Mondays with Mike: St. Joseph’s Day

April 2, 2017 • Posted in Mike Knezovich, Mondays with Mike by

Yesterday, a lovely Chicago Sunday morning, I awoke to the muffled sounds of people outside our window cheering sporadically. And I remembered, it was the Shamrock Shuffle, an 8k running race.

I like running events. I especially like watching them, cheering them on, while I eat Jays potato chips. Seriously, the good spirit, people cheering on total strangers, it’s kind of contagious, even for curmudgeons like me.

But this one is different. First, It’s April 2. But it’s called the Shamrock Shuffle. Like we don’t get enough faux Irish here in Chicago all year.

To start, you’re not Irish any more than I’m Italian or I’m Serbian, unless you actually were born there, which, in that case, you’re probably not gonna act like an idiot pretending to be Irish.

Photo of Ducati motorcycle

Forget shamrocks, gimme a Ducati.

Second, if you live downtown, St. Patrick’s Day is a train wreck in Chicago. The city dyes the river green and hordes line up to watch that most unnatural act. Parade goers  watch  that awful toe dancing that that awful man Michael Flatly made popular with that awful Riverdance. People vomit on the street at lunchtime. They wear horrible clothes the color of their vomit.

Do I sound cranky? Well, yes I am. You would be, too, if you lived in downtown and had to put up with this lot. Beth and I were talking about this and she brought up a sort of antidote thought exercise: What if we celebrated St. Joseph’s Day instead?

We’d awake to opera.

Instead of putrid green getups, we’d have men in tailored slacks, fine leather shoes, and fedoras. The women. Oh the women. They’d all be Isabella Rossellini and Sophia Loren. Dressed in sensuously flowing elegance.

We’d sip some deep black espresso in the morning, as we watched gondoliers go by on the Chicago River.

The parade would be short but sweet. Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, Alfas. And of course, all led by the sexiest motorcycles in the world, Ducatis, Moto Guzzis and MV Agustas.

Then we’d have a leisurely lunch, antipasto, primo piatti, secondo piatti, all with a fine Italian wine. Then dolce, and a bit of grappa.

Then we’d all go home and nap.

A person can dream.




Rudy Joan Lubov On April 3, 2017 at 10:04 am

I’m dreaming too.

Susan Ohde On April 3, 2017 at 10:39 am

Really nice dream.

Mary Rayis On April 3, 2017 at 11:20 am

Mike, Let’s be real. Here in America, the Italian stereotype runs more to sleeveless undershirts and pasta fazool than to Maseratis and espresso.

When I was a kid, my mom always made Italian food on St. Joseph’s Day, and we all wore red. You’re right that it’s a much more low key holiday, and I agree that it would be obnoxious to deal with St. Pat’s Day revelers. Not sure how this holiday became a celebration of drunkenness. In Ireland, they go to church!

Sheila A. Donovan On April 3, 2017 at 11:35 am

Easy, Mike! With a name like Sheila Anne Rose Mary Donovan, I love the parade, bagpipes, step dancing and Irish singing. Many others do, too. “Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.” If you take note of the crowd, they are every ethnicity and color possible. What I don’t like is the drunken foolishness. St. Paddy’s Day is the Mardi Gras of Chicago. Not everyone is gonna be sober. It’s usually the college crowd that goes overboard. I also resent everybody who thinks that everyone of Irish descent is a drunk. It’s a standing joke that needs to go the way of “How many Polishmen does it take to put a light bulb in?” I won’t give the degrading answer to the joke, because I don’t want to promote prejudice.

Mike On April 4, 2017 at 10:26 am

Mary, yeah, I think some sort of Vinny character is embedded.My mom was first generation and sensitive to that stuff. But I like the Maserati part.

Sheila, I don’t think my dislike of St. Patrick’s day will stop any of the revelry. I think we agree on the part where it’s an excuse to just be stupid.

Benita Black On April 4, 2017 at 12:13 pm

I’m a curmudgeon about this too. I have terrible memories of people pissing off the el (I don’t mean “making angry”) on St. Patrick’s Day when I was a kid.
I love the St. Joseph’s Day idea. So civilized. Put me down for the meal. And maybe a couple of Marcello Mastroianni lookalikes.

Annelore On April 4, 2017 at 7:21 pm

I’ll be there! In a heartbeat. St.Joseph’s Day, yeah!~!!

Annelore On April 4, 2017 at 7:21 pm

I’ll be there! In a heartbeat. St.Joseph’s Day, yeah!~!!

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