Sure and Begorrah

It’s that time of year again, when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts Guinness and avoiding the pinching punishment of those who forget to wear green. It’s a magical time of year when we can all come together over a pint and look back at the man who made Ireland a serpent-free zone, your man Saint Patrick.

Most people don’t realize that the brother wasn’t even Irish. He was kidnapped from Britain when he was young and the pirates sold him as a slave to some Irish folks. He eventually escaped, but returned years later as a missionary. Tradition has it that he was responsible for converting the pagan Celts to Christianity. He was an early appreciator of a good visual aid, and used the shamrock to drop some knowledge on the locals and help them understand the concept of the holy trinity. Most awesomely, legend has it that old Padraig was able to banish every last snake from the emerald isle. Chances are there weren’t any there to begin with, but the Irish have never been known to let the truth get in the way of a good story.

What does all this have to day with the holiday we celebrate tomorrow? Absolutely nothing for most people. The masses tend to use it as an excuse to drink way more than they should, wear stupid plastic green derbies and generally act like wankers. Now far be it from me to hate on St. Paddy’s day, but I do get annoyed at the amateur night spectacle of people trying to order Guinness, trying a sip and realizing they don’t like before going back to green beer. Green food coloring in beer? Why? I find it both retarded and gross. And then there are the fuckwits who go about doing their best Lucky Charms impression and making futile attempts to riverdance.

Leave it to the professionals.

I went to a catholic school filled with Irish nuns who would frequently threatened to whack us their shillelaghs if we did not behave. St. Patrick’ s Day was the center of the school at year at St. Marys. Uniform restrictions were relaxed to allow the wearing of green. There was a day long festival where Sister Joan Grace would dance a jig and lead the entire school in several good old drinking songs. At one point, they even used the “The Wild Rover,” a song about drunken gambling and general debauchery to illustrate the biblical parable about the prodigal son. Good times.

I drink Guinness, Jameson’s, and Bushmills. I love potatoes, and I eat them like apples. I listen to Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, The Pogues, and even U2. I went to catholic school, have kissed the blarney stone, and once wrote a thesis paper on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. I have many siblings. My name is Sean MacGillivray, and Saint Patrick’s Day is mine. Leave the plastic shamrock at home.

4 Comments on "Sure and Begorrah"

  • 🙂 I resemble that remark!

    You’ve put the nail on the head here. Being “Irish Irish” the description of what many people in the US get up to on Paddy’s Day is utterly strange to me. Green beer? Expressions like “Top O’ The Mornin’ to Ye”? The mad fascination with the wearing of emerald green? Leprechauns and shit? Man – trippy or what!

    I came across this article from an Irishman in New York that pretty much said the same thing.

    I’ve never been to the US on Patrick’s Day. Not hugely interested in doing so either. Tomorrow I’ll bring my kids down to the parade in Cork where we’ll see Lithuanian and Polish and Nigerian immigrants all dressed up in their national costumes and having a great time. We’ll see huge monsters and people dancing with hula-hoops and bongo drums and vampires or unicyclists handing out sweets to the smallies. We’ll also see a self-conscious pipe-band from the Carolinas wondering what planet they have landed on.

    And maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a pint (or two) of Beamish later in the day. We haven’t totally dispensed with the stereotypes yet.

  • Dude, I don’t fuckin smoke weed in my car, and Guinness has 2 “n”s.

  • Well, you have me on the Guinness misspelling so thanks for the heads-up. As to whether or not you smoke weed in your car, I can’t say for sure. But if you live in San Francisco I think it is statistically likely.

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