An alternative guide to Paddy’s Day (SPD) in Ireland. With best wishes from Queenie in Dublin. Beannacht La Fheile Padraig libh!
Achill Island, west coast of Ireland. The setting for many miserable SPDs for Queenie, watching Atlantic storms hurl themselves sideways against the windows of some dilapidated summer home she’s rented. In March. With a three mile walk to the warm pub to watch the returning emigrants get beaten up by the locals.
Boston, next parish to Achill, also celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. Why? Also beer, which is green on SPD.
Cheltenham, they speak of nothing else on SPD. And you thought it was Christianity. No, no, it’s a racing festival in England, upon which thousands of Irishmen and some women descend annually to back horses, win money, lose money, launder money, hatch tax evasion schemes involving horses, play poker, sleep in their cars, sleep in their clothes, throw up on their shoes, and generally have what is known as ‘a good time’.
Drinking, what St. Patrick’s Day is really, really all about.
England, the reason we cry when we’re drunk.
Feck! The twenty first century Begorrah! From the comedy show Fr. Ted. As in what Fr. Jack roars when he’s drunk. Which is always. You know it’s St. Patrick’s Day when perfectly normal, uptight, circumspect English people walk up and shout FECK into your face.
Green, the colour of Ireland, the colour of money, the colour of the Hudson river on SPD, the colour of the McDonalds milkshakes, the colour of Glasgow Celtic football club, the colour of shamrock, the colour of Yankee tourists’ trousers. There are forty shades, but on SPD, there is only one, lurid emerald.
Hibernians, Ancient Order of. Queenie would just like to point out that they’re American. And apologise to all gay people on behalf of her race.
Ireland, Hibernia, ancient kingdom of the Celts. Oh wait, that’s Wales. Being Irish, priceless, for everything else there’s Mastercard. And VISA. And MBNA. And the mortgage. And the car loan. And the personal loan. Irish debt spirals out of control as we enjoy riding the Celtic Tiger.
Joviality, it all starts off well enough when the parade kicks off at midday.
Kicking the drunken shit out of each other on the streets of Dublin, by about 4pm generally. The Mayor begged off licences to open later this year, to reduce the mayhem, but they laughed at the idea as they boarded the plane to Cheltenham to spend last year’s takings.
Lough Derg, also known as St. Patrick’s Purgatory. An island in the middle of a lake in the north west of Ireland, where penitents spend three rainsodden days and nights barefoot, midge-bitten and starving. Except for black tea and crackers. A good place to spend SPD.
Majorettes, from America, freezing their cute butts off as they twirl through the swirling rain during the big parade. A big draw for the local lads.
Nostalgia, an emotional rollercoaster that overwhelms an Irish person after ten pints of green beer, causing him or her to track down and hug the four terrified Dutch tourists who made the mistake of thinking the St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin would be an interesting cultural event.
Old days, The, we had no money, but we were happy. Sure.
Patrick, St., what can Queenie say. Our national saint. Bringer of Christianity. Abolisher of women’s rights. He banished snakes from Ireland. Except for the two-legged ones. But they’re all in Cheltenham this weekend.
Queenie, she loves her country really. Just not on SPD.
Robert McCartney, his sisters and partner Breegeen will be in the White House this SPD. But Robert won’t. Because someone cut his throat with a lemon slicing knife.
Shamrock, in the White House. And Shinners. Not this year, though, lads!
Tara, Hill of, ancient Celtic site upon which St. Patrick led a sit in (with bonfire) in an attempt to break the power of the old gods. The new god in Ireland, money, is about to build a motorway through it.
Universal, the celebration of SPD. With forty four million people of Irish descent scattered across the globe, why the hell not.
Vomit, oceans of it in Dublin, much of it green. By about 10pm.
Wales, birthplace of St. Patrick. Ireland plays Wales this Saturday in the final match of the Six Nations Rugby tournament. We put up with him, lads, give us a win!!
Xhibitionist, a tendency displayed by most Irish people at the drop of a hat. Preferably of the lurid, green leprechaun variety.
Young Irish women, seventy five per cent of whom binge drink regularly. By young, Queenie means fifteen year olds.
Zzzzzzzzz, Queenie’s off to bed now, wake her up when it’s over.