Last week, I mentioned the suspected Irish dance instructor, Mike Whalen, who has flung his arms around nearly every woman in St. Paul. What I failed to mention was that I have seen him in action on dozens of occasions, including my wedding reception, where the fiendish Arthur Murray of Irish set dancing twirled the ladies around the University Club ballroom as if there was no tomorrow. Until the beer ran out, anyway.
This wolf Whalen has a way with the women, and I have kept a close eye on him for about 30 years, to see if I could pick up any tips as he teaches them their sevens and threes, including the highly demanding hop threes, which always leave them breathless.
I have watched Whalen ply his trade in community halls and church basements, at weddings and parties and at the Irish Fair of Minnesota, where, over the years, the prettiest women often seemed to end up married to some bachelor who you would think had no chance of getting married, until crafty matchmaker Whalen did his magic.
This suspicious dance teacher has been casting spells since long before "Riverdance" became popular. He is the only man I know who can get a room full of Minnesotans to do "The Siege of Ennis" and "The Haymakers' Jig," set dances that are not for the feeble and which, despite Whalen's skills, can end up with lines of sweaty participants crashing into each other like a rugby scrum.
You have to admire the guy. Which is why I was disturbed to find out, thanks to the strong arm of the law, that Whalen the Dance King has been harboring vegans in his house. I will never eat Irish pork rashers again without cursing him.
Thankfully, this suspected vegan witch, Whalen, was brought to heel by the St. Paul Police Department on the day before the Republican National Convention opened in St. Paul, when the cops surrounded his home and served a search warrant. In the application for the warrant, which was finally made public Monday, a month later, the shocking news was revealed that Whalen had received 21 packages from California that were so heavy that the mailman could only carry two at a time, which is one more than my mail man can carry.
According to information from a reliable source (they wouldn't say reliable if he or she wasn't, would they?) the boxes were full of weapons "intended to be used during the RNC." Faster than you could say, "Ladies, right hand star!" 20 coppers were searching Whalen's house for the weapons this mustachioed Irish love doctor, who wears the worst floral shirts I ever have seen, was getting through the mail.
There were no weapons.
But that doesn't mean the cops weren't right. Something smelled funny. After a couple of hours during which Whalen's home was searched and his house guests -- coincidentally including members of a film-making collective that specializes in videotaping police actions (what are the chances?!) -- the cops left. But not before the mystery boxes were opened and the contents revealed :
Vegan pamphlets, from some thing called "Vegan Outreach," 32 pages each, with cloyingly cute photos of a little baby chick and a little pink piggy on the cover, emblazoned with the words: "Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating."
Imagine the chaos that might have been caused if pamphlets with pictures of cute pigs and chickens were distributed at a GOP convention barbecue? Have these people no decency?
Plus, it's mighty suspicious, you have to admit, that a large, mustachioed Irish dance instructor should accept vegan pamphlets in the mail. He didn't get that big from eating tofu.
It made us decent citizens of St. Paul feel better when we turned on our TVs to see the cops raiding a house occupied by people who were planning "serious criminal acts." We didn't relax until and we saw the bare-foot vegans in handcuffs, guarded by the cops.
There is no telling what this Whalen and his fellow travelers might not eat.
Over the years, in addition to his nefarious dance instruction, I have seen him selling books about the Irish hunger strikers who died in 1981, along with books about the centuries of political oppression and famine that drove the ancestors of St. Paul's Irish to leave a green island surrounded by the sea and take up life in a harsh, frozen hinterland. Whalen is always trying to whip up resentment about the Irish situation, and he openly has espoused support for the Irish cause, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, before the peace process ended the fighting and brought Irish nationalists into the government of Northern Ireland.
As the cops said in the warrant, the mesmerizing Irish barn dance caller has supported "the struggles of oppressed" people. We know the type.
My Irish granny did the same, and so did Ronald Reagan, down in Nicaragua. But the cops really nailed Whalen with that oppressed peoples thing: He is completely guilty, of being Irish. As are half the judges in Ramsey County, the City Council, and most of all the elected officials in St. Paul who have Irish blood in them.
I used to see them at Suspicious Whalen's dances. But that was a long time ago. Most of them stopped dancing before they got carried away and descended into not eating chicken.
We need to stay vigilant against these vegans. In the end, the police didn't charge Whalen with anything, probably because receiving vegan propaganda is not yet against the law. It should be.
So, here we are, a month later. The suspicious Irish dance teacher is still at large, probably tap-dancing somewhere. For all I know, he could have his big arms around a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians right now, teaching some lovely Irish lass how to do her sevens and her threes.
What a crime.
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