Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The paddy’s day survivalists

Unless you’re living in the last place on earth without an Irish bar, you’ve probably heard that this Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day. Ostensibly to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, it’s mushroomed into a festival of drunkenness that both the Irish and the plastic paddies enjoy. If you’ve never taken part, here’s what happens:

  1. Start drinking very early
  2. Hug your mates and tell them you love them
  3. Hug randomers and tell them you love them
  4. Get in a fight
  5. Vomit
  6. Repeat

To curtail this merriment, off licenses have been asked not to serve alcohol until four p.m. on Saturday. I suspect that in any other country no-one would bat an eyelid. But in Irish people it seems to trigger a deep rooted survivalist instinct. We immediately begin to stock up on alcohol like a nuclear holocaust is eminent. You can spot us in supermarkets, wheeling trolleys choked to the brim with booze, faces nervous and bewildered. We do not rest until our home is stocked with the supplies we need to survive this event. This mass hysteria is even worse coming up to Good Friday and Christmas day, as no alcohol is sold or served for 24 hours – just imagine the carnage.

I’m going to a party at midday on Saturday, allegedly to watch the parade on a balcony but really to get stuck in early. As I've reached my daily goal of 1500 words today, I’m off to join the crowds at my local off license. You know, just in case the country runs out of booze before Friday.