Everyone/No One Is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day
By Ryan Purtill
“LOL look guys..sssssnakes!” - St. Patrick
This article is about St. Patrick’s Day, and while I am not technically an expert in Irish culture, I have seen five of the six Leprechaun movies — so, I think I know what I’m talking about here.
St. Patrick’s Day can be a strange day for Irish people. Sure, everyone wants to be Irish when it means slamming back shots of Jameson and making out with a hot redhead, but what about the hard times? Where were these guys during the potato famine? I bet they weren’t even around! Well for those Irish frustrated with all these fair-weather fans on St. Patrick’s Day, I‘ve got some good news… St. Patrick’s Day is. a. lie.
It’s true. St. Patrick is famous for driving paganism – and apparently tanning booths – out of Ireland in the 4th century, but the real St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He was a British-born aristocrat, and March 17 is the anniversary of his death. So really, St. Paddy’s day is a day when the Irish cheer and celebrate for the death of a fancy Englishman, which historically, makes a lot of sense.
Also, St Patrick’s name wasn’t even Patrick, it was Succat. Interesting note: many Irishmen still use his name as a type of Irish greeting. You may have heard this name shouted out at a bar or a Boston sporting event. I once wore a Phillies jersey to a Red Sox game and found many of my fellow countrymen greeting me with, “Succat you queer!”, “Phillies can Succat”, and other variations of this Emerald Isle saying as they showered me in beer. The Irish are a very welcoming bunch.
Even the idea of the jolly, sprite, and lucky leprechaun that we so commonly see on St. Paddy’s day has no truth to it. In real Irish folklore, leprechauns were actually mean, frail, little shoemakers. They share more in common with today’s Indonesian child-labor force than the cartoon mascot for Lucky Charms. They’re tragically malicious.
Alright, now that we’ve established that St. Paddy’s day has nothing to do with being Irish, let’s get down to what this holiday is really about – drinking till you liver is the size and consistency of Adele’s thigh. For all the Irish and non-Irish alike, here are some tips to get you through this mess of a day:
Don’t Drink at Your Local Pub
For me, going to a bar is a lot like late-night Internet sessions… At first, I causally look around, then I end up opening way too many tabs, find the smuttiest thing around, get to her address, and pray that I don’t catch a virus. But, St. Patrick’s Day is different. Every St. Paddy’s Day tons of kids swarm the local pub for the sole reason of getting wrecked. Seeing this flood of green idiots in my own home bar is painful. I imagine it’s the same feeling athletes get when they see me in their gym the day after New Year’s, dressed in new running shoes and a sweatband. They know I have no clue what I’m doing and odds are I’ll be sweating heavily and puking in the bathroom in less than an hour. This is why you need to avoid your normal stomping grounds. Besides, there is a good chance you might tell a cop to “do something about it.” or get in a fistfight over whether Grimus was a boy or girl. It’s best to do that kind of stuff off of home turf.
Do Drink Guinness
The best part of St. Paddy’s Day is delicious Guinness. Guinness is the holiest of Irish beers, probably because it most closely resembles a priest – it’s got a black body, a white collar, and one time as a child, I hung out with like 9 of them and now I can’t remember a thing that happened. Go figure! But anyway you look at it; Guinness is a good idea on St. Paddy’s Day. It’s also less alcoholic than most other beers, which will buy you a few more hours of fun in the bar before you wake up behind the abandoned Blockbuster covered in Taco Bell wrappers and missing a spleen.
Don’t Yell, “CAR BOMBS!”
The Irish car bomb is the only drink used to celebrate a culture that is named after one of the darkest parts of that culture’s history. Celebrating Irish heritage with a car bomb is like celebrating black history month with a Jim Crow-Cosmo. You can’t name an ethnic drink after a tragedy in that country! That’s like having a Japanese drink called the Nuke or celebrating America with an Alabama Slammer. It’s just not right. So don’t yell it out every two minutes at the bar.
Don’t Drink Vodka.
The only excuse for having a vodka cocktail in your hand on St. Paddy’s Day is if you’re throwing a Molotov at some riot police with a belly full of whiskey. Besides, top shelf vodkas are essentially two dollars worth of alcohol in a $28.00 bottle. So, if you are going to walk into the house hammered, covered in piss and screaming about “the Jews” again this St. Paddy’s day, at least do it with some class and smell like Scotch. I’m looking at you, mom!
Do Have Bottled Water by your Bed
Believe me, you are going to wake up tired, confused, and wrapped in a blanket like a displaced Katrina victim. Your mouth is going to taste like you’ve been eating dirty bouncy balls and your clothes are going to smell like an old retainer case. Your first few moments of consciousness will be a flood of shame as you realize what you did the night before. Don’t beat yourself up too much, it was St. Paddy’s Day… and also everyone knows it’s not gay if you pretended to be asleep when it happened. So, you’re good. Just don’t think about it, grab the water and start the recovery process.
Ryan is a comedian and writer from Philadelphia. You can find more of Ryan at his Tumblr: RyanPurtill.com. He is available for children’s parties, not to entertain; he just has a lot of free time and enjoys cake.
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