Erin Go “Bah!”

Let me take a swig first for some courage…. {gulp}… Ahhh!

Okay, now I’ll say it, I’ll dare to state the unthinkable…  St. Patrick’s Day is the worst freaking day of the year. And I’m Irish!!!

Now of course I’m not referring to all those positive things to enjoy… the parade, the poetry readings, the story tellings, the music revues, the art displays and walking tours, all of which make one proud to be from the old sod… it’s that other thing that drives me up a wall. Or up against it! That insane, pressing, ethnic obligation for people to drink til they drop and get carried out the door. That thing! To start the day with the wearin’ o’ the green, in some cases painted on faces, and end the day by spewing the green on the sidewalk. It’s just another version of New Year’s Eve, that other outing for amateurs, but instead of paper hats it’s knitted tams. And instead of a tux and champagne it’s sweaters and whiskey. For the end result is still the same no matter what clothes you put on it… drink til you speak in tongues and flirt with a coma!

Now obviously I speak as a bartender here… one who is forced to aid and abet this  folly… so I clearly view these proceedings from a different vantage point. From behind the stick. From a place where I almost want to carry a stick! You don’t believe me? Try this on…

Try being bar number 53 on the list of a day-long pub crawl,  and in crawl 27 people to make your day. Just to say they’ve been there. Oh, there’s crawlin’ goin’ on all right, it’s you up the side of the wall and out through the transom! {sip-sip} And as an Irish person myself over here (at least two thirds with English and German thrown in) I all the more want to put…

Woops, excuse me a second… my glass is empty, back in a sec!

Okay, where was I? {sip} Oh yeah... as an Irish person myself over here, I all the more want to put this folly in perspective. To discuss the sheer irony of it. Because if it’s always been the knock on the Irish, and one that gets our backs up, that we’re nothing but a bunch of drunks who like to brawl (“God created whiskey to keep the Irish from ruling the world”), or bawl (just start singing “Danny Boy” and watch what happens!) then how can we justify its opposite when this is how we act? On our only holiday. When our one day of celebration singing the praises of who we are, is a thousand ways to get drunk and where to do it! St. Pat? Hah, forget it! He’s just the holy hood ornament on our booze-mobile. The one careening through town in search of a bar spot. I mean no one puts together “Saint” and “Pat” and says them in the same sentence with any kind of reverence, unless a guy named Pat buys them a cocktail. “Why thank you there, Paddy, you’re a bleedin’ saint you are!!!”

Damn, I just knocked my glass over, you’ll have to excuse me again… be right back! Ouch!!! Now I banged my knee on the fucking desk leg!!! What the hell’s going on here?

Okay, I’m back.

Hmmm, I’ve lost my place again? Oh well, not important, {sip} I guess what I’m really trying to say is, we shouldn’t overdo the sauce on our one day to shine. That’s all. Because, because… Jesus!… why can’t I stay on track here?

Ya’ know, as a Jack Daniels guy I have to say this Bushmill’s stuff isn’t bad. {sip} It has a nice nose to it. Hah! That’s funny, a nice nose… it also has a cute set of fucking ears! Ha-ha-ha! Now that’s really funny. “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! A cute set of ears on a bottle of whiskey!

Okay, I’m starting to get silly so back to the point here. {sip-gulp} And that is…

Sorry, one more refill, then I promise I’ll wrap this damn thing up. Be right back!

{Sip… sip} Ahh, here we go, back at the keyboard!

And so the point is, dear reader, {gulp} to make life easy on your friendly bartender wherever you go this Thgursday… Thersday… this day after Wednesday… and to shine a positive light on your Irish heritage, try and show a little restraint when you… Hee-hee-hee, why the fuck is Bushmill’s with ears funny to me? I cant stop thinking about that… anyway, ummmm,  oh yeah, try and show restrangge when you (hic-cup!) imblibe. I mean imbibe. I know that’s what I always do whenever the “spirits” move me, I (hic!) try and slow things down and reflect. Reflect on what matters in life. Things like family, friends, you out there in Barland who visit every week, and … hold on a sec I’m starting to tear up, let me get a Kleenex... (sniff- sniff!)

Look, I’m sorry, I don’t think I can do this any more… I seem to have hit a cryin’ jag I can’t shake. (Sniff-sniff!) And if you think that’s being a wussy out there, I’ll fight the first fucking man who even thinks it!  You got that, you bastard!

{Sip} Ahhh! Damn, that’s good whiskey. Ya’ know, I have to say, (sniff-sniff) this is the funnest, funnest post I’ve ever rotten! I mean written!

And so, ummmm, oh yeah… have a nice St. Patrick’s Day, wherever you are in Barland, your friendly bartender wouldn’t have it any other way! (Sniff! Honk!!!!)

See ya’ next week-end, dear reader, Erin go bragh! 🙂

17 Responses to “Erin Go “Bah!””

  1. 1 MikeQ March 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    You’ve hit the nail on the head again, Scrib. All the bartenders I know view St Patty’s Day and New Year’s Eve as amateur night. It seems on these two nights so many people who don’t usually go out and party suddednly take it in their minds to get stinking drunk. A recipe for disaster, if you’re a bartender. Fortunately at Johnny D’s, we’re not known as a big drinking spot . . . people come here for the music … so we don’t suffer as much. Anyway, kudos on another great post. I look forward every week to your next one.

  2. 2 jc March 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Dude, wtf. are you {sipping} wine? You irish fuckers [SWIG] the hard shit!
    Happy Clover Day!

  3. 3 scribbler50 March 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Mike Q: I knew you get the gist of this one, thanks, man. And good luck on Thursday.

    jc: What the hell are YOU sipping? Didn’t I say “Bushmill’s” in the post? Sober up, girl!

    And happy clover day! 🙂

  4. 4 Uncle Vinny March 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Scrib, you crack me up! I lift an imaginary Bushmills to you sir, having just started to enjoy Irish whiskey in the last few months. (I’m even keener on the japanese whiskey, if you want to know the truth, but that sounds kind of high-falutin’.) Anyway, happy S.P.D. to ya, and may the gods of no-, some- and lotsa-alcohol smile upon you where’er you go.

  5. 5 Donna B. March 13, 2011 at 3:36 am

    “nothing but a bunch of drunks who like to brawl”

    I beg your pardon!!! It’s us Scots who own that reputation, not our Irish neighbors. OK… Irish whisky is fine in coffee with sugar and whipped cream, but it’s nothing compared to the peaty flavor of a good scotch whisky.

    Come on, you know I’m right!

    The thing is that we Scots just didn’t have the flair to bring our celebration of Robbie Burns day to the level y’all Irish did for St. Patty. Perhaps the fault lies with too much emphasis on the haggis instead of the whisky.

    However… since we are now of the same country, one which managed to garner the best of both the Irish and the Scots (and, oh hell, let’s give the damn English a smidgeon of respect here for putting up with both of us), let me buy ya a drink. Jack Daniels, is it?

  6. 6 Anonymoustache March 13, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Some Irishman you are….got drunk in the post but forgot to pick a fight! Didn’t find anything that would draw your Eire…err…ire?
    On second thought, maybe you did pick a fight… featured Bushmills instead of Jameson….ahhh you sly fox…my apologies…and compliments…
    Kidding aside, this was one of your best, man….and you can Erin Go Brag about that!

  7. 7 scribbler50 March 13, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Uncle Vinny: Thank you, Sir, and I toast you in return. (hic-cup!) Just curious though, can you give us the name of one of your “high falutin” Japanese whiskeys?

    Donna B: Where to begin here, where to begin? Okay, first off, I won’t fight you on who’s the more ready fighter. Or the better drinker. You may claim those titles freely and I cede them readily. (Unless you want to fight about it!) You also have the edge perhaps with Scotch whiskey over Irish, at least as far as variety and sheer volume go, your single malts are all the rage these days. But as far as Mr. Burns goes it’s not the haggis what bagged him… perhaps the reason Robbie boy (genius poet though he was), never rose to Paddy’s height and got himself a holiday is because Patrick became a saint and Robert didn’t. Halos rate a little higher than kudos. No offense!
    Always good to hear from you, Donna… cheers, my friend!

    Anonymoustache: Always fun punning through your comments, Sir. Your gymnastics with the language and your gift o’ the gab always display a certain inherent “eire-ony”.
    Thanks, Bud!

  8. 8 Ken March 13, 2011 at 11:34 am


    Although I do not have an Irish surname, I grew up in the meddle of my mother’s extended, mostly Irish family. There are two types of Irish families: the successful, smug, aelf satisfied ones. And then there’s the embittered, failed ones. I grew up in the latter sort of family. My distracted, indifferent parents were the big successful ones in this setting. I, as a consequence, pretty much shun the “holiday.” I refuse to enter bars on March 17th.

    I couldn’t shun it when I worked for the mayor in the mid-1980s. The two big ethnic groups the city’s pols honored were the Irish, on March 17th and the Italians, on March 19. Two pure days of hell at City Hell.

    The Mayor and the Council threw a party. And I mean a party. Complete with tons of food and sandwiches. And lots of beer. And wine. I was designated to carry trays of food to various stations because I was tall. Old people would claw at my arm, trying to grab a sandwich. Drunken old people. By the time the party broke up, the marble floor would be covered with spilled beer, spoiled trampled food, and the odd puddle of vomit. Really gave me warm and fuzzy feelings.

    Ironically, I got the biggest break of my life on St. Patrick’s day. Changed my life completely for the better. Go figure.

  9. 9 Pieter B March 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I recognize a third Amateur Night, Cinco de Mayo, a.k.a. Cinco de Drinko. I read that it’s observed in New York, but I don’t imagine it’s a big as deal there as it is in Los Angeles. St Paddy’s isn’t quite as pervasive here as it is on the East Coast.

  10. 10 Goosenyc March 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Great post!!

  11. 11 scribbler50 March 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Ken: What a horror show, that mayoral blast you worked, it’s enough to sour anyone on the holiday. Glad it brought you luck though down the road… the luck of the Irish.
    Thanks, Ken.

    Pieter: Good call, Cinco de Mayo is another one, another excuse to fry our brains in alcohol. But you’re right, it’s definitely a bigger deal for people out west.

    Goosenyc: Great comment! 🙂

  12. 12 Donna B. March 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Ya got me thinking about Scottish saints. It didn’t take long as St. Andrew (who was born in Ireland!) was the only one I could think of.

    While there are hundreds of Irish saints, Wikipedia names less than 50 Scottish ones.

    Must be the whisky 🙂

  13. 13 scribbler50 March 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Donna B: Thanks for that info, and here’s a toast to St. Andrew! 🙂

  14. 14 Irishirritant March 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Of course you were going to hear from me…
    Spot on, up here in Minnesota I contend it’s drunken Lutherans getting blooterd and covering their shoes. It used to he a holy day of obligation with pubs closed.
    There are some fine single malt Irish tongue oils and no less an authority than Peter the Great felt it was better than the product from the north.
    Well done once again…don’t get too irritated, they’re just daft.
    All the best

  15. 15 scribbler50 March 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Irish Irritant: “A holy day of obligation”, now that’s a concept. I like it better than a hellish bender of obligation!
    Thanks, Irish.

  16. 16 Uncle Vinny March 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Hi again. No, I can’t name any of the Japanese whiskeys, unfortunately. They’re quite hard to get here in Seattle… just a few bars carry them, and apparently the state-run liquor stores won’t sell them to individuals. Silly old Prohibition-era laws we have in this state, tsk.

    But ask around, you might find them interesting. I am a whiskey amateur, but I describe them as being smooth like Irish whiskey and complex/flavorful like Scotch.

  17. 17 mvpalex March 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Whats the difference between an Irish Wedding and an Irish Funeral? ( One less drunk) No anger PLEASE, I am happily married to an Dubliner for over 25 years…I love Irish women, drunk or sober…

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