Dirt Bags

Good news for literalists: Now Irish Americans (and anyone else who wants in) can always have a part of the Motherland with them.

Get ready to ask why you didn't think of this first. Pat Burke and Alan Jenkins are selling dirt in small plastic bags for $15. The dirt is from Ireland, and the customers are from everywhere else. Ex-pats can now have a fistful of the "auld sod" tossed on their caskets. One Manhattan lawyer paid $100,000 to be buried in it. Another man is building the only house in Massachusetts on Irish soil. There's even a rising Asian market for shamrock seeds, which come included.

Since their November, 2006 launch, the Auld Sod Export Company has shipped almost $2 million worth of soil worldwide. "When the Irish immigrated to America," said Burke, "they brought everything with them: religion, culture, tradition. Everything except Mother Earth. Now they can be reconnected." What about the Asian market? "For luck. They're very superstitious."