Ahhh, St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s the socially acceptable celebration of Alcoholism thinly veiled under the guise of Irish heritage. Although, if we’re being honest, celebrating Irish pride and binge drinking really do go hand-in-hand.
Along with its fat French cousin, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day stands as an alcoholic escape from the impenetrable gloom of winter.
In all seriousness, the holiday is something we should be thankful for, as it gives us a reason to get out of the house and mingle with other humans at a time of year when we have little motivation to do so.
I don’t mean to be condescending to the holiday. As someone who is proud of their Irish Heritage, it’s something I look forward to each year as a remembrance of my family history and America’s past generations. But let’s be honest, our version of St. Patrick’s Day isn’t exactly one of holiness for the patron saint of Ireland, nor is it the most educational of endeavors.
No, America’s St. Patrick’s Day has become a debaucherous union between archaic tradition and modern alcoholic excess.
The beer we drink every weekend? Let’s turn it green. The bar we go to every weekend? They’re now charging us money to come in, but they’ve got decorations.
Seriously, we even took a domestic act of terrorism and turned it into a drink. Irish Car Bombs? Yeah, those are named after actual bombs. We make literally everything about drinking.
So drink on, proud Americans. Use this article as your guide for (or a way to remember/relive) one of the most intoxicated days of the year across the country.
You wake up bleary eyed with a mouth that feels like you licked a sandbox.
Why the hell did you go out last night? Damn it. You do this every year.
A full day of pushing your body to the limits is ahead of you and you’ve already put yourself at an uncomfortable disadvantage. Oh well.
Your cell phone’s exploding on your nightstand and serves as the second alarm you forgot to set. Aside for the few friends on your group text that are still incapacitated, everyone is literally buzzing with anticipation. And no matter how many times in weeks prior you’ve discussed the plan, everybody is playing 20 questions.
“I might be late, can someone wait for me?”
“Can my friend come? She doesn’t have a ticket to the bar package…”
“What’s the address?”
No. No. And Google it.
You finish brushing your teeth and step into the shower. Immediately, you feel like you’ve been baptized into a church that’s washing away the sins of drinking last night.
Sweet nectar of life. Water of the Gods. The fucking Fountain of Youth has been rediscovered in your apartment.
That shower felt amazing. You feel rejuvenated and ready to roll. You make a vow to start showering five times a day. Time to throw on some green gear and head to the completely unnecessary pregame at your friends’ down the street.
After putting on enough green shit to make a leprechaun go blind, you decide the 12th set of repurposed Mardi Gras beads may be overkill and you’ll probably just lose them later. You ditch the shot glass necklace as you remember how disgusting that is.
No time for breakfast, nor do you have the capability of making anything this morning. No sweat— the bar package you bought has a breakfast buffet. You’ll eat there.
Your roommate throws you a beer. You say something profound and bro-ish, crack it open, and take a swig.
You immediately regret this decision.
You no longer feel awesome.
You arrive at your buddy’s pregame just a couple blocks away from you, realizing that a pregame on St. Patrick’s day is like doing a mile run before a marathon—it’s not really going to help you cross the finish line.
But then you see it—sweet, golden hope. Somebody brought mimosa ingredients.
Thank god. The beer you washed down earlier was not sitting well on an empty stomach. It’s a quick departure from Irish tradition, but it’s a risk you’re willing to take—the Guinness you’ll be swilling later will more than make up for it.
You casually splash some in a glass without looking too eager.
Hello, vitamin C and booze. You complete me.
Take a shot of Jameson. Wince visibly. Why are we doing this before noon?
All at once groupthink takes over and the entire house of people unanimously decides it’s time to go to the bar.
After several minutes of disorganized communication, you manage to man up and snag an Uber, already surging at a slightly annoying 2.7X.
After a bit of shuffling and pulling the stragglers out of the house by their shamrocks, everyone has successfully crammed themselves into an insufficient number of vehicles.
Everyone says they will share the ride with you. One person shares the ride with you.
You arrive unfashionably late to the bar, but hey, at least the place is packed.
First things first, step up to the bar and nurse the buzz.
You sigh as you order a Miller Lite, which comes in a cup that is three sizes smaller than your traditional Solo cup, lukewarm, flat and green.
Sadly, the green dye is the only redeeming quality of this beverage. You reflect on drinking beer from an untainted bottle.
After trying again to choke down an emerald tinted version of Milwaukee’s second worst pilsner, you decide to shake it up.
Whiskey. God Bless you, Whiskey.
Even the lowest shelf of you goes great with ginger ale. And you feel slightly more festive. And Irish. And warmer.
Whiskey is happiness.
SHIT. They’re closing the breakfast buffet already? Survival is key today. Better let your animal instincts take over and push through the heard of green bison that inhabit the center of the bar.
The second wave of friends arrives, and there was much rejoicing.
Well it was only a matter of time. Fireball has joined the party.
Whoever in your group that’s feeling the merriest at the moment has bought a round and brought them over to you—but not in actual shot glasses, it’s in those shitty plastic medicine thimbles. You know, since apparently we can’t be trusted with all the fine crystal stemware they have at this place.
Congratulations. You’ve officially made it into the P.M., which means you now have timely justification for being this intoxicated while the sun is still up.
Bar package is almost over and everyone bum-rushes the bar to get one last mediocre drink, thirsty in literally every sense of the word. Savages.
Some guy next to you waves his money in your face like he’s bidding on property in the 1860s. You somehow catch the bartender’s eye as being the only jabroni not trying to cash in on the end of the special and order yourself a real beer. In a real bottle. With real adult money.
Feels good, man.
The natives are getting restless, and you decide it’s time to make moves. Some of the out-of-towners remark that they want to see the green river and gaze in wonderment. What the hell, you’re in the neighborhood.
After walking in the general direction of the river, you pass the bar you know some other friends are posted up at.
You unanimously decide the river isn’t that cool and decide to go back to drinking.
Now you’re feelin’ goooooood.
This is an actual Irish pub. You order a pint of Guinness and it comes in an actual glass. You feel accomplished. Invincible.
Your heart does a little fist pump like Will Ferrel after buying toilet paper in Step Brothers.
“Car Bombs,” he says as he nods disturbingly slow without breaking eye contact. “Car Bombs.”
That will be $28 please.
Everyone is looking forward to a change of scenery, one with less people and more couches. Your buddy is having a house party, and you and a few others split off and grab a cab.
Your invitation comes at a price. The party is running low on beer, and is all-too-stocked on liquor.
Not ideal, you decide to make a stop.
You walk into a grocery store, which is the equivalent to being sucked backwards in time. At no time in your life is your insobriety more apparent than when you are tasked with retrieving simple items from the store during normal business hours after drinking for six consecutive hours.
For some unknown reason, you feel guilty. Maybe it’s because the elderly greeter frowned at you.
Stow it, old man. You know what today is.
You walk into the house party and are greeted like St. Patrick after driving the snakes out of Ireland, except, in this case – you happen to be the patron saint of beer.
You’ll take it.
This might be the greatest leak you’ve ever taken in your life.
You remember bits and pieces of the last few hours, but it’s mostly just a green blur. Fun, but blurry. You’ll clear up the details later.
Things you’re sure of: there are far fewer people here than earlier, you are still very intoxicated, and you are STARVING.
Also, you may have smoked a cigarette at some point, because, that was really what you needed.
If you didn’t order Jimmy John’s for freaky fast emergency survival food, you and your trusty sidekicks stumble into the nearest Mcdonald’s. You make some stupid quip about McDonald’s being kind of Irish since it’s got “Mc” in it, a joke the underpaid cashier who’s been dealing with drunks all day finds HILARIOUS.
You take copious advantage of the dollar menu and order a shamrock shake for no apparent reason.
You sit and eat in numb, icy silence, pausing only to breathe. You are subhuman at this point.
You’re back at the house party/apartment/meeting place at this point, and you feel renewed.
The weekend warriors begin to arrive, those who are still able to stand (and some that aren’t) making appearances to finish out the night in true Irish fashion.
If it weren’t for the fact that you have been drinking for 12 hours, this would be called a pregame.
For the sake of sanity, let’s call it a rally.
Rallies are hard.
We lost a few soldiers along the way, curled in the fetal position, sprawled on the couch, or pulling an Irish Goodbye and disappearing into a cab.
To everyone who hasn’t been celebrating, you’re a green blob that’s more alcohol than human.
The good news is, you’re not the only mob of drunks trying to squeeze the last drops of fun out of your Saturday—plenty of others made it back out too, many of which are shambling husks of human beings, held together by sheer will, liquid courage, and a few strands of green beads.
You’re proud of yourself. You rallied, rationed, and almost made it the entire marathon without stopping. You’ve learned so much since college. You feel an odd sense of pride—and also silently acknowledge that this isn’t something you should be proud of.
The night could end right here, and you would be happy. This calls for a celebration. Guinness and Jame-O, please.
A girl standing up at the bar catches your eye—this is your moment.
You casually walk up and nonchalantly look at the taps as you pretend to decide what you’ll be drinking. (Probably Guinness again).
You gather your thoughts, take a deep breath, and turn to face her. She turns, smiles, and looks into your eyes expectantly. This is your moment.
“Aso zhow owas you sait patrickkday?”
You stumble out of your cab and use your forward momentum to propel yourself up the stairs. Using your doorframe as your moral encouragement and only source of support, you manage to get your door open and catapult yourself through your house to your room, kicking off clothing in the process.
You body slam your bed and manage to wrap a blanket around your right leg and a portion of your torso.
This is what fun looks like. Another successful St. Patrick’s Day is officially in the books.