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I have to admit it:  I’m not someone who gets deep into celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  I have no great desire to go to a parade, or drink green beer, or whatever else.  The one thing I will do, however, is wear green.  And I feel real pressure to do it.  Especially when I’m overseas.  Like the people in whatever country I’m in NEED to know that Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  Uh huh.

But this year, I did celebrate – albeit a week early.  My sister and brother-in-law (henceforth known as my BIL because I just do not feel like typing “brother-in-law” for the rest of this post) invited me to join them at a St. Paddy’s Day dinner hosted by their local Knights of Columbus chapter.  I heard that KofC knows how to party, so I decided to go.

I arrived a little past “fashionably late,” which was a problem because the diners had already worked their way through the buffet table.  I had no idea that senior citizens and cute little kids were so crazy about corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes, and salad.  Fortunately for me, they left me a few scraps.  More importantly, the bar had not run out of Guinness.

Brief story on my introduction to the wonders of Guinness.  When I was posted in Albania, I went to Ireland on vacation with some friends.  The day after we arrived in Dublin, my friend Dave and I decided to visit one of the local pubs and have a drink or two.  Seeing as we were in Ireland, we both ordered Guinness – draft, of course.  Now, I’m more of a wine-drinker than a beer-drinker, but I feel in love that afternoon.  I loved the dark flavor, the heaviness, the warmth of it.  That is one excellent beer.

What I learned upon returning to the States, however, is that Guinness out of a bottle or a can pales in comparison.  That stuff is just crap.  So I only drink it if it’s on tap.  Fortunately for me, the beer was on tap at this little shindig.

Back to our original programming.

The entertainment for the evening consisted of an Irish band and Irish dancers.  It was during the dance performance that I had an epiphany.  There is a north/south divide in our world that is demonstrated through dance.  Compare Irish dancing (north), in which the legs and feet move while the upper body remains stiff, to salsa or merengue (south), in which the entire body is engaged.  One is “cold,” the other “hot.”  One is controlled, the other fluid.

I’m not sure of the exact latitude that serves as the dividing line between “hot” and “cold” dancing, and I’m not trying to disparage Irish dancing or say that one dance is better than the other.  What I am saying is that I’m pretty sure there’s a way to solve all the world’s problems here.  Peace is just a dance step away.  What if Ahmadinejad danced with Merkel?  Or Lukashenko with Mandela?  Berlusconi with…okay, given his current legal problems, Berlusconi probably shouldn’t be dancing with anyone, but you get my drift.  Let’s get ’em all on “Dancing with the Stars!”  This could be horribly awesome or awesomely horrible.   Either way, I’m good.

Of course, I’d had a beer or two by the time I had this revelation, so….maybe not.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.

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