I hate Saint Patrick’s Day

I’m sure that, whenever Saint Patrick’s Day started, it was a truly beautiful thing. I’m sure that it was a wonderful celebration of Irish culture. And maybe it still is, somewhere. But, here where I am, it fucking sucks.

Saint Patrick’s Day is my least favorite day of the year.

Maybe it all started in grade school, where, if you forgot to wear green, people would smack you. Or, did they pinch you? Or maybe they just called you “gay.” I can’t remember, but I know that it sucked, and I know that it always caught me off guard, as I wasn’t raised by complete fuck-ups who were giddily packing the fridge full of green jello shots the night before. I never remembered until I found myself being hit, pinched or called gay by some asshole in a green sweater vest.

As much as I love beer, I can’t stand this holiday. I guess my hatred of drunken, obnoxious people projectile vomiting green foam into my yard outweighs whatever positive associations I might have with debauchery. I just don’t get having a whole day built around the purpose of getting pant-shitting drunk and stumbling around town screaming some variation of, “Oh, Dude, am I sooooo hammered!”

I can see how being a part of a mindless mass of inebriated losers might be liberating. I can see how it might be fun to go out, for instance, and hunt down AIG executives, but I can’t see just getting dunk to the point of being ill just to do it.

And maybe, given the economy and everything else, people are entitled to go out and blow off some steam. Maybe it serves a purpose. Maybe it’s a safety valve that keeps people rioting, or hunting down those AIG execs and putting their heads on spikes. But shouldn’t we as a people aspire to more? Couldn’t we, say, be content with ten beers a piece, starting at noon? Why do we have to start at 6:00 AM, and be so intent on surpassing all physical limitations? Why is beer drinking the arena in which we choose to test ourselves?

And I know what you’re thinking – that I’m just a bitter old man with a bad back who’s tired of scrubbing green vomit off his sidewalk. And there might be some truth to that. But this isn’t something that I’ve just recently discovered. Even back in the day, when I could drink with the best of them, I had disdain for this holiday. It never made sense to me and it never will.

And I know this holiday is important to my friends who own bars, and I wish them all the luck in the world tomorrow. I know the economy sucks, and I know that they could use the business. I don’t begrudge them that. And I’m certainly not suggesting that instead of heading to the bar first thing in the morning, for that first green PBR, you head to the local office of your Congressperson and register a complaint about the funding of the arts, or head to your local soup kitchen and volunteer a few hours of your time, but I do hope, at the very least, you take a moment, at some point during the day, and think to yourself, as you’re sitting there having fun, “Mark Maynard thinks I’m an asshole.”

Because I really do.

And, if you really want to get completely obliterated, choose your own fucking day to do it. The only thing worse than an alcoholic tourist is an alcoholic tourist sheep.

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28 Comments

  1. Posted March 16, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Were you drunk when you wrote this?

  2. Ol' E Cross
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    CG (I’ll get to Mark’s orange man post later), but I’ve been waiting to ask you, as a collector,what do you know of Death?

  3. Posted March 16, 2009 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Irish immigrants to the US were known to keep livestock in their overcrowded apartments buildings and remain drunk 24/7. Hence, american St. Patrick’s day attempts to return to this time honored sterotype.

  4. donna
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    amen, mark.
    the only day i possibly hate more than st. patrick’s is new year’s eve.
    no wait, i hate corned beef and cabbage too. st. patrick’s is definitely the shittiest.

  5. IrishEyes
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Top of the mornin to you. What is not to like with Jamesons, Guinness and Irish soda bread. It ranks among my favorite holidays. I always avoid that green beer, beer has such great colors already. I cannot imagine dreading wearing the green, you must be English eh?

  6. Posted March 17, 2009 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    OEC, I’ll post something on it in that thread, I kept starting then having to chase Ella. (Also want to see that keg, I think I’m going to switch to kegs soon now as a wise investment from part of my tax returns).

    But no, didn’t mean to snub that post, I read it and thought it was cool!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day everybody!

  7. Chelsea
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I’m with you. But then, I hate all holidays,* except for Halloween.

    *Because someone’s always left out, lonely, miserable.

    But, dude: What is it with you and AIG?

  8. walter street
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Given my heritage, I might have to meet you halfway: St paddys day is a beautiful holiday that has largely turned into mass belligerence. I was at the parade in detroit on sunday and you’ve likely never seen a group that enthusiastic (even before everyone was completely trashed) And I love to see so many people enjoying themselves in our tough economy.

    That said, normally I start with the early morning pints and drink with friends all day (though not generally to the point of being absolutely shitfaced and vomiting) This year though I have work and class til pretty late at night and the best I can do is a pint or two afterwards. I guess it’s hard though, even with the setbacks, for me to not appreciate a holiday that is all about ethnic pride, drinking, and camaraderie – even if you’re not irish.

  9. walter street
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    oh and cmon, even using st paddys day in the same post with anything about those clowns from AIG is just low. I’d rather clean green vomit off every square inch of america than see the money keep flowing into AIG, bank of america, etc.

  10. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    If the History Channel is to be believed, Christmas used to be celebrated in a similar fashion to St. Patty’s Day. I’m sure American Protestant uptightness and soft drink corperatism will eventually Irish it down a nip ‘r two for ya.

  11. Paddy O'Boyle
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Great post! It’s such a lame excuse for a holiday. Amazing that so many Irish people would want this to be representative of their culture.

  12. Posted March 17, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I can totally see that about Christmas. I dont think I have seen a sober Christmas in my life.

  13. Mike
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I love how one of the tags for the article is “alcoholic tourist sheep.”

  14. Paw
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    If I were a real alcoholic, I’d be pissed.

    It’s like if you were black and, on one day a year, everyone around you ran around in blackface thinking that it was hilarious.

  15. Pete Murdock
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Back in Boston where I grew up, we Irish concocted a holiday for March 17th so that the public schools would be closed just like the Catholic Schools and of course it would free us all up to go to the parade and consume great volumes of Guiness and Irish Whiskey, although we really didn’t need that excuse. Also lots of money raised for the IRA, but I think most of that got consumed in the celebration.

    For real, March 17th is Evacuation Day, the day in 1776 that the British were forced to leave Boston.

    Up the Revolution and Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!

  16. Posted March 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Wow, a person involved with the city council that admits to raising money for terrorist groups.

  17. Haunted Chicken Coop
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s a completely reckless holiday, too, Mark. The only thing that might get me out enjoying the festivities would be AIG sponsoring my local green beer tent.

  18. Dr. Sidethink
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    this website improved my mood a lot.
    I used to like St. Pat’s day
    But I have resigned being “Irish” ( 1/8)
    100% by ethnic tradition East Denver 1940’s
    But now I think it is just phoneys.
    I also liked Irish Music at one time but now it makes me almost puke!
    It’s become “Irish Chic” by New-age soi-disant Irophiles.

    The REAL little people ccan be contacted in very different ways than alcohol!!

    I still like James Joyce

    Dr. sIDETHINK

    Why don’t we selebrate st. Andrew’s Day or St, Rocco’s day too.

  19. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Do we have to have a problem with EVERYTHING???

  20. Dr. Sidethink
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    It is a moral obligation to have problems with stuff that gets a Crappola Index rating of over 80%

    You gotta problem with that??

  21. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Should I???

  22. Posted March 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Cheers all around!!!

  23. Kurt
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Hey, man, lighten up, man. C’mon, and do a shot with me, man. C’mon, man, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon ‘n do a SHOT wi’me, dude man. Dudemeisterrrr. C’mon, man, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, ‘n letz do a SHOT! SHOTS, barkeep, kind sir, SHOTS fer me ‘n my bitter fren’!…

    Aw, dude, I’m soooo hammered.

  24. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    In a moment of drunken ethnic hybrid vigor clarity, it occurs to me that I’m carousing away a well-earned anti-bailout I-told-you-so moment.

    I told you’z so that the bailouts were evil, again. Way before it was cool. People belittled me for it. Everybody bite my boohonkis.

  25. Posted March 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I should be going to sleep right now, but instead I’m searching online to see if there’s any kind of organized movement within the Irish community to make St. Patrick’s day less stupid.

  26. Claudia Gerard
    Posted March 17, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    The hammered folks have ruined my birthday. We go to dinner early just to avoid being thrown up on or run over by the inebriated.

  27. Posted March 17, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Yes, very much. Thanks Mark!

  28. Jay Steichmann
    Posted March 18, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    On St. Patrick’s day, on U-M North Campus, I saw, no lie, a fully grown adult (OK, maybe not fully grown, because he was obviously a student) completely outfitted as the Notre Dame leprechaun. Head to toe, including the green bowler and weird chin hair.

    I immediately thought, wtf? Who dresses up for St. Patrick’s? It’s not hallowe’en, ffs. Then I thought, doesn’t this idiot know in what regard the general sports loving population of U-M holds ND & their mascot?

    And Noooooo, I was NOT drinking.

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