Now that Saint Patrick’s Day is done , and I’ve pretty much held my tongue about four-leaf clovers presented as shamrocks , I now will state my irritation , gather my gripe into print . This is one of those pet- peeves perhaps best kept to oneself . But , hey , this is my blog and I get to put whatever I want in here . No one says you have to read it . ( Not too many do , anyway , of course , so the world will , most likely , not be shaken off of it’s foundations with one complaining post now and again ) . So here goes .
The straw that broke this blogger’s back is a photo in today’s LA TIMES , page B1 . A bearded guy is wearing large silly sun glasses which the caption identifies as ” shamrock glasses ” . They’re not . Not . LA TIMES should know better , I think . The glasses are four-leaf clovers . Shamrocks don’t have four leaves .
I won’t blame the newspaper , though , for this ignorance . At what point does an error become part of the going truth , the modern culture , a socially approved item , a matter of fact ? For years that cereal , Lucky Charms , touted some stereo-typically idiotic leprechaun holding a four-leaf clover . At least they weren’t calling the thing a shamrock . But , the blending of reality was already infecting life as evidenced by Lucky Charms . Why a leprechaun ? You see what I mean ? Leprechauns may have shamrocks . At least they come from a land of shamrocks . And they are associated with luck , I suppose . Thinking of pots-of-gold , and all that . But , somewhere along the line , they became associated with four-leaf clovers .
Don’t get me wrong . That’s all fine . Four-leaf clovers are associated with good luck . Also , as I’ve said , leprechauns are associated with good luck [ I won’t mention in this post all of the bad luck and mischief they also cause ] . But , please , don’t confuse four-leaf clovers with shamrocks . That’s just wrong .
Every Saint Patrick’s Day , without fail , out come the four-leaf clovers ! An Irish symbol ? Ada has a bowl of special St. Paddy’s Day cookies out on the table , all glazed with green sprinkles and four leaves . They’re good cookies , but the four leaf stuff for St. Patrick’s Day is just wrong .
Okay , if you know the clear distinction between three-leaf shamrocks and four-leaf good luck clovers , then good . But , in all honesty , it’s a difficult distinction when , every cartoon leprechaun now seems to hold a four-leaf clover . The unconscious association is made , and the culture is corrupted .
I will admit that I haven’t researched all of this . Maybe ancient ‘chauns held four-leaf clovers . Maybe four-leaves have always been their thing . But four-leaves have become tied securely to Saint Patrick’s Day . As I’ve suggested , I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s green beer day with complaints . But , again , here goes .
As any Catholic school kid from the old days could tell you , one of the things Bishop Pat did in those ancient days , is to teach the concept of the holy trinity by holding up a shamrock . The difficult three-in-one idea of the holy trinity was thus made clear in the minds of those old pagan Celts . Ah ! Three -parts -in -one ! Like shamrocks !
So , there’s Saint Patrick now in store windows surrounded by four-leaf clovers . Could he have taught the trinity using four-leaf good-luck charms ? Now , let all of this mull around in your mind for a moment .
I haven’t taken this peeve far enough to be able yet to present strategies to deal with this situation . So far I am just pointing out what should be , but I believe isn’t , the obvious . If it doesn’t matter to you , fine . Go on and let one thing blend into another . But , it’s the beginning of the blandification of society , my friend . It’s giving in , and it’s happening already in all sorts of areas of life , by the way . All I can say is : beware . Think it over . [Those good luck charms won’t help either , by the way , because you’d have to find one in a garden or in a field . Cheap sun-glasses , cereal , green cookies , etc. ,just won’t cut it , I’m afraid . You’d better re-read the good luck rules ] .