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An open letter from St. Patrick:

Hello to everyone, and thank you for continuing to celebrate my birthday with such joy. It has always been wonderful to see so many people of the world come together to share one of the symbols of a creative culture.

You’ve been moved by some of the greatest stories ever written, entertained by the songs and you’ve been in awe of the dances of Ireland. Then why is the image of the Irish to so many people — – a drunk?

Everyone is proud of the success of products like Guinness Stout, but how sad that the misuse of a product like that has created so many negatives. France and Italy produce lovely wines but they’re thought of as romantics and not alcoholics.

Perhaps I’m being a bit sensitive on my special day. After all, I know that most of those over-indulgers aren’t really all from Ireland. They may never have even seen Riverdance. But since this is St. Patrick’s Day, maybe you and I could come to an agreement. You have a wonderful time — party, celebrate, use good safe judgment — or you’ll have to answer to me… and I’m a Saint for St. Patrick.