Well, thank God that’s over for another year and thank God there wasn’t a camera there from RTE or Sugar Hill would be the laughing stock of the whole country. I’m talking about the St Patrick’s Day Parade. Peggy and Lourda are chief organisers and they just about fall out with the whole village over it every year. , Neither of them accept the fact that not everyone wants to dress up as leprechauns and St Patricks and pigs and daffodils. In fact, Sugar Hill must be the only parade where there are hardly any spectators because Peggy and Lourda have browbeaten everyone in the village into taking part in the parade itself.
She had Mick, Dolores’s husband and a right ignorant cabóg dressed up as St. Patrick. Needless to see, Mick, being the cabóg he is, had to have a few pints in the Singing Donkey before he could go out and march in the parade. So before ever we start off, we have a drunken St. Patrick making dirty jokes at the group behind him who just happen to be the Senior Citizens, all dressed up as Snow White and the seventeen Dwarves. Why seventeen I hear you ask in some perplexity? Well, there’s that number because all the senior citizens wanted to be part of the spectacle, no one would stand back so Peggy decides, willy nilly that seven or seventeen made no difference and that’s why the whole lot of the them are taking part and confusing the children who’re all asking their mothers why there are so many dwarves.
Then, Lourda, who is a walking nightmare when it comes to these things pronounces that they couldn’t say dwarves because it’s politically incorrect so it would have to be Snow White and the Little Lads. Well, the furore there was over that you had to hear to appreciate. Anyway, Lourda carried the day mainly because she’s as bould as brass with a neck like a swan. So there they are today behind Mick and the Pipe Band with a big fecking banner,SNOW WHITE AND THE LITTLE LADS making a total show of themselves and totally confusing the children.
Anyway, there’s that eejit Mick, leering at the seventeen dwarves and Dolores dressed as Madonna – no, I have no idea either of who came up with the idea of Madonna in the parade. I asked Peggy and she says shure, wasn’t the Madonna another name for Our Blessed Mother and she had as much right to be there as the dwarves. Jeez. At this stage, I could murder a Stella Artois. Behind the glowering Madonna who’s got goosepimples from the cold are the Singing Habits otherwise the five nuns from the convent singing Nearer my God to Thee so enthusiastically that they’re drowning out the warming up of the pipe band at the front of the parade.
Behind the nuns is what I can only describe as a farmyard, pigs, ducks, a small pony, two sheep and four pigs with a fat St Patrick swinging a staff so big it’s in danger of putting out someone’s eye. Apparently, all this is to symbolise the saint’s time up north with the pigs. It’s all symbolic apparently – Peggy just loves symbols. At this stage it’s simply bedlam because the pigs won’t lead nor drive and I could swing for Peggy. I mean, pigs and sheep and ponies on parade in the village, for Christ’s sake.
All the school children are dressed up as flowers, daffodils and roses and thankfully far better behaved than the pigs who are now trying to get in the door of O Leary’s butchers.( If they only knew, they’ll see the inside of that place soon enough, so they will) Peggy is in the parade as James Connolly with Lourda pushing her wheelchair. Peggy is just obsessed with the rebels who fought above in the GPO and never lets pass an opportunity to dress up as one of them. And no, before you even ask, James Connolly and his wheelchair and nurse have about as much right to be in the parade as Ghengis Khan.
I’m one of the few spectators because Peggy wants someone reliable to report back on what worked and didn’t work in the parade so that’s why I’m standing here like an óinseach with my two eyes glued to the parade. I can tell you the farmyard will have to go anyway for next year, they’ve the whole place taken over and are totally out of control. It reminds me of what’s his name, Frank Kelly and the Twelve days of Christmas. Jeez, how Peggy talks me into these things I’ll never know. I can tell you I can’t wait for the off so I can slip away and take a xanax and a stella artois, I’ve a thumping headache from the stress of it all.