You Aren’t Irish: Alternatives for Those Still Wishing to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Jordan Tucker | Contributor

We all have eyes and an awareness of the passing calendar year, shuffling us slowly, slowly until we reach the end of our mortal days. Thus, we all share the awareness that a certain day in March approaches. It is truly the same as any other day, in the sense that it is one day closer to the day when each soul, pauper and prince alike, must stand in judgment before whatever god-shaped superstition comforts us. It is also unlike the other days in that it is a holiday (a shortened form of Holy Day) known as St. Patrick’s Day. Why do I mention the holiness of such a day? (Other than insofar as all days are holy, as we are not yet dead) this particular holy-day is such because many years ago or in legend, a man named St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, drove the snakes from that same-called place by waving a stick around. He did not do this on March 17th, he died on March 17th 461 AD, and they celebrate his existence on this day annually.

(If I were a saint I would not want my holy-day marked on the day of my death, it implies a certain amount of, “good god they did a lot but were actually sort of bothersome in person”, like a celebration of a feared dead person who was very impactful, like how all British people talked about how wonderful Margaret Thatcher was when she died, as if they knew in the very most condensed part of their souls that she is now a ghost who will swoop around and trash your unions (marital or labour) if you do not praise her. No, I would want my holy-day on the day of my

birth,andtheneachcalendarday until to my dying day to be marked with various praise activities of my winsome smile or the bounty of shine in mine own ringlets. Then on my death anniversary, no one would leave their beds because they would be grief-struck anew by the towering loss of my sacred form. But alas. I digress, I shall write this in my will.)

The 17th of March is celebrated because a man drove snakes from Ireland. Many theories as to the origins of the snakes exist, with some pondering that they were snakes of the cold-blooded duplicitous variety, like Taylor Swift, or that they were snakes of the scaly-skinned and poisonous variety, also like Taylor Swift. Still, others think that they were perhaps metaphorical snakes representing the island’s original druids that the missionary Christian St. Patrick ‘drove out’ due to his efforts converting thousands of Pagan Irish to Christianity, but this last theory is a conspiracy theory at best. At any rate, what we do know is that historically, March 17th would fall during a Christian period known as Lenten, where devotees were not allowed to drink alcohol for a reason that had something to do with Jesus. Due to St. Patrick dying, the powers that be in the church allowed that the Irish could lift the drinking ban for one day to celebrate their hero by getting totally and utterly smashed. Years later, there was a diaspora out of Ireland due to the great potato famine, where the ruling Brits forced the Irish to farm potatoes 

We here at Over The Edge hope that these tips help you to have a happy St. Patrick’s day, even if you’re not Irish. We consider it our public duty to help the confused descendants of Russians from feeling as though they must paint their cheeks with green shamrocks. But, have no fear – on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is magically 1/16th Irish! Now, let’s get a Guinness! …cc, my newly- found genetic memory says you can never have enough potatoes.

but would not allow them to eat what had been their primary food source. (How many potatoes does it take to kill an Irishman? None.) Facing starvation, many Irish found their way onto ships headed for the New World (“Uh, it’s not new to us,” – Indigenous North American peoples, for thousands of years) in order to seek a fortune and possibly something to eat. Irish people were treated with disdain and prejudice, and many simply refused to hire them. A common sign in windows in Eastern Canada and the USA post-1860 read: “Help Wanted: Irish Need Not Apply.” Another common sign read, “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs.” The last dated manifestation of these signs in the history books was in 1909.

Thus, the holiday spread and now every mid-march, the drunken descendants of those first brave travellers and all of their battle- ready supporters hit the pubs like two hundred racoons on a garbage dump. Be ye Irish or of Irish descent, go on and drink your face off with pride. But if you, like me, have no trace of Irishness within your soul but still want to get drunk (a lofty goal), read on for tips on how to navigate the holiday.

1). Get a t-shirt that says, “I respect the Irish and their historical struggle.” Simple, to the point.

2). Are you simple and hoping to get a taste of something more Irish than green beer? Perhaps a shirt that says, “Help wanted (in my pants): Irish, please apply.” Or, for a spin on a classic, “Kiss me, you’re Irish.”

3). Jealous of all of the face- painting and flag waving the Irish get to do on this day? Simple! Paint your face with the colors of your own ancestral home, and wave their flag around! I, myself, am Swiss. I look forward to swaddling myself in a red and white-crossed flag and jabbing any drunk who tries to come at me with my handy dandy swiss army knife. Then I will use the attached corkscrew to open up a bottle of wine.

4). Traditional Irish druids used to take psilocybin (aka Magic Mushrooms) to take magical trips to other dimensions, where they would apparently confer with various animistic figures. Some historians also believe that they may have smoked marijuana. If you aren’t into the whole “Christian saviour” thing that St. Patrick’s Day represents, you could smoke up some of that sweet BC bud, stare at your cat, and ask for his spiritual advice.

5). Wear green, but obnoxiously corner anyone who says “Happy St. Patrick’s Day”, and tell them that this is green for the environment, “because everyday should be Earth Day, act like you live here, TRAVIS.” Prepare to now dodge the invigorating blows incoming! What a jolly day.

6). Purchase several snakes from a nearby pet store, and release them in your home. Get rip- roaring drunk and chase them out of your house with a stick. Congratulations! You understand the Irish experience much more richly now.

7). Invite a practicing Druid into your home, get rip-roaring drunk and chase him out of your house with a stick. Wait, where did you find a practicing Druid? Why is he so far from home? He is outside now, and it is cold. Callous, callous you. We are now in a more enlightened age. Go find the confused practicing Druid. Invite him back into your home. Let him get rip-roaring drunk and chase you out of your house. Progress! Yay you!

8). Simply choose to celebrate any of the other numbers of historical events that took place on March 17th. For example, in 465 BC, Julius Caesar won his last victory, defeating Pompeiian forces. Shout, “death to Pompeii!” and brave the winter in a toga. If you can get a grumpy friend named Brutus to follow you around with a knife, ominously foreboding of what was to come for the emperor, more power to you.

9). Shroud yourself in black and mourn any number of historical atrocities that took place. Richard Ramirez, the American serial killer otherwise known as the Night Stalker, committed his first two murders on March 17th in 1985. Boo! Go from bar to bar with pamphlets about how the glorification of killing that Ramirez’ Vietnam veteran cousin taught him playing murderous show & tell, coupled with a culture that encourages men to suppress their emotions until they bubble up into rage, lead to Ramirez’ fetishization of violence to the point where he erupted into a wholly-preventable cyclone of violence and horrifying tragedy for tens of people! Ramirez needed a positive male role model! Instead, his cousin taught him that the murder was cool! Trivia is fun. You’ll be so fun at parties!

10). Be a designated driver for your drunk friends. It isn’t sexy, but it’s necessary. They might even thank you. Or they’ll get really mad at you when you tell them the McDonalds is closed. Or theymightstartcryingwhenyou remind them that you can’t bring them to Katherine’s house because Katherine is married to someone else now. But they might thank you later.

We here at Over The Edge hope that these tips help you to have a happy St. Patrick’s day, even if you’re not Irish. We consider it our public duty to help the confused descendants of Russians from feeling as though they must paint their cheeks with green shamrocks. But, have no fear – on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is magically 1/16th Irish! Now, let’s get a Guinness! …cc, my newly- found genetic memory says you can never have enough potatoes.