The Fireside Chats with the Extra Large Leprechaun
by Kat Behling
Liam the Leprechaun
In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, the Fireside chats with a very special guest this month: Liam "the extra large" Leprechaun is one of the only known "American Leprechauns." While of Irish ancestry, Liam was born in the United States and according to him, has been "Americanized" to the fullest.
As Liam puts it, "Like so many other things in the United States, I've been "super-sized!" Standing more than twice the size of his motherland's counterparts and weighing in at nearly 300 lbs, one might suspect he’s carrying his pot o’ gold around his waist! As the "Official Mascot" of Lynch's Lair, an Irish gift shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan (www.lynchslair.com), the Master of Ceremonies for the Kalamazoo Irish Festival this fall and The Irish Pub Fest in Lansing this summer, Liam also has his own MySpace Page at www.myspace.com/celticbattleofthebands in addition to a collection of videos on YouTube and Google Video. Simply search: "Liam Leprechaun." Welcome to the Fireside, Liam.
Tell us, what is your idea of the perfect day?
If, when I wake up, there are no candles lit on either side of me, no incense burning and I don't have a rosary wrapped in my fingers - the rest of the day is a gift!
What historical figure do you most identify with and why?
René Descartes (1596-1650). In 1637 he published his calculation of light ray paths in raindrops, explaining how rainbows are formed, therefore allowing we Leprechauns to better predict where to place our pots o’ gold! It's a complicated math thing that only Leprechauns understand fully!
What is your morning ritual?
After I check on me pot o’ gold, I like to start me morning with a bowl of “Lucky Charms” and a cup of Bewley's Irish Cream Coffee!
Where is the best place in the world for leprechauns?
Quite often it's the confessional!
How would you describe your sense of humor?
Better than me sense of smell, but nowhere near as good as me sense of taste!
What music are you listening to today?
Hardly a day goes by when this Leprechaun doesn't listen to his favorite group, "Craic Wisely," but today I had the pleasure of introducing six Celtic Music acts to an audience in Michigan, USA! A complete list can be found at www.celticsundayseries.org.
Name one trait you most deplore in yourself.
Me uncontrollable need to pinch those who aren't wearing green on St. Patrick's Day!
Name one trait you most deplore in others.
The incessant need to greet me with "top of the morning," in a very bad brogue!
How will you be spending St Patrick's Day?
I will be making me annual appearance in the Grand Rapid's St. Patrick's Day Parade, then a visit to me favorite Irish Pub, Quinn and Tuite's for a quick pint or two. Later that evening, I will be hosting a little get together for 5,125 screaming hockey fans at the K-Wings annual "Green Ice Game" in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (They really do color the ice green!)
What is your beverage of choice?
As mentioned above, I am extremely fond of Bewley's Irish Crème Coffee. Depending on what time of day it is, I may vary what flavoring I add to it (although it's quite nice without adding anything!) For breakfast I drink it straight, at lunch a little Bailey's® flavoring, and in the evening a little Jameson® flavoring!
Do you ever go out dressed as a human? Are you able to go unnoticed?
I often find it necessary to dress down as we say! I find if I dress mainly in black and drive a horse and buggy, it's often quite easy to blend right in!
Are faeries and leprechauns related? What is the difference?
Not by blood, but sometimes by marriage. I myself am a sucker for a cute pair of wings!
What is your favorite meal?
Pretty much anything boiled will do nicely, although I'm quite fond of potato "crisps!" In the states we call them chips, but back home they’re known as fries. Are we getting the idea I might eat a potato just about anyway it’s prepared?
Do you have a large leprechaun family?
No, I'm the only really large one, most of the rest of me twelve siblings are “normal” size!
You mentioned “Lucky Charms” earlier. How well do you know Lucky?
Ah, Lucky and I go way back - went to grade school together. Of course, now he has a good gig goin’ with that cereal company, but the morality clause in his contract forbids him from being seen in pubs - or even with beautiful women! How much fun can the guy really be having? Kind of sad if you ask me! No thanks, I'll stick to getting hugs, kisses and remaining penniless if you don't mind!
Any good Irish-inspired movies you can recommend to our readers?
You can never go wrong with "The Quiet Man," but if the truth be known, this Leprechaun loves the movie, "The Commitments." There is no better version of "Try a Little Tenderness!"
Do you have any tips for humans meeting a leprechaun for the first time?
We just want to be accepted for who we are. Remember, if you actually see a Leprechaun, it's because he wants you to! It's always appropriate to introduce yourself, but not necessary to outline your family tree - we trust that you are of Irish ancestry. And you needn't run up from behind to bear hug us in an attempt to get our pot o’ gold. In fact, that's a REALLY bad way to introduce yourself!
Heard any good leprechaun jokes lately?
Now if it were Pulaski Day coming up soon, would you be asking me if I heard any good Polish jokes? How about Columbus Day? I know a lot of good Italian ones…
Do you have any tips for getting stains out of green clothing?
If you only eat green foods and drink only green beer, spills aren't much of a problem now, are they? But if you actually do get a stain, try rubbing it with a bit o’ "Irish Spring" before laundering!
What will it take to get you to reveal yer pot o' gold?
How about an equally-sized pot o' platinum?
Visit Liam's Websites
Liam Shares Some of His Favorite Photos
Here with my close buddies from Guinness...we go waaaay back.
Every leprechaun loves Irish Dancers! (in the good, fatherly way)
It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.
This cost me most of me gold, but it was well worth it! I'd let them catch me anytime!