St. Patrick's Day/Basketball

March 17, 2006

Sing today, as loud as you can:

He must have been An emperor, a sultan, or a king And his praises we shall always sing Just look what he has done for us, He's given us lots of cheer Long live Charlie Mops, The man who invented beer

If you're having trouble with the tune, give it a listen. Sorry Captain. Your browser does not support plug-ins for digital video. Every year, the NCAA basketball tournament, St. Patrick, and perfect Spring temperatures conspire to make this the best weekend of the year. Either the basketball or the St. Patrick's day parade alone would make this a big deal for me, but the combination of the two make this bigger than Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's Day, or the highly overrated Fourth of July. Heck, it might eclipse all of the fun in those days combined. Yesterday was the first day of the basketball tournament, and I picked 14 of 16 games correctly. That's without a doubt the best day that I have ever had picking games. I mention it this morning, because there's equally as good a chance that I pick 2 of 16 correctly today. I liked this story about a bomb sniffing dog whose attention was distracted by a hot dog cart. I can picture exactly how this happened, as my first beagle Daisy would have handled it the exact same way, had she been trained for bomb sniffing duty. The dog put her nose to the ground, and slowly made her way, sniff, sniff, sniff, all through the section of the arena to which she was assigned. She smelled lots of concessions, but knew her duty was to find explosives, so she initially ignored those smells. Only after she had made one pass through her section -- knowing good and well that there was no explosive to find -- did she decide to score some human food. About that time, she caught the scent of a hot dog cart, even though that cart was around a bend and invisible to the eye. She kept her nose to the ground, and walked right up to the cart. She pointed her face at the tub where the dogs boil, and then looked back at her human. In her mind, it was clear that she was just asking for a hot dog. The human, mistaking the request for an indication of explosives, called in the bomb squad. They cleared out the arena, kept the fans back, and disassembled the cart, only to find a tub with several hundred dogs floating in hot weenie water, which then had to be thrown out. I doubt the fat little beagle even got to eat one. No doubt the dog will be retired from bomb duty after that lapse. I hope he gets the chance to be adopted by a basketball fan. If she were my dog, I would have a tradition where we share a couple of hot dogs the first day of the basketball tournament every year. Back to tomorrow, we have the parade near by, and then I've got the pots going to make pastalaya and to boil crawfish after the parade. I've reserved a keg of green beer, and made a playlist which of course includes the song at the top of this post. I'll be up by 5:00 AM, giddy and excited. Happy St. Patrick's Day!