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“You’d think an Irish party would have more Irish music,” Hel said, glancing about the ballroom with boredom.

“You’d think,” I replied, “But apparently ballroom dancers don’t jig.”

“I thought the crowds would be younger,” Olaf said, swirling the ale in his flagon about. “Wasn’t the ballroom dance the hip thing?”

“Maybe two hundred years ago,” Hel said to my first general. “Now apparently it is reserved for those about to pass into my domain.”

“Hey,” Kelva, my second general, said, “Half these people aren’t that old.”

“Barely a man between fifteen and fifty,” Said Haval dourly. My third general looked gloomily into his own flagon as if it would hold the answers to lifes miseries. But his eyes twinkle.

“Now is not the time for movie quotes!” Helva, the fifth, said firmly. “This is a time to party!”

“Wasn’t this how they partied in your time?” Wiglif, the fourth, teased. “After all, that Wagner guy was the height of action theater.”

“No!” Helva shouted, above the pub songs I started pumping out of my phone to counter the all too modern, all not Irish dance music. “We got drunk and our songs were faster!”

“Hey!” I said, “I’m trying to get drunk.”

“No dear, you’re enjoying yourself, but you’re only two beers in and that is not nearly enough to get you drunk.” Hel said with a smile and a kiss.

“Well, socially drunk,” I said, “I doubt they’d like it if I got viking drunk. And I’m trying not to embarrass my dad.”

The generals showed their utmost respect by hanging on my every word…as they drowned them out to Darby O’gill’s “beer song.” I sighed and took another hit of hard cider. At least they sounded better than the modern dance mix playing outside the headphones. Even if they were managing to out drink me five to one. Hel took a shot of my cider and leaned against my chest, joining in on the chorus.

“All this trouble for a Christian saint.” She said. “Hardly seems worth it to celebrate an enemy of the folk.”

“Yeah, but it’s more about celebrating a people who’ve faced some of the worst history has had to throw at them, and still manage to have a good humor about it.” I said. “I don’t think it matters what’s the name on it.”

At that point my five generals had broken down in to a very broken version of Mary Mack, and were quite marry about the marriage of Mary Mack and the mother of Mary Mack marrying mary mack to…well I wasn’t quite sure who was marrying Mary Mack, but it was very merry.

I think the whole thing got lost when Helva and Kelva started dancing a jig with each other. Hel merely smiled and watched them, while Wiglif demanded they pass over whatever they’d been smoking. Prompting Olaf and Haval to smack him in the head with their flagons.

“Ready to head out?” my dad asked, distracting me from the all Norse version of Shillelagh law became all the rage amongst my generals.

“Sure,” I said, watching my friends turn an Irish holiday even more Irish, with Norse and Germans. “Too much more of this and it will get out of hand.”

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