An American lawyer inquired, “Paddy, why is it that whenever you ask an Irishman a question, he answers with another question?”

“Who told you that?” asked Paddy.

We all have heard of the Heisman Trophy, awarded each year to the college football player, who, in the committee’s opinion, has been the year’s outstanding performer. What do you know about the man for whom the ward is named?

John Heisman was a football coach for the first two decades of the 1900s, becoming one of the most impressive coaches of the time. After playing football at Brown and also Penn, he began coaching in 1892 at tiny Oberlin College, whose team he led to victories over Michigan and Ohio State. He went on to coach at several other schools, most notably at Georgia Tech.

Undefeated for three years running (1915-1917), his players outscored their opposition in that period by a total score of 1,592 to 62, and humiliated Cumberland by beating them 222-0, the highest score ever recorded. Heisman also helped to found the American Football Coaches Association and pushed for the legalization of the forward pass.

Mick, from Dublin, appeared on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and toward the end of the program had already won 500,000 euros.

“You’ve done very well so far,” said the show’s presenter, “but for a million euros you’ve only got one life-line left, phone a friend. Everything is riding on this question. Will you go for it?”

“Sure,” said Mick. “I’ll have a go!”

“Which of the following birds does NOT build its own nest?

a) Sparrow

b) Thrush

c) Magpie

d) Cuckoo?”

“I haven’t got a clue,” said Mick, ‘’so I’ll use my last lifeline and phone my friend Paddy back home in Dublin.”

Mick called up his mate, and told him the circumstances and repeated the question to him.

“Gosh, Mick!” cried Paddy. “Dat’s simple. It’s a cuckoo.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure.”

Mick hung up the phone and gave his answer, “I’ll go with cuckoo as my answer.”

“Is that your final answer?” he was asked.

“Dat it is.”

There was a long, long pause and then the presenter screamed, “Cuckoo is the correct answer! Mick, you’ve won 1 million euros!”

The next night, Mick invited Paddy to their local pub to buy him a drink.

“Tell me, Paddy? How in Heaven’s name did you know it was da cuckoo that doesn’t build its own nest?”

“Because everyone knows he lives in a clock!”

An Irish lass, a customer: “Could I be trying on that dress in the window?”

Shopkeeper: “I’d prefer that you use the dressing room.”

With St. Patrick’s Day almost upon us, let us offer a few toasts:

May the grass grow long

On the road to hell

For want of use.

May you be poor in misfortune,

Rich in blessings,

Slow to make enemies, Quick to make friends.

But rich or poor, quick or slow,

May you know nothing but happiness,

From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

The sun shine warm upon your face,

The rain fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

May you live to be a hundred years,

With an extra year to repent.

The health of the salmon to you,

A long life,

A full heart,

And a wet mouth.

Email comments to geno34@embarqmail.com.

I started at the Northwest Signal in 1994 and became editor in 2004. I graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1994.

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