I’ve just polished off my last slice of pizza for the evening, washed it down with the one beer I’m going to have — a 55 calorie Bud Select — and I’ll probably spend the rest of the evening sorting through some new games while I have wrestling on in the background. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everybody!
Honestly though, even if my calorie counting had allowed for a Guinness and some corned beef, I doubt I’d be out anywhere tonight. Never mind that it’s a total amateur night out there, when people who fancy themselves able to hold their alcohol find out they can’t, in spectacular fashion. Never mind the weather, which is rainy and miserable and absolutely the last thing a bunch of people too stubborn to get designated drivers need to be out in. No, the real reason is that I simply do not want to be around that many idiots in an enclosed space.
The irony of St. Paddy’s is that anywhere you’d want to be tonight, you absolutely don’t want to be tonight. Because a few hundred people had the same idea, and chances are good you don’t want to be around at least three-quarters of them. And won’t want to be around the rest of them by the time the night is over. Okay, maybe that’s not fair. Maybe they’d be perfectly pleasant in a park or on a beach or someplace where they can spread out. But shoved elbow to elbow all trying to sidle up to the same bar to get the same green beer from the same harried servers, all shouting over everybody else who’s shouting because everyone else is shouting? Not so much.
And this isn’t about turning into a grumpy old man. It’s just that if I’m going to sit down and enjoy a beer, well, I’d like to be able to sit down first of all. I’d like to not wait twenty minutes to get it. Or to even get within sight of the bar to order it. I’d like to be able to carry on a conversation without semaphore looking like a viable option. And I’ve got 364 other nights where that can happen. I don’t need to endure the green wave tonight just so I can say I was out there with everybody else.
So if you’re Irish, hey, sláinte. You get down with your Gaelic self. If you are out there tonight, I hope you have fun and make it back alive. I’ll be here just a few empty feet away from whatever I want from the fridge, and my bed no more than a dozen steps away when I call it a night. And I’m damn sure I’ll be in better shape than you come tomorrow morning.