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The Englishman and the Full Irish

I had never been to a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, until last Sunday. I've lived in  Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, and England and I had never been to a St. Patrick's Day Parade. I’m not sure they even had a parade in England, not where we lived anyway. St. Patrick’s Day, to me, meant going to a bar and drinking. That’s it. It’s always dark and people are drunk at unusual hours.


So this year, it was an unusually warm Sunday afternoon, and we decided to head down to Corktown in Detroit for the parade. My husband, the Englishman, even seemed quite eager to go. Which is odd considering, well, he’s English and St. Patrick’s Day is obviously an Irish thing. In case you didn’t know, the English and Irish haven’t always played nice and, in some places, still don’t. Of course I did do what any good woman would do, I bribed him with a Full Irish.

The husband is very fond of his “fry-ups,” as they’re called in the UK, and a Full Irish is close enough to a Full English to appease him. It consists of Irish sausage, which isn’t at all like our breakfast sausage; bacon, which is more like Canadian bacon because it’s all hammy and such; eggs, black and white pudding, and toast. Sometimes, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes are thrown in. I’m not going to describe the black pudding or white pudding. Let's just say pig's blood and/or liver is involved.

We were downtown and we followed the Corktown race for a bit and then we went down Bagley because we were going to Baile Corcaigh. We saw all the green and revelry on the parade route and headed toward the festivites. We went to the address of Baile Corcaigh on the parade route. It didn’t exist, the address, I mean. There was a 1422 and then a 1436, or something like that. But 1426 wasn't there. I was confused and called the Irish pub, I got through to voice mail.

But we were hungry. And then, like a beacon, I saw the sign that would make everything ok. Yes, at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Corktown we went to White Castle. Which is my Englishman’s favorite fast food. And we ate sitting on the curb.

Have I mentioned yet that we were completely sober? Neither of us had a drink the entire afternoon. I probably shouldn’t have admitted that, we broke the unwritten rule. Sober and St. Patrick's Day don't really go in the same sentence, do they? We might not be allowed back next year if word gets out. Sshh, we'll keep it between us.

Oh, yes, the parade, that's what it was all about. It was lovely, it was festive, and it was a bit silly at times. It was everything it was suppose to be. Sans the beer. They threw candy and beads, I didn't know they did that. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Even sober. But I must ask, do they let anyone march in this parade? Green dogs, storm troopers, Deloreans, and homeland security; we saw the lot.

Leaving the parade, I noticed we were walking down Michigan Avenue, not Bagley. Yes, we went to the right address on the wrong road. And that is why the Englishman didn’t have his Full Irish.

*Update: I just read in the Freep that Baile Corcaigh is no longer open.*

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