buckles of his patent-leather Pilgrim shoes.
"Aarrrrgh!" cried Stanley, frantically shaking his foot. (Aarrrgh is middle-Irish for "enough.") "I can't take it any more! I'm becoming a Christian!"
Incredibly, this was before the time of Christ. But his anachronistic spiritual galvanization gave Stanley the strength he needed to sit down upon a stone, carve a small flute out of a bigger flute, and on it begin to play "The Blarney Blues," an improvised song so hauntingly mellifluous that not one of the snakes anywhere near him could resist the urge to bare its fangs and attack him.
"Haarggh!" Stan cried, leaping up and heartily clicking his heels, since there was another snake stuck on his foot. "Always after me lucky feet! I know what I'll do. I'll walk briskly toward the gates of the town while continuing to play my flute. Surely all of the snakes will follow me, and we'll be rid of them!" So he did, and they did, and they were.
Today, of course, we remember St. Patrick as the man who led all the snakes out of Ireland, and straight into Africa -- which is why, in Africa today, it's still an insult to suggest a person "go pat" themselves. We associate the color green with St. Patrick because of how green with envy all his fellow Druid leprechaun pals were when they realized that while Stanley would become famous for playing music irresistible to creatures with no arms, legs, or ears, the best they could hope for was to be remembered for their proclivity for becoming stoned and unhinged.
Though of course you're unlikely to learn anything there more than I've taught you here, feel free to waste your time reading the Wikipedia page on St. Patrick. As for me, I will just stay here doing what I do best: absorbing.
If you think leprechauns would find this funny, you're mistaken. Read What Angry Leprechauns Do
Follow John Shore on Twitter: www.twitter.com/johnshore