Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on St. Patrick’s Day 2008. I think it says everything I will ever have to say on this occasion, and is therefore ripe for a reprint. Once I figure out how to monetize online content, I may have to pay myself twice for this — I’m not sure.
I have a soft spot for St. Patrick’s Day, as it was on this day in 2001 that I first left my slobbering imprint on the gorgeous visage of the stately and beatific Mrs. Pax Arcana. That anniversary has since been replaced by a wedding anniversary, but still you never forget the first time you drag a passed-out drunk kid named Murph out of your room in a rented ski house so you can plant one on your future wife, do you?
And of course, Boston is really the global hub of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. What in Ireland is a minor holiday — and in New York is essentially a boring girl-scout parade — is to the average Boston-area moron the social event of the year. St. Patrick’s Day in Boston has it all — New Hampshire tourists in green and gold Dr. Seuss hats harassed by Dorchester toughs in Adidas visors and wife-beaters T-shirts (certainly appropriate on these mooks). There’s also your garden-variety gay bashing, your frat-guy projectile vomiting contests, and your stumbling drunk coeds struggling to guide their cabs from Quincy to Allston. Go Boston.
All in all, I find St. Patrick’s Day utterly adorable. I like to think of the life St. Patrick himself, a former slave from the English mainland who returned to Ireland sometime in the 5th century and converted many to Christianity.
I wonder if he knew the hell that would be visited on the spiritual descendants of those early Christians just a few hundred years later, as wave after wave of Viking ships crashed down on the countryside. All the social order and peace imposed by the Christians left the monks rich and defenseless — a combination the Vikings found both hilarious and profitable!
So anyway, enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, my Irish friends. Drink your Guinness. Pretend you like the Dropkick Murphys. Barf up your corned beef at the Purple Shamrock. Just remember to keep your heads on a swivel, because you never know when history might repeat itself.