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St. Patrick's Day Blogging Festival of Drinking and Saying Inappropriate Things About Irish People

I'm not Irish. Let's get that out of the way. But we all have a little Irish in us today, no? Or maybe we'd like to have some Irish in us, eh..wink, nudge...aww damn. This is where I would link to a really good looking Irish guy so you would get the joke, but I can't seem to find one I'd make that particular joke with. Andy, are you Irish? No, I think he's Scottish. Well, I could always switch teams and go for this beautiful Irish gal, but that sort of defeats the purpose of the innuendo and...nevermind. Forget I even started this.

Anyhow, today is going to be All Irish, All The Time Day here at ASV. Why the hell not? I like corn beef and cabbage. Guinness is my favorite beer. Did I ever tell you how I used to make the best Black & Tan any bar-stool sitting drunkard had ever seen or tasted? Yea, those were the days.

I'll start the all day Irish festival off with my St. Pat's Day post from last year, a memory-driven tale of hanging out with some dear friends one March 17th. There's so much more to come, including a tribute to Ted Kennedy! Kidding.

The Rock: A St. Patrick's Day Story from my Misguided Youth

The last time I went to the city (New York City, of course) on St. Patrick's Day was in 1980, with a few of my closest high school friends. We were in the home stretch of our high school careers; June would bring graduation, separation and higher education. We decided to make the most of our final months as high school juvenile delinquents and wreak as much havoc as possible.

So on March 17, 1980, we found ourselves on a westbound train at 7:30 in the morning instead of on a bus on our way to school. There was no other place to be on St. Patrick's Day besides New York City.

I don't think we saw much of the parade. Mostly we walked around the streets acting like idiots until lunch time, when we parked ourselves inside the Steak & Brew, a restaurant that gave out free beer with meals. Those of us who were only 17 showed fake ID, which the waitress barely glaned at. We stayed for a couple of hours, drinking and laughing, until the waitress said if we weren't going to order more food, we should leave. It had been a couple of hours.

We decided to walk over to Central Park. Drunk, perhaps a bit stoned, and surrounded by a massive crowd of other drunks and perhaps stoned people, we made our way through the throngs of Irish-for-the-Day revelers. We sang Danny Boy and some other Irish songs that everyone but me - the lone non-Irish person - could sing. We worked the crowd, not caring what anyone thought of us. We introduced ourselves to strangers, shared cigarettes with a homeless man and drank green beer with a bunch of firemen. Kevin shook hands with anyone and everyone, using his signature greeting of "have a nice life!" Man, were such geeks. Such idiots. But we had so much fun.

We closed out the afternoon pretending to scale rocks in Central Park. When we tired of that, we stretched out on one huge boulder, the five of us spread out, staring up at the gathering clouds. And we talked. We talked for what felt like hours about hobbits and pinball machines, about Todd Rundgren and the Grateful Dead, about the Yankees and the Islanders, and all the other all the things that bound us together through four years of high school, things that seem insignificant now, but were so important to us then.

I was the only girl among the five of us. It never felt odd to me, though I know it looked odd to other people. Those four guys were the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I had the greatest times of my life as part of that group of geeky kids. We weren't the jocks, we weren't the burnouts, we weren't the honor students or drama crowd. We were just us, the kids with no single identity, the kids who appeared to be friends with everyone, but were really only friends with themselves.

We talked about life, too, laying on that rock in the park as the sun started to disappear and the day turned cold. We guessed what our futures would be like. We wondered how long our friendship would hold. We made plans, laughed at our own far-fetched dreams of fame and fortune and stayed on that rock until our fingers and ears went numb from the cold. It was as if we knew that we were experiencing one of our last great days together. We hung onto it for as long as we could, and then we made an impossible promise to each other. We promised that no matter where life took us, no matter how far we roamed, we would come back to that very rock on St. Patrick's Day in the year 2000. Twenty years. We'd share our stories, show off pictures of our families, give each other autographed books and albums since we were all destined to be famous authors or musicians. We spat on our palms and gave each other wet high fives to solidify our vow. And then we headed for home.

I haven't seen them in quite a few years. I think it was 1999 when an old high school friend had a bunch of us over to reminisce. Only three of the five of us showed up, and it just wasn't the same without the other two. It wasn't right. And we forgot about our promise - not one of us mentioned it.

St. Patrick's Day, 2000 came and went. I didn't go to the rock, but I swear, I did think of my four friends that day. I wondered if any of them remembered our promise to meet there. I wonder if they still think about hobbits and pinball machines, if they still think of all those parties at my house when they watch Islander games.

Well, Happy St. Patrick's Day to Kevin, Chris, Tim and Jim. Hope you guys are having a nice life. I am.

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Comments

Scottish? Them's fightin' words, m'lass.

Actually, I'm only 1/4 Irish, but 1/2 German, so pass the sauerkraut, if you please.

And the beer.

I'm not sure what the other 1/4 is; I've heard rumors it might be French, but - please - let's not talk about that. Every family has their shame.

I'll step up to the plate. I'm 1/2 Irish. Also 1/2 German, 1/2 Welsh, 1/2 Boxer and 1/2 Spitz.

[Spit Spit Spit]

Sorry, my mind is trapped in Warner Brothers Land until at least 9:00.

So anyway...an Irish classic for you:

Q: Do you know why God invented whiskey?

A: To stop the Irish from taking over the world!

Corollary: It only works 364 days of the year. ;)

Michele ... I remember when you posted this one before. It's one of my favorites of your tales - it chokes me up!

Beannachtai na Féile Pádraig Naofa oraibh!

Oh and lastly, one of my favorite quotes from Braveheart is:

"In order to find his equal, an Irishman is FORCED to talk to God."

Outside the Simpsons prohibition episode, my favorite sitcom St. Patrick's day memory is from Cheers when they had some Irish singing group in, and every song was some depressing or angry dirge. Chorus from one: "Limey scum, limey scum. I kills them all and still the come."

Some of my ancestors were Irish quakers (the Boyds). They were excommunicated for "marrying out of church" so they emigrated to America. So I have a love/hate relationship with that priest-ridden race.

An Englishman, a Scot, and an Irishman go into bar and each orders a beer.
While they are enjoying their beverages a fly comes out of nowhere and lands in the Englishman's beer. He dumps the beer out and orders another.
A few seconds later another fly appears and plops into the Scotsman's beer. He frugally plucks the fly out and continues to drink.
Then a fly plops into Paddy's beer. He pickes the mug up, stares into it, and shouts "Spit it out, 'ya teevin bastard, spit it out!"

Have you heard about Hitler's Irish Nephew?
And how can you delight in making a Black and Tan?

Terry: I haven't heard about Hitler's Irish Nephew and I don't care. And that's a bad link you put in there.

And how can you delight in making a Black and Tan?

Because it's a fucking DRINK that tastes good. Your seriousness is a real downer, Terry.

Curious thing about Black and Tans: For years, I always knew B&Ts to be 1/2 Guiness and 1/2 Harp. Then I discover, much to my amazement, that B&Ts are now made with 1/2 Guiness and 1/2 Bass Ale. If you want Guiness and Harp in the same vessel, you have to order a Half and Half.

Of course, it's possible I was lied to early on.

Well I'm late but I'm also 1/2 Irish, 1/4 Welsh, 1/4 Stottish and 100% English. Real mongrel.

Terry, who excommunicated them? The catholics? If they were Quakers then they had already left the church or did they become quakers upon exiting, in which case the church probably did them a favour.