*Agent Clor O’Phil: I must alert the public and issue this travel warning to those visiting the Emerald Isle. Unbeknownst to most, but, especially young, naive Americans, is the hazard of harvesting Ireland’s symbol-yes, the very Shamrocks so plentiful. It seems they’re being gathered by the handful and being converted once back in America.
*Rusell: As a soon to be itinerant tourist to those British Isles, and, yes, specifically, the touching off point for the US, Eireland as well, is why I’m interested in what this alert’s all about.
*Agent O’Phil: When are you due to depart for verdant spaces if I may so ask?
*Rusell: Why early June.
*Clor: And your surname Sir?
*Clor: Don’t you mean Russell? And, aren’t you Irish?
*Rusell: Nay, but Australian, and it is Rusell, as in the ‘Roo, my Materess.
*Rusell: Long “A”
*Clor: Ay, so what’s up any ay.
*Clor: Ahh, National Shamrock Day back in the old country. To be back in my home town, House of Sods.
*Rusell: Sounds like a series to me.
*Clor: So, say, besides the Sellabration, why the visit?
*Rusell: Well, there is all that leisure, but business of a pleasing sort as well.
*Clor: How’s that you say?
*Rusell: It’s always secretly been my desire to be a male pilling model.
*Clor: O’Splain yourself.
*Rusell: Well, everyone’s familiar with those annoying piles, or, more properly, pillings, tiny clusters of rebellious woolies inevitably on the surface of every sweater. They must be removed by hand and that’s where the difficulty lies.
*Clor: Can’t they be shaven off?
*Rusell: I’m sorry, no way to treat an animal…again, so American. And here’s where my aspiration comes in. There is truly no effective way to remove the outgrowths if one is not besweatered.
*Clor: Oh, I see, not enough resisistance resident.
*Rusell: Pilecisely, it’s just not normal to remove those wool weevils unnaturally. It then restores one’s attention to the knittage as a whole without the counting of so many wee ewes from afar.
*Rusell: And, what must be admitted here first publicly is frankly the feeling of getting raked over. Oh, the shillings are fine, but it’s that wonderful, unsolicited combing, over and over again which can win this man over. The benefits of a masseuse without the stigma. In fact, the Shetlands were deliberately misnamed so to protect our highly enjoyable industry from outsiders. We don’t dare call ourselves the Shedlanders.
*Clor: I must do my due diligence however and leave my green reveries behind. The penalty for filching our symbol, for personal gain and corruption is stiff. We treat it as a manner of 3-fold flag desecration. We’re not just waving in the wind.
*Rusell: What sort of penalties are we, I mean they, looking at?
*Clor: Well, you know the Irish, we like to be creative in all we do, and that includes Crime & Nourishment-No Potato For You.
*Rusell: Enlighten me, so I have pleasant ponderings while awaitin’ my gate.
*Clor: Well my dear Watson, we have 2 sort of consequences-those caught afield in country and those who happen to deplane at JFK.
*Rusell: Why Kennedy?
*Clor: Must you ask,? More green veggies for you.
*Clor: Oh, I must add the seldom enacted sentence if caught in midstream, those tarmacked while departing or arriving. Let me touch upon this first-reprehensible as it may seem.
*Rusell: Okay, let one know what happens when one is caught green handed in fields afar.
*Clor: If, one thinks he or she can outwit our constables and is snagged, this is the price. Like the surfeit of manna and quail the children were forced to consume in the desert, theirs is a similar fate. Shamrock smugglers are forced blindfolded to fill a thousand clovered spice bottles of exactly 1 ounce each. Nary a clover off and it begins the beguine again. And, all this whilst reciting: “Why is Seamus sad, sad, sad, for heisting a shamrock, which is bad, bad, bad.” (Insert one’s name). The left side of the brain ponders the weight whilst the right recites the cost. It’s how we do it here. Now there is currently a challenge to the Shamrock Supreme Court to see if it’s cruel and unusual. It might be harsh but being novel is simply Irish.
*Rusell: I shudder to think due to such amateurish efforts. But what if one manages to enplane, safely ensconced in seat S4 with visions of $20s sprigging in his head?
*Clor: Ooooh Boyo, a fate almost worst than the prior. First, there is that alliterative factor. One must perfectly recite in Gaelic: “I never will do that again, never again will that I do.” An unbroken string of 1,000 is required or it’s back to the slate again. The pain is there’s no break to the compartment which slides to “Occupied”. It gives new meaning to our version of travel, Aer Lingua. Now, let’s say one thought he was clever and picked up enough of the Mother Tongue to effortlessly pass the ritual. He might even feign ignorance despite ‘Rocks found in his every nook and cranny. He might say it was a generous native sendoff. So, if he is in fact an Islander he ought to be able to do the following. From 10 paces away, and, for 10 seconds, perfectly sketch the outline of said shamrock held by one of our BPs (Botanical Police). Every schoolboyo grew up #2ing the symbol while bored in class. It it fits, he’s free. Again, no visits aft.
*Rusell: What is the outcome if one crosses the pond and is discovered full and upright on JFK or in JFK?
*Clor: Well, your Americans aren’t as imaginative as are we. If caught on the jet, to preserve the dignity of the person, the safety of the public, and, in that spirit of capital enterprise, to route the jet around and to turn more profits, they triclover cuff the thief. Then, (this is off the record), they mercilessly whip one with a tuft of those very same dried out shamrocks closeted beyond “Lost Luggage” in the hopes of obtaining a confession via the Queen’s Borough Justice. That undone, it’s time to board Newgate, Tower Time. I will say, however, though I prefer our unique blend of traditional punishment, America’s to be commended for their ever evolving dealings with crime-some things have worked.
*Rusell: So how goes it if caught in the 50 and gets 10, has the Green Letter?
*Clor: The Yanks do get a little experimental in their approach for this peculiar crime though. The apprehendees are forced to hand harvest Americanized shamrocks a mere inch above the surface, a back-breaking endeavor. Only at this heighth with human touch are those marvelous properties retained enabling the yield to benefit the culinary, decorative and aphrodisiac fields. In America, there’s always hope one can make one of himself, and, remake himself.
*Rusell: How’s that?
*Clor: The recidivism rate for Shamming, Shamrock Smuggling, is unusually low. Many of these trefoil felons go on to establish their own legitimate shamrock ventures once their sentences expire. Of note is one farm by the name of “Three Clovers And You’re Out.” Very profitable enterprises.
*Rusell: Clor, thanks for alerting me to be on the lookout, and, to not even be enticed by the financial lurings of this great sin-a blasphemy to poor St. Peter. But, working backwards, what now is the actual crime that’s perpetuated?
*Clor: Well, Rus, since you are not Irish, I still hope you do not take umbrage at what I’m about to say, and, explain.
*Rusell: Both hands at 12, Noon taken.
*Clor: Speaking for myself, and, others, we Irish are always ready to believe. However, many are constituted as Thomas, Only seeing is believing.
*Rusell: What exactly is it they desire to behold?
*Clor: Why, the 4th foil, the “complete” Shamrock. I tend to believe it grounds them, like the missing direction on the compass. And, gazing upon one does something to one, I just can’t explain it. Like a Gael Wind of revelation. The Shammee never bothers to ask himself, just how common can these be? Lost in their musings, they can’t see the forest for the leaves.
*Rusell: How is this Ruse-ell done exactly?
*Clor: Well, all good, opportunistic, and, cunning crimes are first urban in nature. The Irish like the dash in dressing. They post the standard 3-clovered in their lapel and whisper one over.
*Rusell: And then?
*Clor: They turn back the lapel to show that hidden 4th clover. But they get their green cash first to foist the look-see.
*Rusell: How in the world is this possible? To so expertly display a fraud, the added clover?
*Clor: We all have our gifts from God. The Irish are good with their hands. Whether it’s riveting a liner, doilying, or, cabling that wool sweater, the hands have it. They just intricately weave that 4th player to fool their own people.
*Rusell: Clor, our encounter has indeed been Clorious. I’ll stitch the lapels and pockets shut and tour in my siren suit like Sir Winston. And, I’ll warn my fellow Brothers at Dewoolery Monastery that they might just want an extended stay. You know, Clor, though we do have spiritual cover at the Monastery, we, of course, do use it as a business cover as well. In fact, as a little payback, looming it forward so to speak, was wondering if you want to attend our charity event?
*Clor: Would love to, and, what is that?
*Rusell: Well, if one learns something at a Monastery it is the presence of the Monk’s Halo?
*Clor: Hallo? Anyone there?
*Rusell: It is, Clor, the presence, or, rather, the absence of one of man’s most precious commodities-scalp hair. Our event will be held at the world famous St. Andrew’s golf course. It is entitled “No Hole On One”. Our little effort to help cover that open cup so to speak.
*Clor: Now how does one propose about doing that?
*Rusell: We gather all those variegated pillings we’ve removed and create multicolored and patterned 1-piece wool applications. We call them “Woolpees”.
*Clor: Darn well will be there. And I hope ye appreciated this ‘ttempt at clean incongruity.