It’s during these times, we look back in history to make sense of things: World War 2. The Spanish Flu! The 8th season of Grey’s Anatomy. It was years ago when I went to Ireland with my sister in law Marylynn. One could say we were odd travel companions: Mary Lynne was a hypochondriac armed with a puffer a purse that was overflowing with an array of natural remedies when all those failed. She’d just pop a Gravol with an Ativan chaser. I, on the other hand, was the one who was always on the lookout for where we could eat lunch. One day the two saw of us saw a real estate sign that said Silk And Finn Real estate So after that we nicknamed ourselves Silk and Finn I don’t think either one of us remembers who was Silk, or who was Finn but it made us laugh. Off we went on a day trip to the Irish Bogs are used as fuel and way back in the day people lived there.
Archeologists had retrieved 57 mummified bodies there dating as far back as 3000 BC. And as recent as World War Two. They are called the Bog people. Mummified women freeze-dried in the middle of scolding someone. Someone with a lot of lilt to the voice saying “Sing before breakfast and you’ll cry before nightfall.”
The tour guide explained that many people took refuge in the bogs during the potato famine. Because they couldn’t pay for the rent they went there after their houses were burnt. And in the bog, they could keep build huts out of the peat. The tour guide was talking a mile a minute and walking just as fast. Frankly, we had a hard time keeping up. She asthmatic and me, the obese.
This was a diagnosis that a malnourished doctor gave me -when the term “pleasantly plump become outdated?) She gave this diagnosis during a pap test. Couldn’t she have waited until the speculum had been removed from my kootch, before she fat-shamed me?
While we panted and puffed, behind the rest of the tour, I was explaining how I saw things. This was the conversation:
Me: Well Silk, the potatoes caught a fungus, which created famine and they couldn’t pay their rent. and got so mad they burnt the thatched roofs and that made them homeless and top of that there caused rickets.
Her: “What are rickets?
Me: No idea. Why don’t you Google it.?
Her: “No. My phone has no service in the bog.”
Me: So these poor people had no potatoes and no WIFI, and they dwelled in this bog and then your man comes along and says Let’s Canada? Then weak as a kitten they were to get on some ship for six weeks.
Her” They’d stuck in there with other sick people breathing their bad rickets breath all over them, with everyone seasick.
Mary Lynne popped a Gravol in solidarity.
And then we both took a breath and came to this realization at once.
If we had been bog people would have left us behind.
Me: Yes silk, What good would the two of us have been in the new country?”
Her: No good at all, Finn, we would have been in an Irish museum somewhere
Me: You with your puffer up to your mouth.”
Her: And you with your fat arse sticking out.”
I could see the two of us. We would have laid there and yelled weakly “Go on ahead without out us.”
I have thought of this story 10 times a day, since this bog of a pandemic has begun, I have yelled, the same thing “Go on ahead without me.”
But we need to give our heads a shake.
We aren’t hungry.
We have a roof over our heads.
And I think except for MaryLynn we don’t have rickets.
Channel your inner bog person: and before you know it, you’ll be sitting next to someone like me on a tour bus yellin’ “Hey bus driver are we stopping for lunch?”
Everybody sing! Click here for that fave Irish song!