Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I discovered a rotten banana in the cat food container about a year ago. The children threw their hands up. “We don’t know anything about it, Mom.” My husband scratched his head. “Sure beats me.” The cats lack opposable thumbs, so I knew they were innocent. At the time I explained away finding the banana in a sealed plastic tub by accusing gorillas in our midst of planning to take over the world. For a year I felt safe as long as I didn’t spot long hairy arms or spy large primates swinging from tree to tree.
Then something happened to shatter my false sense of security.
While gathering outdated magazines, newspapers, and other objects to be tossed, I came across a long brown paper bag, the kind used to cover an elongated bottle of spirits. Since we don’t indulge, my curiosity was piqued. I peered inside and found a receipt dated five months ago. Stranger still, it came from the WSLCB store on NE 78th Way in Vancouver, Washington. The receipt further declares that “Terri thanks you.”
It’s slight less than 2,500 miles between my house and Seattle, so this paper bag didn’t just waft in on the autumn breeze and land in my living room. Of course, no one in the family knows anything about the bag or the receipt. It’s doubtful any of them traveled 5,000 miles roundtrip to purchase a fifth of whiskey given all the liquor stores in close proximity to our house. I can’t see anyone in my family starting off as a teetotaler then making the leap to Irish whiskey right out of the chute.
Now I fear a leprechaun is behind this mysterious receipt.
It makes sense. We all know leprechauns hide pots of gold at the end of rainbows, and they have an affinity for Irish whiskey. Legend says if a person is lucky enough to see and then capture a wee, six-inch-tall leprechaun – a Herculean task in itself – the small creature is beholden to grant a wish, up to and including revealing where his gold is hidden. A little-known secret is that he may buy you off with a gold piece to release him. As soon as he’s free, your coin will turn to dust. How tricky leprechauns are!
To further complicate matters, the species is split into two distinct groups, the leprechaun and the cluricaun. Leprechauns are shoemakers and guardians of ancient treasure. Cluricauns are for lack of a kinder word, thieves. They will steal or borrow nearly anything under cover of darkness. One source I checked said they raid wine cellars and larders. I wonder if a cluricaun went to the liquor store in Vancouver and gave Terri a magic gold piece for the fifth of whiskey, knowing all the while the coin would turn to dust as soon as he left? Even worse, these leprechaun cousins sometimes harness domestic animals and ride them throughout the countryside at night. Makes me wonder if perhaps our poor hamster Henry’s untimely death resulted from one too many midnight rides at the reins of a cluricaun.
This could explain several family mysteries. We could blame Henry’s death on the cluricaun(s). The reason we can’t find our keys? A cluricaun took them. The disappearance of the children’s homework, pencils, odd socks, and even that one pair of tennis shoes are all understandable once we realize there are evil leprechauns. Same with the pizza box discovered under the living room chair last year, and the chicken bones found behind the sofa that no one admitted knowing about.
I feel a bit guilty blaming everything on the cluricaun and I still have my doubts. But what better explanation than a cluricaun traveled 2,500 miles, lugging his fifth of Irish whiskey, so he could wreck havoc in my home?
Sure explains all the blarney around here.