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Davis, California

Sunday, July 21, 2024

It’s not easy being green

St. Patrick’s Day is here. For a great many of you, tonight will be a night of drunken debauchery. But then again, this is college. Lots of occasions are marked by heavy drinking. Really special events, such as Picnic Day or Wednesdays.

St. Patrick’s Day for me, however, is not a day of merriment. There is no joy in wearing green. No joy in telling people, Yes this shirt is green. No, I already told you, it’s not turquoise. Don’t pinch me. I’m telling you, it’s green. Seriously, you’re color blind. Don’t pinch me! Owww! St. Patrick’s Day brings back painful (but not pinching-related) memories of the past. Cue the Wayne and Garth-style flashback.

The year was 1993. The Wayne’s World craze was sweeping the nation. Crystal Pepsi had been discontinued. I was 7 and in the first grade and eagerly awaiting St. Patrick’s Day.

School had been pretty weird during the days leading up to the holiday. When I arrived to class one morning, I was shocked to see my classroom completely ransacked. Chairs were flung across the floor. Those little cube things that you could connect that were supposed to teach you how to count were strewn across the desks. As all the kids helped to put the room back in order, we talked amongst ourselves. Who could have done such a terrible thing? Mrs. Ibsen had the answer: leprechauns. Those little bastards, my 7-year-old self thought.

I was sick on Mar. 17, so I missed school. I don’t remember what kind of bug I caught, but it was enough to keep me home. When I went back to school the next day my friends told me what I missed. Rachel, we went to the park and we saw leprechaun tracks. Leprechaun tracks, like footprints? There was physical proof of the existence of leprechauns and I missed it? Apparently, there was also some sort of living area set up, complete with leprechaun furniture and leprechaun gold. To the best of my knowledge, no one found leprechaun scat. I suppose there were leprechaun toilets located somewhere.

My friends consoled me. Don’t worry, Rachel. You can see the leprechaun tracks next year.

Second grade came. St. Patrick’s Day finally rolled around again. I made sure I wasn’t going to get sick that year. I arrived to class that day with great anticipation, my immune system super high charged to battle any evil antibodies. But did my class go to the park to see the leprechaun tracks? No. Apparently, only first graders got to make the pilgrimage. But there were leprechaun tracks in the park! A venture to such a site should be made every year, regardless of age. It’s a freaking wee Irish miracle, people! Why weren’t we going to see the leprechaun tracks?

In the third grade, my class was assigned to make leprechaun traps. My trap consisted of a green cardboard box with a metal washer covered in gold glitter hanging inside. The gold washer would entice the leprechaun to pull on it, thus closing the doors and trapping the leprechaun in the box. I made sure the leprechaun would be comfortable, however, by putting some of my Playmobil furniture in the trap.

We displayed our traps on our desks in the classroom. I kept wondering why we weren’t testing these bad boys out in known leprechaun infested areas. What good were leprechaun traps going to do in the classroom?

Even though I didn’t even believe in leprechauns in fourth grade, I was still bitter. And I remained bitter through junior high, through high school. I’m still bitter now that I’m in college. I know that it’s been 15 years and I should probably get over it, but I’m not going to. I’m stubborn like that.

I suppose I should drown my sorrows in some green beer.


RACHEL SKYTT wants to know about any leprechaun whereabouts in Davis. E-mail her at raskytt@ucdavis.edu.


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