An author and blogger friend of mine, David Lawlor, has recently hung out his shingle as an editor of fiction. As many of you are aware, David hails from the mythical land to the east called “Ireland.” There, cloistered in a cold, dank castle, he writes a fascinating history blog.
Many years ago, before I made my zillions as an independent author, I wrote freelance history for one of the largest history clearinghouses in Spokane Rhode Island. The details aren’t important, but what I’m about to say is. Shortly before my breakthrough novel, “Kick”, while pouring through dusty old tomes and ledgers, I came across a little known episode in American history which has since been hushed up: in 1897, Ireland declared war on the United States.
The president at the time was William McKinley. Now, as everyone knows, McKinley was one of the least warmongering of the U.S. presidents, and had a kindly disposition in all things except one: everyone knew to never, ever ever, interrupt him during breakfast. The staff in the White House had even placed a sign outside the presidential dining room reading, “Do Not Interrupt Breakfast.”
One day (a terrible day that shall live in infamy), President McKinley was eating breakfast and “minding his own business” as the press reported it, when, out of nowhere, a tiny little man in a green outfit popped up — as if by magic — and stole his Lucky Charms.
The documents reveal an angry, vengeful president who immediately sent warships to blockade the small island. Back then, Ireland was mostly cut off from the Western World. What little trade they had with anyone was centered around shamrock production — until McKinley, in his rage, had the farms destroyed in a series of devastating night raids.
The furious Irish people invaded the U.S. through a magical rainbow that spanned from Belfast to Fort Knox. Millions of angry, red-headed Irishmen poured through, slashing and butchering their way towards Washington. McKinley was terrified. He sent his best troops down — only to have them captured and left tied and gagged on the side of the road wearing hilarious green hats (years later, these “green berets” would learn brawling tactics from the Irish and become a mighty fighting force, but that’s another story).
When the mob got to Washington, the angriest Irishman with the reddest hair banged on the White House door and yelled, “Come out of there you son of a bitch! You’re gonna pay for what you did to my sister’s shamrock farm!”
What happened after has been mostly lost to history. Rumor has it McKinley was made to hand over a generous weight in gold from Fort Knox. Whatever the truth of that, there can be no doubt he was forced to declare March 17th a holiday, so that we Americans will never forget the destruction of all those shamrock farms.