a drunk irish blacksmith by the name of jack offered
his soul to the devil for a drink. the devil agreed and
turned himself into a sixpence so jack could pay the
bartender. jack had a moment of clarity as he reached for
the coin and decided that his soul for a pint was a bad
he threw the coin into his purse next to a silver
cross which rendered the devil powerless. carrying the devil
can weigh a guy down, so jack let the devil go with the
agreement that he'd leave jack alone for ten years.
ten years to the day the devil returned. jack had been
walking through an orchard and asked the devil to climb a
tree and toss him one last apple before he took jack to
the devil must have been a real dumbass cuz he agreed.
once the devil scampered up the tree, jack carved a cross on
the trunk and the devil was stuck in the tree. fucked,
really because this was long before ladder trucks.
jack made the devil promise to leave jack's soul alone
before he removed the cross, freeing the devil.
years later the drunk died. heaven wouldn't take him.
the devil honored his promise and wouldn't accept jack
either. he tossed jack an ember from the fires of hell and
told him to go back where he came from. jack placed the
ember in a turnip he'd been eating, cursed to walk the earth
for eternity with his lantern.
when all the micks headed to the gold-paved streets of america, they realized that this country had a serious turnip shortage. they turned to another little-used vegetable to keep their tradition alive. and you thought you could only blame your march 18th hangovers on the irish.