The ACP Advocate Blog

by Bob Doherty

Friday, March 15, 2013

In Honor of my Irish Heritage

Veteran readers of this blog know that I descend from a decidedly Irish heritage.  My dear departed father, Jack Doherty, was born in a primitive thatched cottage in Drumshambo, Ireland, in County Leitrim, historically one of the poorest counties in Ireland. He emigrated to the United States at the age of 10 with my grandmother, Eliza (Elsie) Doherty, joining his father, who had emigrated several years earlier.  He later made his living working behind (and owning) Doherty’s Bar in Woodside, Queens, New York, an establishment opened by his father Tom Doherty.  When I was in college, I worked behind Doherty’s Bar, the third generation of Doherty’s “behind the stick” as the old-timer patrons put it.  (This is one thing I have in common with Speaker of the House John Boehner—we are both SOB’s, or sons of bartenders.)   Later on, my Dad went back to school to get his B.A and then a Masters in education, sold the bar, and became a high school teacher at an inner-city school in Brooklyn, New York.

So you can imagine that Saint Patrick’s Day is an important day on my calendar.  Like all good Irish (Americans), it is a day for story-telling, enjoying “fine” Irish cuisine, and um . . . imbibing in some of the other pleasures associated with being Irish.   One tradition I particularly enjoy is the distinct form of humorous poetry known as limericks, named after the famous city in Ireland, although some engage in the heresy of saying that the English invented it!

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day weekend, I have penned a few political limericks for your enjoyment (I hope).  (Advice, they may read better after you’ve had a few!)

I am so sick of the Medicare SGR,
Makes me want to escape to a bar
I'd prefer to drink
Rather than think
About how Congress has denied care to Grandma. 

It really isn't fair
How critics attack Obamacare
Death panels are a lie
They won't send grandma to die
Scaring seniors is more than I can bear

Do you share my sense of frustration?
At Congress sticking us with sequestration?
Closing White House tours is cheap,
Long lines at airports make me weep
This is no way to run a great nation. 

When it comes to predicting snow
DC weathermen really don’t know
Yet we close schools anyway
Shut the government for a day
We're just cold weather wimps, don't you know?

Sláinte, and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Today’s question: Care to try your hand at writing and posting a limerick here?


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Bob Doherty is Senior Vice President, American College of Physicians Government Affairs and Public Policy; Author of the ACP Advocate Blog

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