Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chris learns about St. Patrick's Day.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Internuts!  Whether you’re a full-blooded Irishman or just a high functioning alcoholic, we’re all Irish today!  I can trace my own roots back to the Emerald Isle where my forebear, Seamus McHurdle, invented whiskey before he promptly sank into a bog.  But, did you know that St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just about throwing up in an alley on a weeknight?  It’s true!  Let’s take a few minutes to explore the rich traditions and surprising history of St. Patrick’s Day.  To keep things interesting, take a drink every time you read the word “Patrick”.  Let’s begin!

Saint Patrick (Drink):

Saint Patrick (Artist's Rendering)
To better understand St. Patrick’s (drink) Day, we should spend some time getting to know the man himself.  Assisting me in my research will be Wikipedia, my fuzzy memories from Catholic school, and bald-faced lies.  There are two different views about St. Patrick’s (drink) life: the historic Patrick (drink) and the religious Patrick (drink).  First, let’s discuss the historic Patrick (drink).  He was born around 385 AD, lived for a period of time, and died (possibly on March 17th).  That’s about it.

The religious Patrick (drink) is way more interesting.  A lot of legends popped up after Patrick’s (drink) death.  The most popular is that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland.  Are there any snakes in Ireland today?  No?  Boom…miracle!  Historians will argue that there haven’t been snakes in Ireland since the Ice Age.  Historians are assholes.  Another common belief is that Patrick (drink) taught the Irish people about the Trinity by using a 3 leaf clover.  Although finding a 4 leaf clover is now considered quite lucky it used to cause terror and violent questioning of the tenants of Catholicism.  Eventually word spread that clovers are just plants and should not inform a person’s religious views.  And that, reader, was the end of religious violence in Ireland.


A river of slime.
We all know that the color green is associated with St. Patrick’s (drink) Day but did you know that Patrick’s (drink) favorite color was blue?  IT’S TRUE!  Just imagine blue vomit on the sidewalk or a blue river in Chicago…nonsense!  Also, how do we know St. Patrick’s (drink) favorite color but we don’t know ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT HIM?  You’re better than that, historians!  A common tradition is for revelers to pinch anyone who isn’t wearing green on St. Patrick’s (drink) Day.  Below I have transcribed a typical exchange:

Person 1
You aren’t wearing green.  I’m going to pinch you.

Person 2

Riveting!  Did you know that the shortest Saint Patrick’s (drink) Day parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Cork, Ireland?  The parade route is 100 yards long and travels between the only two pubs in the tiny village.  Is this sad or adorable?  BOTH! 

Speaking of parades…LET’S SPEAK ABOUT PARADES!!!  St. Patrick’s (drink) Day celebrations have been popping up in the United States since the first recorded parade in 1737.  Ireland didn’t have a St. Patrick’s (drink) Day parade until 1931 (USA! USA! USA!).  The largest parade in America is in New York City.  Each year, 150,000 people march in the parade while 2 million spectators look on.  The third largest parade in America is held in Scranton, PA (The Electric City!) with 150,000 attendees.

Kevin Youkilis, 1B

Several other traditions are carried out on Saint Patrick’s (drink) Day.  Many bodies of water, most notably the Chicago River, are dyed green for the day.  The Boston Red Sox, while still in Spring Training, field a team made up entirely of leprechauns.  McDonald’s offers the Shamrock Shake.  Which brings us to…

The Shamrock Shake:

Noted humanitarian, Grimace.
The Shamrock Shake is, without question, the most contentious milkshake in human history.  Does it taste like mint?  Does it taste like vanilla?  Does it make you impervious to physical pain?  After some exhaustive research, I have discovered that the official ingredients include mint and lime flavorings.  You heard me…LIME!  So when you’re mixing yourself a gin and tonic tonight, make sure to garnish it with a heaping dollop of Shamrock Shake.  You’ll thank me in the morning.

The Shamrock Shake is also responsible for the mental and physical well-being of a lot of sick kids and their families.  Impossible?  Let’s get serious for a moment, folks.  In 1974, the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia thanks to proceeds from the sale of…wait for it…the Shamrock Shake!  Have I warmed the cockles of your heart?  You bet I have. 

In Summation:

Patrick (drink)!  You thought I forgot, didn’t you?  If you were playing along at home, you just took 18 drinks (not including the introduction).  Please don’t drive a car.  Please don't operate any heavy machinery.  Please don't call your ex and slur an apology about forgetting your anniversary in 2003.  And that goes for all you Internuts!  Drink responsibly and have a great St. Patrick’s Day!  Erin go Bragh!

No comments:

Post a Comment