Mayor Bloomberg's Irish gaffe has reminded me of what I consider is the worst ever St.Patrick's dog and pony trick

A few years back Ronald Reagan had a bunch of dwarfs dressed as leprechauns in the White House for St.Patrick's Day.

One came and sat on his lap. I kid you not.

I'm glad I found the photo above from Life magazine so you know I'm not making this up.

Then another leprechaun came up and pretended to shoot him-- the other leprechaun that is.

All in good fun but the Irish Ambassador at the time confided he had never been so embarrassed.

So much for taking the Irish seriously.

So given that is the standard of most hokey Irish trick ever played what else can be as bad.

This year Seems Southwest Airlines are serving free booze on their planes on St.Patrick's Day.

The low cost traveler has always had a way with the Irish.

Former CEO Herb Kelleher used to dress up as a leprechaun on St.Patrick's Day and fly coach.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I first read that. Probably a bit of both.

This leprechaun dressing up doesn't grab me at all.

But serving free booze certainly makes the very obvious connection for Southwest.

Then there is the story from Sioux Falls , South Dakota, where they have a parade but no Grand Marshal.

In fact they are actively looking for one.

So if you fancy leading the excited throngs through downtown Sioux Falls, e mail Wendy Neuharth at

The deadline is Feb. 21.

Maybe the winner could get a free flight on Southwest too,dressed as a leprechaun.