“Comin’ up on Saint Paddy’s Day, boys,” Windy said, coming in on final approach to an empty chair. Perfect two-point landing.

Loretta filled his cup with fresh and he reared back and addressed the members of the Mule Barn truck stop’s world dilemma think tank. “Almost here, yessir. But this one ain’t gonna be like the last one … not by a strong shot. Lead us not into configuration, thass what I always say.”

Well, yes he does, actually. In fact, expanding the world’s vocabulary seems to be the life mission of our old cowboy camp cook and philosopher, Alphonse “Windy” Wilson.

And dang, he’s good at it.

“What happened last St. Patrick’s Day, Windy?” asked Doc, politely. And then we braced ourselves for his answer.

“Wellsir, there I were, boys, findin’ myself in the capital city on Saint Paddy’s Day and I were jest walkin’ along, peruvulatin’ the sidewalks, as it were, when I chanced upon a publication house. Thass what they call ‘em in Ireland, you know.

So I rears back and walks on in. Boys, the party was on all right. There was Irishers ever-where! One of ‘em, a big booger, comes over and says to buy him a beer, cuz I’m the only one in there who hasn’t bought him one, yet.”

“Did you buy him one, Windy?”

“Do I look stoo-pid? A-course I did. And I danced a little jig and had a couple myself. And ‘bout that time here come that big ol’ drunk guy again and he said it were time to buy him another beer. I told him I didn’t have no more money, and that’s when I found myself out on the sidewalk, the whole eastern side of my face hurtin’ somethin’ fierce. Then I remembered that little sign they had in there. Had it right over the bar. It said, “If you ain’t a mick, you’re gonna get sick.” Them Irish is right ever now and then.”

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