Saturday, March 17, 2007
Éire Go Brách, (or Erin Go Bragh)
Irish Pipers for St. Paddy's
A major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger, and other store brands recalled 60 million containers of wet pet food manufactured by Menu Foods Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths.
An unknown number of cats and dogs suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected food, although product testing has yet to determine the problem. Apparently, the recalled food was made using wheat gluten purchased from a new supplier, since dropped for another source, a spokesperson said. Wheat gluten is a source of protein.
The recall covers the company's "cuts and gravy" style food, which consists of chunks of meat in gravy, sold in cans and small foil pouches between Dec. 3 and March 6 throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
My dog gets one of those little pouches as a special treat with her dinner. I had a bunch of the Pedigree and Wal-Mart brand pouches. The Wal-Mart pouches are now in the trash can, even though none of them were purchased prior to March 6. I'm not taking any chances. If you use these products, take the necessary precautions.
Evening Update: My friend Southern Writer, whose cats ate the food, has lost one of her cats to kidney failure, and has another currently on dialysis. Some of the symptoms of poisoning by this food include excessive thirst and urination, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. Southern Writer advises that if your animal has eaten any food on the list, call your vet NOW and don't wait for symptoms to appear.
You can check the recall list here to see whether your pet food is included. Be advised that the list includes name brands like Iams and Eukanuba.
And now on to the St. Paddy's festivities.
Saint Patrick was not actually Irish. Historical sources report that he was born around 373 A.D. in either Scotland (near the town of Dumbarton) or in Roman Britain (the Romans left Britain in 410 A.D.).
His real name is believed to be Maewyn Succat (he took on Patrick, or Patricus, after he became a priest). He was kidnapped at the age of 16 by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his 6-year captivity, during which he worked as a shepherd, he began to have religious visions. He finally escaped after voices in one of his visions told him where he could find a getaway ship and fled to France, where he became a priest and, later, a bishop.
When he was about 60 years old, St. Patrick traveled to Ireland to spread the Christian word. It's said that Patrick had an unusually winning personality, and that helped him win converts. He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, as a metaphor to explain the concept of the Trinity (father, son, holy spirit).
Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland; i.e., they all went into the sea and drowned. The thinking is that the snake was a revered pagan symbol, and perhaps this was symbolic of his driving paganism out of Ireland.
Green is associated with Saint Patrick's Day because it is the color of spring, Ireland, and the shamrock -- and Leprechauns.
As the Irishman said to William Wallace in "Braveheart" -- "The Lord said he can get me out of this one, but he's pretty sure you're fucked."
Q. What is Irish diplomacy?
A. It's the ability to tell a man to go to hell so that he will look forward to making the trip.
Paddy and Murphy were walking down a road one day. Paddy said, "Murphy, can you see that beautiful wood over there?" Murphy said, "I can't see, there's trees in the way!"
Two drunks coming home stumbled up the country road in the dark. "Faith, Mike, we've stumbled into the graveyard and here's the stone of a man lived to the age of 103!" "Glory be, Patrick, and was it anybody we knew?" "No, 'twas someone named 'Miles from Dublin'!"
Twisted Linguistics drank a little green beer and attempted to define these Words Gone Wild. You'll have to be the judge of how well they did.
give it a wide birth - Having a BIG baby.
Lebonese - Pidgin-French for "the bones."
strait-laced - All tucked (and comfy) into one's straitjacket.
I love the opening line of Lisa Scottoline's new book ("Daddy's Girl") -- Nat Greco felt like an A cup in a double-D bra.