Forget green beer, drink Jameson’s
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Man I love this day.
Here it is again, my favorite time of year, March 17. St. Patrick’s Day. A day to truly appreciate the famous patron saint who made it his mission to share the gospel in Ireland. Almost 1,600 years later, Americans still reserve time out of their busy weeks to appreciate Ol’ Saint ‘Trick. Except the mission is to drink like it’s the end of the world.
As opposed to fearing it.
Here in America, there is much jubilation surrounding March 17. With McAnany (of county Clare) blood coursing through my veins, I’m obligated as go as far as calling it an official holiday. I’ve even been known to take the day off from work.
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Unless it’s on a weekend.
Some people go all Erin-Go-Bragh for green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. The honest drinkers – especially the lucky ones like me with Irish roots – call this amateur hour. We hit the real Irish stuff like Jameson and Guinness. On this day, getting whiskey tipsy trumps silly green-stained teeth any day.
I’m thinking green teeth were the norm back in 436, though.
In my family, there has to be corned beef and cabbage on March 17 – as well as New Year’s Day, most importantly, for good luck year-round. I’ve even gone so far as to travel to Boston especially to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the masses.
Of course there’s a good story to go with that.
My best friend was living in Boston at the time, so I really had no excuse not to fly to this fantastic city for St. Patrick’s Day frivolity. This was not just a one-day affair, however. The celebrating lasted days. And it was one of the best weekends I’ve experienced in my life. The weekend could only be better if we had a dead guy named Bernie to traipse around with us.
Why there is no trilogy to that comedic work of genius, I have no idea.
During the infamous Boston weekend, we spent St. Patrick’s Day in several highly respected taprooms. We ate corned beef and cabbage, for luck. We toasted to prosperity, for luck. We visited a tiny drinkery called The Littlest Bar, for luck. Unfortunately the The Littlest Bar wasn’t so lucky. I read that it closed in 2005 to make room for condos.
Who knew survival of the fittest extended to barrooms?
The highlight of the trip was parade day in South Boston. April, meet Southie. Southie, meet April. Since St. Patrick’s Day is technically a religious holiday commemorating Ol’ Saint ‘Trick’s missionary skills, the parade in South Boston is always on a Sunday. This is the parade of all parades. The music and dancing are as Irish as it gets. Lucky for a firefighter fan like myself, there’s a lot of Irish to go around there, too.
We are a friendly lot.
As frigid as the weather was that day, the parade was a warm welcome to the streets of Southie. Parents were smiling. Kids were laughing. Clowns were creeping us out. Most importantly, we were pub-crawling.
This was no ordinary pub-crawl.
The pubs were spilling over with firemen and policemen, all gussied up in their dress blues. We were definitely outnumbered, but they didn’t seem to mind. Come to think of it, I don’t think we had a real problem with it, either. Somehow I ended up with what seemed to be important pins for some type of heroic measure. My friend ended up with one of the fireman’s dress caps. And, if I recall, we snapped a few priceless photos on an antique fire truck parked outside the pub.
A little immersion never hurt anyone.
In that moment, eight or nine years ago – the exact year is a little fuzzy – I was in St. Patrick’s Day heaven. I may or may not have heard the voice of God. He was telling me I’m all right for an Irish girl.
That would make Ol’ Saint ‘Trick proud.
April E. Clark is sharing a funny ol’ Irish saying, “May you die in bed at 95 years, shot by a jealous husband (or wife).” She can be reached at email@example.com.
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