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Take Tragedy By The Horns For St. Patrick’s Day

Seeing as St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, and it’s the one day out of the year when you can actually celebrate a “religious holiday” without fear of being persecuted for your sudsy beliefs in a greater power (beer), I thought it might be a damn good time to talk about the social aspects of the drinking process.
I have a dream.

First of all, let it be known that I do not endorse or advocate the act of drunk driving, semi-rude behavior, or other such nonsense. I save that kind of foolishness for my writing and other assorted chicken-scratches in the safety of my own Fortress of Solitude. As far as the art of St. Paddy’s Day goes, though, I think you can divide it up (more or less) into three acts – the only resemblance to Shakespeare being tragedy.

ACT I: Where Art Thou, My Liquid Crutch?

Sure, going to any social function is stressful enough: Meeting new people, trying to fit in, and attempting to eavesdrop on conversations about your stunning hair. It’s all such nasty business!

That’s why it’s nice, in the end, to depend on beer (for, um, at least one day out of the year) to enhance your shaky social skills. Hey, forget about relying on your own defective personality: That will never work! Instead, like Oprah defending her out-of-this-world book club, tap into liquid courage in a can on St. Paddy’s Day. Believe me, you and I are only deluding ourselves by believing we are interesting under normal circumstances.

Once you have accepted this inevitable fact, it’s time to mosey on up to the bar and order a round of the devil’s urine: Beer, beer, beer! Note to all eligible establishments, hooch houses, and shady speakeasies out there: Don’t make the same fatal mistake that some bars make of not having a hearty supply of Blue Moon Belgian Ale on hand. It’s a crowd favorite. All right, all right, I confess! It’s my personal favorite, but hey, I figure if I like it, then the world likes it (that’s not too self-absorbed, is it?).

Speaking of self-absorbed: After explaining this little Zen philosophy of mine to the alleged bartender, he or she will usually inform me that all they have available is Pabst Blue Ribbon drenched in Soylent Green food coloring (but it’s on draft!). What, no beer-soaked urinal cakes to suck on behind the bar? I’m telling you people, it’s a beer bottle conspiracy out there, so drink heavily to squelch any and all inner demons on St. Patrick’s Day! It is, like Master Yoda so fittingly proclaimed, your destiny. “Soylent Green is people! Soylent Green is people!”

ACT II: Thy Beer Kicketh In

When you’re not dancing to such cult classics (and assorted Irish folk music) like “Disco Inferno” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” you are probably engaging in some witty conversations with your friends, peers, coworkers, complete strangers, or anyone else on the planet who will listen to your mindless, drooling babble.

Remember, you might be amongst various malcontents, assorted unknowns, or any other unfriendly foes, so keep the topics of conversation somewhat safe and slick. Stick to politics, religion, and abortion.

The Super Friends are always a good topic to discuss, entertain, and enlighten the unwashed masses while under the influence. Don’t guffaw; it’s a fascinating topic! If The Flash is “the fastest man alive,” does that mean he gets to skip foreplay? Can Green Lantern make more green beer with that ring if your local tavern happens to run dry? That would be super. And what’s the deal with Hawkman and airline peanuts? Take a plane, I say; let someone else do the work! (Oh, the tortured mind of an artist!)

Enough small talk with the malevolent masses for now. After a few beers, your baby bladder usually kicks in, and then (at least for the guys) it’s off to the urinals. Private ones in swanky hotels and restaurants are usually fine, but it’s the public ones in local bars you need to watch out for, friends. It never fails that there’s always one guy (again, this is a guy thing) who insists on engaging in (sigh) “urinal talk.”

About Chris McVetta

Chris McVetta is a writer and comedian from Cleveland, Ohio. He is a graduate from Cleveland State University and an alumni of The Second City comedy writing program. His first job in journalism was as an Editorial Assistant working with Harvey Pekar ("American Splendor") at The Free Times. Most recently, his was invited to speak at the Ray Browne conference on Pop Culture at Bowling Green State University.
  • Joanne Huspek

    Oh, my… this really was funny in many different ways… I’m so glad I’m not Irish (or pretend-Irish), I don’t do beer and green eggs and ham, but I will happily read the trials and tribulations of those who do.

  • Dr Dreadful

    “Don’t make the same fatal mistake that some bars make of not having a hearty supply of Blue Moon Belgian Ale on hand. It’s a crowd favorite. All right, all right, I confess! It’s my personal favorite, but hey, I figure if I like it, then the world likes it (that’s not too self-absorbed, is it?).”

    Absolutely not. My wife discovered Blue Moon a year or two ago and now won’t drink anything else. Not only that, but she has made it her mission to convert our entire city to the drinkage of said liquid. When visiting a non-Blue Moon-drinking locale (such as – surprisingly – Las Vegas) she will tirelessly scour every liquor store and supermarket in the city in her quest for the Holy Ale.

    Being British, I prefer to be more catholic with my beer. Blue Moon is surprisingly good, though, considering it’s brewed by Coors.

  • Chris McVetta

    Hey, guys and gals, thanks for the wonderful feedback! It’s true: Blue Moon Belgian Ale is indeed The Lost Ark for this beer enthusiast!

    Regardless, being Irish is not so bad. Unless, of course, you are trying to hail a taxi from The Gary Busey Cab Company – or hitching a ride from Nick Nolte to get to those Great Gatsby parties on this sacred holiday!