Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

By Shamus (Inches) O'Toole

My honoured associates asked me, as resident Paddy, to say a few words about the patron saint of Ireland. I assume I’ll be assigned all future articles relating to consumption and The Chieftains as well. I submitted a five thousand word biography of Saint Columba of Iona, before my associate, Jesus Miguel Hernandez, told me that the patron saint of Ireland he was referring to (there are three) was Saint Patrick.

Well, to be honest, I don’t know a lot about St. Patrick, but I’m fairly sure he attempted to introduce abstinence to the Emerald Isle—so thanks for that. I am, however, certain that he was not born in Ireland, didn’t write Saint Patrick’s Prayer, and he chased absolutely no snakes off the island. David Plotz wrote an excellent article revealing the myths about St. Patrick for Slate.com.

Saint Patrick was never known to drink pints of green beer. He likely never ate corned beef and cabbage, and almost certainly did not compare anything to a shamrock. Also, the colour most commonly associated with Paddy is St. Patrick’s Blue. Wearing green is a show of Irish nationalism or allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church. Conversely, wearing orange is a show of allegiance to Protestantism.

My intention here is not to ruin St. Patrick’s Day for everyone. I enjoy a parade as much as the next person. What I am trying to say is that drunkenness needs not a day. It is possible to enjoy a Guinness any day of the year. Do not confine your inebriation to just March 17. Drink on Easter, and on Memorial Day, Arbor Day, Armistice Day, and for god’s sake Christmas Day. Because being pissed 24/7 should be a goal all its own.

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