I like St. Patrick’s Day. I know it’s as authentic as a box of Lucky Charms. I know that it may as well be a giant advertisement for Guinness. I know green beer is an abomination. But I like it. I’ve got just enough Irish ancestry to feel like I can genuinely enjoy it. I don’t wear green or decorate with shamrocks or wear plastic hats, but I do like to drink and I love corned beef and cabbage. So yeah, I dig St. Patrick’s Day. Normally.
But not this year. Because this year it falls on a Saturday. And I don’t think I can handle the slew of amateurs that will emerge into the unseasonable warmth of mid-March and make drinking look like a foolish endeavor rather than an honorable calling.
In years past, I’d take the day off. Yeah, that’s right, the day. I got sick of dragging myself into work only to curse myself for trying to be productive on a drinking holiday. Sure, I could sneak a guilty beer over a corned beef lunch, but what was the point of doing things half-assed? So many years ago I made the decision to just take the whole damned day. Sleep in, have a relaxed breakfast, transition to a hearty lunch, all the while drinking whatever I want whenever I want.
The best part was that I’d be winding down just as other suckers were getting off of work and preparing for an aggressive drunken bender. For St. Patrick’s Day, like New Year’s Eve, is tailor made for amateurs. I’m not one to judge… strike that. I do judge, and harshly. Schmucks who don’t know how to behave themselves come out in droves on St. Patrick’s Day, and they make the whole thing look like a kegger for oversized toddlers.
Take last year. I’d spent a fine day relaxing at a few quiet taverns, and eventually found myself contentedly perched on a stool at my favorite bar. Late in the afternoon a gaudy bus pulled up and disgorged a pile of emerald-clad nitwits. They were on a St. Paddy’s pub crawl, of course. The leader of the pack swaggered up to the bar. “Six pints of Guinness!” he bellowed.
“We don’t have Guinness,” the bartender replied, but the goober had already turned back to his merry crew. “Sir!” The bartender tried again, raising his voice. “I’m sorry, but we don’t have Guinness. Can I recommend a different stout? Or a porter?”
It took a moment, but the patron finally processed the information. “You… don’t have Guinness? You’re kidding!”
“Don’t have Guinness,” said the bartender. “Can I recommend something similar?”
“You don’t have Guinness,” murmured the man. “Huh. I guess… I guess I’ll have a Spotted Cow. Yeah, six Spotted Cows.” About as far as you can get from a Guinness, but okay, whatever. The bartender shrugged, poured the pints, and the disappointed fellow lumbered away.
Another member of the party stepped up in his place. “Hey there!” he said brightly. “Three pints of Guinness!” The bartender sighed. I smirked. And then it happened again. And again. And then the noisemakers came out. And that’s when I decided that my pleasant St. Patrick’s Day had come to an end.
Which was fine. I’d enjoyed my day and it was time to turn things over to the second shift – the people wearing wacky hats and “Kiss Me I’m Irish” crapola. On a weekday we can coexist. But on a Saturday those world will collide, and I just don’t think I’m up for a full day of the kind of communal drunken idiocy.
So I’m gonna sit this one out. Give my regrets to the Guinness toasts, Jameson shots, and toxic green dyes. Watch “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” without me. Have fun. I’ll just wait until next year to return to my curmudgeonly ways.
Wait, St. Patrick’s Day is on a Sunday next year. Crap.
(Photo via Awkward Family Photos)