Here we go. It’s Beer School time. I feel compelled to let you know that I pre-gamed about 30 minutes before sitting down to write this post with two shots of god awful scotch. I’m completely out of the good stuff and you’re not supposed to shoot it so it was a bad experience. However, I soldier on in the name of science or something. At least I can chase it with some Guinness Extra Stout. So a brief recap on the rules. I write about a topic that I’m not super knowledgeable about. Every time I have to look something up, I take a shot (or half a beer). These shots are indicated by an asterisk.* Nothing here is edited except for some spelling corrections which will no doubt go unnoticed later.
Here’s my setup.
Time to learn!
For a baseline, here is a picture of me now (sober).
Chillin’ like a motherfuckin’ villian
St. Patrick’s Day is an American tradition. It’s a day where you can, as an American, put on some green underwear and then antagonize everyone who hasn’t by pulling your pants down and showing them your holiday cheer. Also, it’s a holiday where it’s socially acceptable to pass out in your neighbor’s bushes as long as you’re wearing something green. And you know? I can really get behind that.
But why do we really celebrate this hangover inducing holiday? Obviously it’s a day designated to celebrate St. Patrick, that guy who brought Christianity to Ireland.* OH god, leftover cherry vodka is a TERRIBLE SHOT!
Anyway, St/ Patrick also banished all the snakes from Ireland just like Samuel L. Jackson banished all those motherfucking snakes from his motherfucking plane.
“Hello, God? It’s Patrick. Yeah, I got ’em all. Every last motherfucking one.”
So St. Patrick’s Day is a devoutly religious holiday taken pretty seriously by the Irish people. Or at least that’s what my wife has told me every year since we’ve been together when I offer to buy a case of beer and rent Braveheart. Anyway, it’s more on par with Easter Sunday in rural Ireland than the frat party it is here in the US.
So how did St. Patrick make it all the way over to the United States of America? That’s easy. I have no clue. But apparently the holiday started back in the 17th century to commemorate the death of St. Pat way back in the 5th century.* That’s 1200 fucking years between that dudes death and the time they finally decided to do something about it. Christ. I hope it doesn’t take humanity that long to commemorate my untimely yet heroically awesome death. I want a statue in place by 2030. So, taking the better late than never approach, the Vatican ratified it as a holiday in 1631.*
It took this guy 2 hours to get down the stairs in the mornings*
So fast forward 200 years,* and St. Patrick’s day makes an appearance in Boston. I had no idea there were Irish people in the US before the revolutionary war. They were probably pretty good at hating the British, too. So now that the Irish are in the US, things started to get moving. That small pocket of Irish people in Boston became Irish people fucking everywhere. Irish people love to procreate as do Catholics. So it was a double threat wham bam of Irish proliferation* (looked up the definition for that word… Sorry, Mr. Nadolny [High School English Teacher]). Ok, that last part was racist. I’m sorry Ireland and wife. I’m super not racist, I just recognize that iriish people love babies. Who doesn’t love babies? Nazi’s, that’s who.
So eventually the Irish started holding parades celebrate St. Paddies day and in Geogia, they held a parade in 1848 that was one of the biggest parades in the world.* For those interested, this is my last shot of hard liquore. I need to wake up for wokr tomoorow at 0430. I’ll be switchign to beer for the remainder of this post. You know what they say, Liguor before beer, you’re good to go. Beer before liquor? Bam, you’re dead.
So… Let’s move on. I want to get to the drinking. So far we’ve got Ireland, some dude named Pat and a bunch of snakes on a motherfucking plane. Parades are great, but when did America start adopting the irresponsible and awesome St. Pattrick’s Day that we all know and love today today? But before we do, snack break!
I fucking love me some sandwiches
Ok, half a sandwich down and I feel much more sober… That’s not exactly the goal here.
So, for example, did you know that George Washington gave his Irish troops a holiday on March 17th to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 1780 (the height of the Revolutionary War)?* Well, he did. And I’ve switched back to liquor because I am nothing if not indecisive as all fucking hell. So, 235 years ago, America’s second greatest badass of all time thought the Irish were badass enough to take a whole day off from war to celebrate their heritage. I can’t even score a day off work to celebrate my birthday. Nice work, Irish.
So St. Patrick, 2000 years later the Vatican, parades, and some other shit. Here we are. Today. Not today, but after the parades. So Irish people have been holding parades on sovereign US soil for hundreds of years now, but St. Patrick’s Day didn’t actually become an Irish national holiday until 1906.* What the actual fuck, Ireland? This St. Patrick guy is supposed to be your national mascot and yet you couldn’t deem it important enough to establish him as a national holiday until the early 1900’s? Einstein came out with the theory of relativity* before you gusy were able to get your holiday shit together. No wonder the British kicked your asses in WWI.
Represen-en Irelan’ since 1906!
We’ve already established that the Irish love fucking* and there are a ton of Irish people in the US. Ireland has finally made St. Patrick’s Day a national holiday, and hey! Lucky Charms! Everyone and their mom knows an Irish person. They’re in your grocery store, they’re writing your speeding tickets, and they’re in politics. By the end of the 19th century, St. Patrick’s Day was being observed on the streets of major Irish cities such as Boston, Chicago, and New York. (yay, plagiarism!)* Groups began dying beer green as early as the 1960’s because now the Irish are in your frat houses.* Since St. Patrick’s Day falls during Spring Break, a lot of students in Miami, Ohio (who knew there was more than one Miami!?) would get super drunk on the Thursday before to “celebrate” the holiday. In my experience, college kids will get hammered to celebrate boxing day just as quickly as any Irish holidays so that doesn’t really count. However, St. Patrick’s day does occur during Lent, the international Catholic holiday of self sacrifice.* Since Jesus gave up his life (some cultures submit that he had to give up his Xbox One for a whole week) so that we can gain salvation, the Catholics believe that we should give up something dear to us for 40 days not including Sundays in return (!!!)* Also, (holy fuck! 40 fucking days?!). So, if you were forced by a tyrannical Christian religion to give up something dear to you, what would you give up? Well, this was per-prohibition so 90% of Americans gave up drinking… for 40 days. Now, according to my wife,* God loves Ireland more than anyone else so God gives the Irish a break from Lent on St. Patrick’s Day. Since Lent starts somewhere between the middle of February and the beginning of March,* St. Patrick’s Day usually falls smack dab in the middle of it. So very early on, St. Patrick’s day became a beautiful oasis in the middle of a terrible, booze free day. Irish Catholics had the day off from Lent so they drank. And they drank a fuck ton. They drank enough booze in one day to fill the 3 weeks of abstinence before and after St. Patrick’s Day.
No caption in the world can do this picture justice
Chicago had already been dying the river green since 1962* to look for sewer discharges so why not dye it green now for St. Patrick’s Day? In fact, cities all over the US began dying their locla boties of water green to celebrate dear St. Patrick. Irish pride took off in a way that nobody expected. You didn’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. You just had to wear something green and get plastered. St. Patrick’s day quickly became a national and then international holiday. Corporations began to cash in on the holiday and Corned beef and cabbage—rarely eaten in Ireland but commonplace in American cities as a springtime dish—became the meal for March 17. Today you can see more St. Patrick’s Day garbage than Christmas time junk. All because of America’s incorporation of the unquenchable Irish spirit.
In short, an amazing group of people came to America to find freedom from their oppressors (fuck you, the British!) and found a home in the New World. America has always been about freedom of expression and the Irish built this little known holiday into an international spectical. The Irish came to America hoping to find equality, but in coming here, they not only found equality, but they found a voice as well. They’ve molded themselves into the very fabric of what it means to be an American. St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of our Marvel origin story. St. Patrick’s day is the closest thing in America to National Immigrant Day.* We are all, in one way or another, immigrants and St. Patrick’s Day is the embodiment of that spirit. The American Dream. It’s a day where we can all come together and remember what it means to be an American. Not just somebody who was born here, but somebody who fought to make this country what it was. We came to this country poor and tired. Beaten and oppressed. We came to this country hoping for a better life, a fresh start and we got it.
On March 17th, we’re all Irish and we should be damn well proud to be one of them. The Irish represent what America stands for. So once a year we honor that dedication. We honor that tenacity, perseverance, and dedication to our roots. And what better way to honor this amazing American legacy than to wear green and get shitfaced? Happy Mothers Day, America. We love you and we love Ireland!
- Writing time: 4.5 hours
- 18 shots (I think. Things went a little black at one point)
- 2 Guinness Extra Stouts
- 1/2 glass of water
- 1 completely untouched Guinness
- Passed out at least twice that I can remember
- Actually made it to work on time… mostly
Here’s a photo of me at the end of this entry:
It was a rough night.