Monday, January 26, 2009

High Time: Dig This

Yes, I believe it is high time to do some explaining about the picture of me. What I'm holding is a shovel. This picture was taken on my birthday, and the shovel was a birthday present from my daughter, India. If you look closely, you can see the aforementioned Gretchen the Snorticuss waiting patiently behind me. She perceives that some digging may be afoot, so to speak. In her case, it's afoot. In my case, it's ashovel.

As long as we're on the subject of shovels and feet, we may as well talk about Ireland. It has come to my attention that if you go to a well known website where we all go to avail ourselves of random information, you can see the question; Explain the expression "Digs with the other foot." The big surprise is, nobody has answered that question. Well, let me tell you, it has to do with the difference in the shovels used by Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. Historically, the Irish Catholics used shovels with long, straight handles with no horizontal grip at the top. If you try to dig with one of these, which I have often done, you'll find that to get a better dig, one must push the shovel with one's foot. And if you're right handed, the foot that seems most logical will be the left foot. However, the Protestants typically used a shorter handled shovel, with the horizontal grip at the top. Just look, my thoughtful and non-sectarian daughter has given me the perfect example, which I proudly display in the picture. With this shovel in hand, one is more likely to push with the right foot. It just works better that way.

I learned all this from Desmond Regan, a fine Irish Catholic fellow, when I was a youngun. Desmond was not only a fine fellow, but a Catholic priest as well. My daddy, Gordy, who was not a Catholic, nonetheless built the little brick Catholic church that stands across the street from the elementary school I attended. But that's a story for another day

Happy Digging!

1 comment:

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Where in the world did you get that picture?