Memphis knows how to throw a party (or something) for St. Pat

catechismNo doubt some will cite this as evidence that my Ménière’s has reached the point at which I need a hearing aid.

But in my defense, my wife was out in the hallway when she said this, and I was in the bathroom with the exhaust fan running — although the door, I admit, was open.

Anyway, she had come upstairs to tell me that her youngest brother was on his way to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Memphis (my wife’s family, the Phelans, are real Irish Catholics, not pretenders like me), and that he had told her something alarming about that parade.

She said the people on the floats throw catechisms to the crowd.

At least, I thought that’s what she said. I considered it a bit odd — most such parades aren’t that, shall we say, holy — but nevertheless arguably appropriate, since St. Patrick converted the heathen Irish to Christianity.

Then my wife said something odder. She said she thought that sounded “dangerous.” I reflected that maybe so, if they were hardbacks. But they could throw paperbacks, and maybe there are some abridged, pocket-sized versions…

Then she said other things that made me wonder. I asked her to repeat the first thing she’d said.cabbage

This time, I thought she said they were throwing “catechists,” and that did sound dangerous. If you go throwing people, religious education teachers, off of floats, someone could get hurt.

But something about this version sounded even more suspicious, so I finally asked her directly whether she had indeed said they were throwing catechisms or catechists.

She roared with laughter at this point (which frankly I don’t think is the kindest way to deal with my affliction). She had been saying, “cabbages.” They were throwing cabbages from the floats.

Yeah, OK. That could be dangerous.

You can stop laughing now…

Look out! What's that they're throwing? The St. Patrick's Day parade on Beale Street.

Look out! What’s that they’re throwing? The St. Patrick’s Day parade on Beale Street.

15 thoughts on “Memphis knows how to throw a party (or something) for St. Pat

      1. Claus2

        I wouldn’t say that, I think I read it on a gun forum where someone asked about moving to Memphis and people made comments about the high crime rate in Memphis.

        I guess someone could throw race into it, just as they would all of the shootings in Columbia… what percentage of the gun violence in the Midlands over the past month has been white people shooting others? Everything I’ve seen has been black on black crime… so if that’s racist comment then I guess your assumption would be correct. I’m assuming Mogadishu is also primarily black on black crime… correct me if I’m wrong.

        1. Claus2

          The steady violence in the downtown Columbia area could label it as Columbidishu or Little Bogota. Weekly shootings, last night I received an alert for another assault. The State’s continuing report of how dangerous the 5-Points area is. What do all these suspects have in common? It’s not the Amish rolling into town. Or would that be considered profiling?

        2. Claus2

          I read one comment today that called Columbia “Columbiaistan”. Should I call out the person as a racist?

      2. Richard

        I don’t know, from the looks of the picture Brad posted it doesn’t look like there are any black people in Memphis… either that or they weren’t allowed to attend the parade.

        1. Bart

          Taking into consideration that Ireland has around 1.3% of the population identifying as black, why would anyone question why the photo is showing only white skinned people? In other words, Ireland is not known for black immigrants to the United States or to any other country. It is one of the whitest countries on the planet.

          Just an observation.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            It depends on what you mean by “black.”

            The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once and say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud.

          2. Claus2

            That’d be a valid excuse if that picture had been taken in Ireland and not Memphis. Or are you suggesting only immigrants from a country come out to celebrate parades.

            1. Bart

              Other than you, who thought or said anything about my comment being an excuse? It was a statement of fact. But taking into account the source,…….nm.

              Considering the very simple fact most people are able to grasp, St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish tradition and even though it celebrated internationally, participants are predominantly white and parades have a mostly white participation. Otherwise the photo would have at least one or two black faces in it. With me so far? Now, if the occasion had been a Kwanzaa celebration, the crowd would have been mostly black because Kwanzaa is a recently developed celebration by and for African-Americans and is a by-product of the original celebration dating back several centuries by Africans.

              Now can you tell me when was the last time you attended a Kwanzaa event? If you have photos, it would be nice to see them and if you do have them and post them in a reply on this blog and I will retract my comment.


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