MARCH 20, 2019


So anyway. The rain let up for a bit, with grumbling skies yielding to splashes of sunshine. The Japanese plums are blossoming all over the place and the parkinglot of Mariner Square is redolent with cherry blossoms.

The night fell on St. Patrick's Day as the Supermoon arose in glory, occasionally obscured by cloudwrack. In the Old Same Place Bar Padraic and Dawn whipped up the Gaelic Coffees, which are so-called by Padraic because, according to his opinion, no "daycent lad of the auld sod" would ever concoct such a travesty upon the usce-que-bah, the Water of Life. It is known that the beverage consisting of whiskey, coffee, brown sugar, whipped cream (horrors!) and other ingredients was designed first in America and Padraic is fine with that story.

As usual, Suzie was made to wear a green miniskirt and a cap and the entire joint roistered with great enthusiasm as the jukebox cranked out Van Morrison, Luka Bloom, U2, the Pogues, Damien Rice, and the like.

All was going great and there was no fear of the Angry Elf gang showing up for all the grief they suffered in past years trying to threaten and abuse the gentle people, but it came late and a rock was thrown against the window, breaking the glass, followed by the evil ound of The Cackler as they sped off in the small time Napoleon's red Miata. This caused some dismay as Suzie and Dawn bent to work to sweep up the shattered glass and offer words of consolation and a drink on the House to Latreena Brown who got some of it in her hair.

It was then the door opened and the wind appeared. The candles blew then disappeared. The curtains flew then He appeared, saying "Don't be afraid."

It was He, the Wee Man returned again.

Then he observed the broken glass and said with a stern voice, "What's all this then?"

Padraic shook in his boots and Dawn and Suzie clutched the hems of their skirts.

"Its only a few vandals, omadhauens throwing stones," Padraic said, lapsing into his Western accent. "We are daycent folk and we're wantin' na' throuble."

"I believe you," said the Wee Man. "Carry on." He waved to Dawn and Suzie with their broom and scoop. He then strode up to the bar and climbed up upon the stool and ordered a Guinness and a shot and a Fat Tire while waiting for the Guinness to stack.

This is the proper way to order a Guinness for a Guinness is good for you and it takes time for a Guinness to properly stack in the glass when done right and proper.

When the Wee Man had his glass at last he made his pronouncements, swiping his sleeve across his frothy mustache.

What did he look like? For a start he wore a twill newsboy cap on a head of bright red hair. Red, too was his full beard and cobalt blue his eyes. He wore a green checked waistcoat which sported a gold chain that went into the side pocket and green checked pants. And on his feet a set of green suede brogans with tassels and toe tips that curled up and about in a merry way. He stood all of three feet in height.

The Wee Man downed his shot of Jamison's with satisfaction and produced a small derringer pistol which he discharged into the ceiling without so much as looking before putting the weapon away into his waistcoat. A bit of faery dust rained down and everyone remained quiet.

As to what the Wee Man really was, besides himself all day, which most of us can claim at nearly the same rate, the matter was open to speculation and never-ending discussion. Some say he came from the Spanish Armada that sank off the coast and others say he was of the legendary Firbolg that harried the ancient Romans loose from the Emerald Isle thousands of years before. Some say despite his stature he was related to the mythic giant Finn ni Cuchulain, Finn McCool, whose body extended the length of Howth, and that his apparent manifest physical size was merely a kind of trick, and some say that he was of the tribe of the Bann Sé that howl about the chimneys at night and cause the tree branches to toss about and wave by way of their long hair as they fly among the trees and so therefore a sort of faery, but with some disreputable attributions, including cigar smoking and farting.

"I have been to the Post Office," said the Wee Man.

"Not the Post Office of 1916," said Padraic.

"Nao," said the Wee Man. Well, yes I was there in 1916 and I did what I could, saving the lads from the cannons, without being able to save them from English hangman's nooses afterwards, but I mean the Post Office down the way where I recently spied a brace of omadhauens in a red Miata."

"The Angry Elf gang!" Everyone exclaimed.

"If you know about these nasty people, why do you not do anything about them?" The Wee Man said reasonably.

"We are afraid of them," people said. "And the police do nothing."

"Good people you need to learn that someone has power over you only if you give it to them. If you refuse to empower evil people, the reverse is true. And I will now show you just as I showed the Pakhistanis who once feared the powerful General Muschariff."

The Wee Man picked up the rock on the floor and threw it out of the open doorway, saying, "Come here!"

A wobbling Brian Kring wandered through the door, holding the rock and rubbing his noggin which now sported a lump, exclaiming, "G--d d---m! I was just at the Fireside Lounge!"

"Lie down!" commanded the Wee Man.

"Wahh!" And Kring was compelled to lie face down on the floor.

"And now Nasty Narita," commanded the Wee Man. He again threw the rock out the door and crooked his finger and a dazed Asian woman came through the door, holding the rock. "Lie down!" commanded the Wee Man. The woman fell heavily to the floor, scattering dozens of keys.

"My keys!" Narita shrieked. "My precious keys!"

"Yes the keys you used to sneak into poor people's apartments and rob them," said the Wee Man. "Now your power is all gone, spread across the floor."

"Now you, evil spirit of rumor, spreading lies about people and injuring reputations and spreading fear through threats," the Wee Man said. "Extortion, theft, threats, rock throwing, and destruction of reputation. Come here now, I command you!" With that, the Wee Man hurled the rock through the open door again.

Next the Cackler reeled through the door and was made to lay down on the beer-soaked tiles.

"I wish I could bring the Angry Elf here now, but he is so evil that it would be destructive," said the Wee Man. "But I assure you all that I will make him sorry."

The Wee Man then began to walk across the backs of the gang who lay there on the floor, causing much anguish.

"You who have caused so much pain to others, complaining now about my light step that serves to fix your posture," said the Wee Man, " Have only yourselves to blame. You hurt people and laughed at their pain, and so how do you feel now? Are you not sorry for your misdeeds?"

"Ow! Oww! Ow!" said Kring and the Cackler while Narita groped in vain for her keys, weeping.

The Wee Man stood with one foot on Kring and one on the Cackler with his fists balled up on his hips, looking down. O he was fierce! "I command you three to leave and never come back to bother these people again with your homegrown terrorism." He then got off of them and caused them to get up and wander out the door as the rock bounced mysteriously from one head to the other, propelling them out just as it started to rain again. Thunk, thunk, thunk, went the rock no matter how much they tried to avoid it.

"Well," said the Wee Man. "I see my work here is done for the nonce. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of the just suffereth violence, and the violent shall bear it away upon themselves."

With that the Wee Man climbed up upon a stool, clapped his hands once and there was a brilliant flash of light, followed by the room being thrust into darkness. Padraic ran to the back to flip the breakers by flashlight and the warm barlight returned. All the candles had magically relit and many gasped to peer past their waistbands.

"O for Pete's sake," said Dawn. "The Wee Man has once again transformed me knickers!"

Suzie turned very red and pressed down her skirt.

"The man's a soddin' pervert!" Padraic said. "But I am grateful he fixed the window." Indeed it was true. The broken glass had been replaced.

Knowing what happened each St. Patrick's day, Padraic had prepared for the eventuality and so he went to the restroom armed witih a new package of boxer shorts from Macy's, returning to drop a nearly transparent, green thong upon the bar. Pimenta Strife sidled up to the Man from Minot and said, "Wanna see what I am wearing?"

When everyone had calmed down. Suzie returned to her place behind the bar with her Anthropology book. It was a dark night on an Island that knows how to keep its secrets, but in the Old Same Place Bar there sat one bartender pondering Life's Persistent Questions. . . .

The sound of the train horn keened from Oaktown across the estuary and wended its way through the redwoods of Marin's well-matriculated hills and slid over the sleeping bulk of Princess Tamalpais following the old, forgotten railbeds that once led along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the coast, stirring the coyotes who began to howl their evensong which carried forth on the winds over Fairfax and White's Hill, ululating through Silvan Acres and the mist-shrouded niches of the San Geronimo Valley, coursing with faint gray shapes along the ridgetops through the drifts of fog to an unknown destination.