Seriously, you’re doing this again?

By Andrew J. Pridgen

I wonder about people who still celebrate St. Patrick’s day in America. Like who the fuck are you and why do you give a shit? More importantly, why do you think everyone else needs to give a shit about you and your hammered ars?

…Also, you realize it’s a day of religious contemplation, right?

I mean, I get it. Maybe it’s an excuse to bring cupcakes with green frosting to school or steal a pinch at work — but for the majority of adult American d-bags who are celebrating today, it means toasting to flat green beer, wearing a plastic bedazzled leprechaun top hat in a selfie and pretending that since your great-great grandfather once visited the Blarney Stone during his travels through post-war Europe that somehow you have to get up, blast the Dropkick Murphys and be blacked out on Jam-o by noon.

A refresher: St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the alleged day Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the patron saint of Ireland, died. For many of the Catholic faith, it’s also kind of an unofficial cathartic “cheat day” during the season of Lent. But officially, it is a day to celebrate the origin of the church in Ireland and how St. Patrick himself chased out some metaphorical snakes and explained the Holy Trinity using a clover.

Traditionally, the morning involved going to church, repenting and giving all your money to God — and then going home and being miserable while your grandfather farted and read and napped.

In 1903, Irish Parliament member James O’Mara passed a law that would make St. Patrick’s Day a public holiday there. At the same time the original holiday on the Emerald Isle required all pubs and bars shut down.

Now, ironically, the Celtic day of austerity has morphed into basically roofie’ing yourself, cracking your phone screen, calling someone (either gender) a bitch and the annual adding-of-a-stain to your Larry Bird jersey.

In America, St. Patrick’s Day parades/events have also basically transformed into some kind of community-sanctioned and thinly veiled white pride day. You know, a time when those who are now a half-dozen generations removed from the great famine celebrate whatever oppression their Irish immigrant ancestors faced (as they decry the entry of immigrants into this country present-day) and laud the contributions of watered-down Irish Americans that are now hardwired into American society: like beating your spouse during major sporting events, red nose-tipped faces with capillaries exploding like fireworks, Fox News-derived anger and magical thinking about good old days when white people could drunkenly march through the streets — every day — without repercussion.

So here’s the deal, if you’re really Irish, stay inside, pop your copy of The Boxer in the VCR, make your grandmother’s corned beef and cabbage (the Bishops say it’s OK!) and crack a Guinness at dusk for those who came before.

If you’re a white asshole, turn House of Pain to eleven, put on your best “Southie” brogue and get ready to get hammered enough to fight something or someone in the most ridiculous way you know because you’re so far from oppression and so sidled up to privilege well, there’s really not much else to do.

Or, in the words of a favorite Irish toast: You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.

Andrew J. Pridgen is the author of the novellaBurgundy Upholstery Sky”. His first full-length novel will be released in late-2017.

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