Pot o’ gold at the end of the blade

Let’s take a minute to talk about weapons. The right weapon can mean the difference between life or death in the monster hunting biz. When I’m caught unprepared (which I have to admit is more often than I’d like), anything will do in a pinch. A baseball bat. A crowbar. Shoot, even a pair of chopsticks comes in handy on occasion.

I love weapons, edged weapons in particular. Sure, projectiles are easier. Less messy. Longer range. They give you a definite edge when you’re up against something faster, stronger, and meaner.

Problem is, a lot of the things that go bump in the night aren’t even phased by bullets but I’ve yet to meet anything that can survive a good old fashioned decapitation. Plus, guns are loud and tend to attract the wrong kind of attention.

The drawback is that edged weapons are so darn hard to hide. You can conceal a handgun a whole lot easier than a broadsword or axe.

This takes us to St. Patrick’s day, hand’s down my least favorite holiday of the year. First off, as half-Irish myself, I find it offensive that people celebrate my cultural heritage by wearing green plastic beads and getting drunk off their butts. Second, I have a not-so-secret, hatred and debilitating fear of leprechauns, but that’s a story for a different time.

In any event, I don’t trust St. Paddy’s day revelers, or those tiny, sneaky leprechauns. Living in NYC, St. Pat’s day is big. Huge. Enormous. Overblown. I want to stay inside, lock my doors, and ignore the whole obscene bacchanalia, but when it’s my job to protect my fellow New Yorkers, hiding my head in the sand isn’t an option.

Fortunately, paper mache is. An option, that is.

I read a couple tutorials on the internet about how to build the perfect paper mache. They failed to mention how messy the process was, or how tedious. But at the end of three days, one cramped back, ten shriveled fingers, a bag of flour, and a can of spray paint, I had a ridiculous-looking shillelagh where my favorite katana had been. Sure it wasn’t as intimidating as a heftier sword, but I couldn’t figure out how to disguise the hilt of my claymore in the shape of the shillelagh.

I looked ridiculous, dressed in a fake red beard and an oversized green felt hat carrying an obviously fake paper mache shillelagh as I joined the festivities, but it could have been worse. I lost track of how many grown men I saw in green tutus or women wearing gaudy green fur. In any event, it was impossible to have fun when my jaw ached from grinding together so hard, but I tried to keep a smile on my face.

Sometime around 2 AM, when the bars were starting to shoo patrons out the door, it happened. I caught a gleam out of the corner of my eye and by faith and begorrah, there he was. A real, live leprechaun. He was pawing through purses and lifting wallets off unsuspecting drunk frat boys. Yes, leprechauns are master thiefs but I knew this one, like the rest of his ilk, wasn’t after cash or credit cards. They wanted the I.D.s. He’d spread the word, and by the time the revelers stumbled home, they would have a nasty surprise waiting for them in the form of a tiny roommate they didn’t want and couldn’t ever get rid of, no matter how hard they tried.

Man, his laughter when he realized I was threatening him with a faux shillelagh was just plain insulting. I smacked him upside the head. “Wee lass, ‘sat all ya got fer me?” He asked, dancing a jig with his hands up in fake surrender.

“Nae,” I replied, holding up the shillelagh to show where the paper mache had split to reveal the concealed sword. “I dinnae come unprepared,” I added in my thickest fake brogue. Then I ran him through.

Maybe I should be worried about witnesses and the like, but the crowd was blind drunk. Even the few people who noticed thought it was all a lark. Besides, who would believe that a six foot tall, bearded, female leprechaun had just murdered a tiny man in the middle of a crowded bar? Especially when instead of bleeding out on a dirty barroom floor, the leprechaun disappeared in a puff of rainbow colored smoke.