ST Paddy’s day
With valentines over and with emotions still running high, what else is there for the Irish person to do but turn to the drink? St Patrick’s Day coming up means only one thing to the average Irish person, drink.
I heard somewhere that Saint Patrick himself wasn’t actually Irish at all, but English. Now if that isn’t a dark irony I don’t know what is. The English however don’t seem to have taken the whole thing in like the Irish did, he is ours and you can’t have him type attitude from us inhibits anyone else claiming him. Being donned the patron saint of Ireland is also a humorous thing. St Patrick would more closely be associated with failing livers, the patron saint of sclerosis. I was reading an article printed in an English magazine the other day and the pull quote was “binge drinking in the U.K is atrocious”, some politician said so anyway. Now when they listed the average amount of alcohol consumed I had to laugh, what they called binge drinking, we called a breakfast tipple.
So out with the shamrocks and tri coloured ribbon badges, floats at 2 o’clock in the parade and the football neatly following. Last paddy’s day was great because I spent it sober and in Manchester. It’s odd that the best parades happen in foreign countries. I asked some foreign national friends of mine recently what was the one thing, which sprung to mind when they thought of Ireland;
“Rain, drink, drinking in the rain, and drinking the rain away” that was one response, but he was as foreign as they get, coming from Tipperary. I asked another English friend of mine what he thought was the most common thing in Ireland, he said “Mary Harney, common as hell”. I totally disagree with him of course; I think she is a classy bird myself.
But to be honest Ireland is only famous for the Guinness and the craic. That seems to be the international selling tag for the green isle. Now I think it’s funny how Guinness and the craic come in the same sentence, because anytime I have seen Guinness drank in the vast quantities on paddy’s day there is no real craic, just fighting and grown men getting sick into a super mac’s bag. So as I move on into my spiel about this great day I think about all the people of the country mobilizing to their local, or in the case of us travellers, to the pub that would serve us. But thinking about it logically, when people are at a point of drunkenness that even Shane McGowan’s voice sounds credible, they are just about the same amount if hassle to the bar man. Having worked in a bar myself I can tell you that some of the settled community act worse than any traveller. Then again thinking of it like a logical person should, the publicans should be damn lucky anyone turns out to spend a cent in this economic climate.
I remember from when I was a child and going to the town to see the parade. Thinking back it was a typically Irish effort, tractors disguised as monster trucks. And the winners of the parade were the same each year because they funded it. The only decent thing about the parade was when they threw out the free lollipops to the crowds.
So if Saint Patrick isn’t ruining your liver then don’t worry, diabetes from sweets is very much a possibility. And as for his efforts at driving the snakes out of the country, it was all a lie, there’s still a few slithering around Leinster house, come on paddy, get with the programme.