A magically delicious project
March 13, 2010
It’s a bad time for leprechauns. There are few government programs to assist them – even under a Democratic administration – and there is the whole green card issue. Sorry, I couldn’t resist a green card joke, the topic being leprechauns and all. I guess that lowers the humor bar considerably. Take my leprechaun – please.
Anyway, I have a certain esprit de corps with leprechauns, being an undersized person working for undersized wages. Like them, I’m way too lusty for my age – or any age, probably – and I’m prone to passing out beneath bridges semi-clothed. I’m sure I have leprechaun DNA – probably on my father’s side. For that, I thank my lucky charms.
In literature, it’s hard to get a good bead on the leprechaun psyche. Sometimes they seem tortured; other times they are portrayed as carefree pranksters with a taste for the grape.
This we know for sure: Animosity toward leprechauns dates centuries and probably followed a failed assassination attempt or some palace romp. Little people make the worst kings. So, in hindsight, it’s probably good that leprechauns don’t rule the world and have only a small presence in the U.S Senate (Joe Lieberman comes immediately to mind.
"Know what happens to leprechauns who lie?" the little guy asks.
"They become humans," he says.
Which brings us to his recent first-grade project, the leprechaun trap – due yesterday.
I’ve watched the kids bring them into the classroom all week. They seem to be gentle traps, most of them, as you might expect from pampered children with combed-cotton hair. One of the little angels did ask, however, why they couldn’t just bomb the leprechauns, seek them out in their hideaways and ka-BAAAAM!!!!! The obvious answer is that leprechauns never stay in the same place twice. In that sense, they are very much like out-of-work actors.
My son and I built our trap from things we found lying around the house – dirty laundry and more dirty laundry. There was vinyl piping that fell off one of the cars, so we incorporated that. And some sexy lingerie that my wife wouldn’t wear no matter what.
One of the nice things about marriage, or so I assumed, was that you didn’t have to pay for sex anymore – but that turns out to be so completely wrong. In the wife’s case, it has now come to the point where she’s paying me to leave her be. Fortunately, her funds will soon run out. Like by happy hour.
"With you, every hour is happy hour," I tell her, and she just rolls her eyes and spits up a little, not too much.
As with a marriage, communication is very important with leprechaun traps. In most cases, the kids’ traps feature trap doors with little signs that say "WELCOME ALL LEPRECHAUNS."
The little guy and I talked it over and he decided that we should play to the leprechauns’ desire to tresspass and pretend that societty’s rules apply only to everybody else.
"Pretend they’re seventh-graders," I suggested.
So we posted signs that read: "LEPRECHAUNS KEEP OUT" and "THESE GOLD DOUBLOONS ARE NOT FOR LEPRECHAUNS – BUT THEY WILL WORK IN VENDING MACHINES."
The sooner a first-grader learns about reverse psychology, the better.
We assembled the trap from a plan we found on the Internet. We find everything on the Internet now. If my wife were to be married today, she would buy her wedding dress over the Internet. Her groom too (her lone criteria: no one like me). And a nice happily-ever-after on a hill.
We found our Pinewood Derby design on the Internet. If yo’re not sure what a Pinewood Derby is, neither am I. It seems to involve small blocks of wood that Cub Scouts butcher into tiny race cars. The race invloves weigh-ins, heats and ribbon ceremories. It lasts longer than the Baja 1000. Roughly.
That was the way opening ceremories felt the other day, the big celebration marking the beginning of youth baseball and softball. This month is always rife with these activities, and you can spend all of March going from one one celebration to another to another.
That’s pretty much how we’ve spent the past week – baseball game, opening ceremories, Scouts. I don’t understand why other parents grumble about all this stuff, for I find every moment a pleasure. What else would I be doing, other than watching crummy award shows or gluing my fingers together during some more school projects. Forget your initial impression of me. I’m not really that cool.
By the way, our little leprechaun trap works like a dream. The little boy baited it with Thin Mints and a shot of Jameson Irish whiskey.
By morning, he’d caught his mom.
Don’t forget!! Two important events coming up:
Tonight is the time change for most of us, Wooo Hooo!!! Remember to spring forward. I know we lose an hour’s sleep but it means that Spring is right around the corner!
Also, the 17th is St. Patrick’s Day. That means Corned beef (I braise mine), baby carrots, baby potatoes and cabbage cooked just long enough so that it’s still green and crispy. Don’t forget the horesradish sauce and a variety of mustards. And if you’re really ambitious, Soda bread. Green beer?? Maybe! Still working on a dessert.
I hope you all are having a nice weekend!