Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Bumping at night

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“From ghosties and ghoulies, and long leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night, may the Good Lord protect us.” – Old Scottish prayer. I have never thought of the Scots as superstitious folk, but they are cautious. The “long leggedy beasties” bit has me confused. Are we talking about giraffes? I do not recall hearing anything about herds of giraffes nightly bumping around the Highlands of Scotland.
We Irish, on the other hand, are as superstitious as you can get. As a matter of fact we thoroughly enjoy being that way. All Hallow’s Eve is an Irish festival. Originally called ‘Samhain’ (pronounced ‘sah-win’, go figure,) It was a harvest festival combined with a night when the other worldly creatures came to this earthly plane. It was complete with masks, bonfires and, I suspect, whiskey.
Saint Patrick tried to get the Irish to quit this celebration and got the 5th Century equivalent of, “Don’t hold your breath”. So Paddy and the boys worked out a deal. They could have their feile (pronounced ‘fesh’ see what I mean), but change the name to All Hallow’s Eve i.e. the night before All Saint’s Day, November 1st.
I am seriously into the ‘ghosties’ portion of the prayer. I used to share an apartment with a ghost. I named him Murray since it is not a very threatening name. He made his presence felt by constantly hiding my glasses. He also had a nasty habit of changing my radio station setting.
On Friday nights I would be listening to classic music on the local NPR station. It is low on the FM dial. As it turns out Murray was a big fan of the local high school football team. As I was sitting there the station changed to the game which was broadcast on a high side AM station. I swear that is true, after all it was in Savannah where ghosts abound.
I have no idea how the pumpkin became a symbol of the holiday. All you see is pumpkin bread, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin blintzes, ad nauseam. Were I to be standing next to a mountain of pumpkins I would starve to death. I would sooner eat a cannonball painted orange.
I had a tough time figuring out what I was going to dress the Kilkenny Brothers this Halloween. I finally decided to dress them as congressmen. That should be more then enough to scare the daylights out of anybody. Unfortunately the boys went on “shutdown” and that ended that idea. Instead, I made them little kitty size placards and they went out as ‘Tea Partiers’. Not a good idea in a mostly liberal neighborhood. They came back covered with wet pumpkin seeds.
(By the way, my birthday is November 2nd. All Soul’s Day or in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos, ‘Day of the Dead’, that is a little uncomfortable. Anyway if you are thinking of a gift an automobile or a large stack of $100s would be nice.) © 2013, Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

October 31, 2013 at 4:42 p10

Posted in Americana, Humor

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