the luck of the irish just ran out
2004-03-17, 10:09 p.m.
When I was a wee child, my parents would take me to visit some friends of the family who lived in a wooded area. While the parents wanted to, umm, well, frankly, drink, the children were sent to the woods to look for leprechauns. If you caught one, he had to take you to his pot of gold, wherever it was hidden. But you had to be really really careful, because he could trick ya. Now, as an adult who has sent noisy children to find non-existent hidden $10 bills in the other part of the house, I do now understand this was all a trick to get us out of the house. But y'know what? Those were actually some good times. I remember looking really really hard, and being pretty sure I saw one once. He got away though, the little crafty bugger.
Y'know how Coca-cola reinvented Santa's image - from the traditional St. Nicholas imagery into the jolly red-bearded Santa we know today? Well, apparently Disney did the same for the leprechaun. In traditional Irish folklore, they were cranky creatures who mostly made shoes for fairies and hid treasures in clay pots and avoided humans. Then in 1959 Disney came along with Darby O'Gill and the Little People (starring, among others, Sean Connery!) and the leprechauns were reinvented - for Americans at least. It makes me want to get a copy of the movie and watch it. While eating some Lucky Charms. Mmm. Magically delicious.
Speaking of movies about leprechauns... In the 90's we moved into the horror (and subsequently horror-parody) genre. My favorite tag-line to a film title of all time? Leprechaun: The Luck Of The Irish Just Ran Out. I just decided to check how many of these movies were made. FIVE. The original. Starring Rachel from Friends. Then Leprechaun 2. Or Leprechaun II. In which our anti-hero wishes to take a bride. Tagline? Luck Has Nothing To Do With It. You're tellin' me. Leprechaun 3. In Vegas. Yep, you heard me. "Odds Are You Won't Get Out Alive." I bet this one hits an all-time cheese high, but also has a nice anti-greed lesson. Don't you? Leprechaun 4. In Space. I kid you not. And finally? Leprechaun 5. In the Hood. Tagline: Evil is in the house. Surprisingly, also starring Ice T and Coolio. Presumably not as leprechauns.
Happy St. Patrick's Day.