Friday, March 16, 2012

Fun Friday Facts #30: Leprechaun Edition

I've been doing a lot of holiday-themed Fun Friday Facts posts since around Halloween. I've been feeling some pressure to do this week's Fun Friday Facts on St. Patrick's Day, which is tomorrow, but I didn't want to, because St. Patrick wasn't even Irish, the f*cker. Besides, it's occurred to me that I'm going to have to think of actual ideas next year, since I will have used up all the good holidays. So you can wait another 12 months for your St. Patrick's Day FFF. Patience is a virtue.

As is sobriety.

I picked leprechauns at the insistence of Christina Majaski, who insists that they are real. I guess I can't prove they're not real, so there's that.

Additionally, a follower I shan't name hears they're great in the sack, which just goes to show that some truly crazy sh*t does indeed go down on Twitter.

1) Leprechauns are a protected species under European law. Ok, so I guess they are real. In March 2011, the European Union extended the protection of the European Habitats Directive to the Cooley Mountain region of Carlingford, County Louth. According to locals, the area is home to 236 leprechauns, the only leprechauns surviving in all of Ireland.

2) In 1989, local pub owner P.J. O'Hare was on the mountain, showing some property to a prospective buyer, when he heard a distressing scream. O'Hare hurried to the rescue, and found a suit of leprechaun clothes, complete with four gold coins, near a patch of scorched earth. He also discovered the mortal remains of the unfortunate and inexplicably nude leprechaun, which he (very respectfully) put on display in his pub, along with a small fiddle and a teeny tiny bottle of Guinness.

3) There are, apparently, no female leprechauns. Folklore is silent about their reproductive habits, although my followers on Twitter are certainly not.

4) Portland, Oregan, also has a leprechaun colony, at Mill Ends Park, billed as the smallest park in the world.

I can't see why. ~ atul666

Mill Ends Park was dedicated on 17 March 1948 as the “only leprechaun colony west of Ireland.” The city of Portland had planned to erect a light pole in the two-foot circle of median on SW Naito Parkway, but when they did not, Fagan planted flowers in the hole and called it Mill Ends Park after his column in the Oregon Journal. Fagan's office at the Journal offered an enviable view of the park.

Fagan claimed he had looked out the window one day and spied a leprechaun. He supposedly ran down to the street and captured it, whereupon it granted him a wish. Fagan wished for his very own park, and the leprechaun, granted him the very hole in which he made his home. The leprechaun then started making regular appearances in Fagan's column, for no reason at all.

"I'm not out of ideas, what makes you say that?"

Fagan passed away in 1969, but others stepped in to maintain his little park, which became an official Portland city park in 1976.

5) Fagan must have maintained eye contact with that leprechaun all the way down the stairwell, because, according to this website, the only way to catch a leprechaun is to look him right in the eyes. I guess it's hard to make eye contact with a two-foot-tall creature who's constantly dancing. They're believed to avoid humans, and some say only elderly leprechauns are ever captured, since they're not as quick as they once were.

6) Today's leprechauns dress in green and have red hair, because gingers have no souls. Samuel Lover's 1831 book “Legends and Stories of Ireland” describes leprechauns as small, elderly men who wear red suits and tri-corner hats.

According to Yeats, some leprechauns – those who loners who prefer solitude – wear red, while those who prefer the company of other leprechauns wear green.

I don't need anybody, just my gold.