Wednesday, March 16, 2016

St. Patrick's Day: A Manifesto

The United States has three major booze holidays: Halloween, Cinco de Mayo, and St. Patrick's Day. St. Patrick's Day, because of cultural stereotypes, is the highest of these high BAC holidays. Americans know nothing about St. Patrick's Day other than it is for drinking all day either before, during, or after a parade. Some might trying to spin a yarn about snakes, but they lack any real concrete knowledge. Halloween, we all know, is partially for children and has it's roots in demons roaming the earth for 24 hours. College students molded it in their own image and, thankfully, made it a half-naked kegger. Cinco de Mayo has something to do with Mexico, and people mostly spend it sipping on margaritas in Tex-Mex restaurants with outdoor seating. During Halloween and Cinco de Mayo we all have a few drinks. St. Patrick's Day exists only so gingers desperate to be inherently interesting can wear their kilts and the rest of us can get blitzed.

This is why it's so unfortunate when St. Patrick's Day falls during the middle of the week, when responsibility rears it's ugly head. It's important to acknowledge that St. Paddy's Day requires two days to be done properly. The 17th must be reserved for drinking slowly and steadily. The 18th is for feeling terrible and recovering. It's a 48 hour commitment. When it falls on a Friday, fine, you can take the day off work for a three-day weekend and go to town. You'll even have Sunday as an extra day to replenish your fluids. If it's Saturday, even better. When it is a Thursday, like this year, tough decisions need to be made. Do you take two days off and signal to your co-workers and boss how much you value maintaining a good 14-hour buzz? Or do you take it easy and just have a few after work? The former is best, but both are acceptable.

What is not acceptable. Is celebrating the weekend before or the weekend after. When you see people wearing green Dr. Seuss hats and plastic shamrock baubles on the Saturdays preceding or following the real St. Patrick's Day, know that those people are weak, and they value the appearance of having a good time more than they value the good time. March 17 is a day of binge drinking. A day to be irresponsible. A day to pound Guinness and green Bud Light. How dare anyone defile it by rescheduling it? This is not a dentist's appointment. This isn't Christmas. Something to bump back a few days. If you want to participate, then you need to dig down deep, find the grittiest part of your humanity, and drink on the day that it falls on. If it's a Tuesday, then we're drinking on a goddamn Tuesday. If you can't manage that, then you don't get to participate. Don't worry. You have a full year to get your priorities straight.

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