The Ruinin’ O’ The Festivities

March 16, 2012

Humor

Well, St Patrick’s Day is upon us again, and you know what that means!  No, not that… No, not that either… Okay, I’ll just tell you.  It’s time for my annual Why I Don’t Like St. Patrick’s Day Buzzkill!  Yay!

Yes, loyal readers, I have been – in my more dramatically self-indulgent periods – the guy who walks around Psh-ing and rolling my eyes, and when you, bubbly and cheerful in your shamrocks and “Everyone’s Irish On St. Patty’s Day !” shirt, ask me, “Why aren’t you wearing green?” I scowl and blurt back, “Because it’s a terrible holiday.  Do you even know the story of St. Patrick?” and then I rant for ten minutes – your smile growing pained and faded – and I get to know I made someone’s day juuuuust a little worse.  Ahh.  Good times, good times.

I’ve mellowed quite a bit since then, but I still got a touch o’ the buzzkill in me.

It reads "Ne parcas, nec spernas." It's latin for "Subscribe to The Byronic Man."

And before you go accusing me of just not being or liking the Irish – I stink Irish.  My mother’s family name is Keating.  The first time I smelled Jameson whiskey it made me think of my grandfather.  There are more depressives, poets and recovering drinkers in my family tree than you could shake a shillelagh at.  And I look more Black Irish (which is a type of Irish – not half Irish, half African) than Daniel Day-Lewis listening to The Pogues while drinking Guinness and writing a poem about British oppression.  On my father’s side?  Scottish, and the family name traces back to the five families who came over from Ireland and settled Scotland.  I even have our Scottish clan motto tattooed on my arm.

Okay, so the “Yay Ireland” stuff is fun, and dying rivers green is kind of festive, unless you live in the river… but first the drinking.  “It’s just an excuse to drink!” people say, which is weird, because presumably you’re a grown-up and can make that choice of your own free-will.  But it isn’t just that the Irish loves them a drink, right?  Ireland has been plagued with alcohol abuse for centuries.  Possibly more damage and lack of progress has been inflicted on Ireland by alcohol than anything else.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is among the worst in the world there.  There was actually a time when Ireland liberated itself from England entirely, and had this massive celebration at castle Kilkenny that lasted 3 days, and then when everyone was exhausted and hungover, the English just stroooolled back in and took over.  Which, okay, is really pretty funny, but the point is people take one of the biggest burdens of the nation and run with it.  It’d be like being at an AA meeting and saying, “I don’t know about you guys, but all this talk about booze makes me want to party!”

"Patrick" "driving" the "snakes" "out" of Ireland.

As for Patrick: for starters he wasn’t Irish, he was English. And his name wasn’t Patrick, it was Maewyn Succat.  And there weren’t any snakes in Ireland to drive out.  “Snakes” is slang for a celtic person/pagan, and he “drove” them “out” by converting them to Catholicism.  I was told once by some genuine Irish folks that he did this through Spanish Inquisition-esque means (which was good enough for me for several years of buzzkilling), but I’ve never seen that corroborated by a reliable source, so I’m not sure I buy it.  Regardless, though, it’s really more of a celebration of Catholicism than of Ireland, per se.  And, obviously, the cutsie stuff can get a little degrading.

If you really want to be a serious celebrator of Ireland, wait until Halloween.  That’s the Celtic New Year. You have a big Celtic New Year party.  No one will come, and the kids coming to your door dressed as Buzz Lightyear and Hermione will hate you, but won’t it be worth it?  When they say, “Wow.  He/She really celebrated Ireland”?  Totally worth it  And then next St. Patrick’s day you too can be a buzzkill!

Okay.  I’m done.  You are now free to ignore me and have fun.  You are even free to go drink green beer and talk like the Lucky Charms guy and have wild times with your friends while I sit in the corner sulking and muttering, “Oh, they think they’re having fun.  They don’t know.  They just don’t know.”

Just like a real Irishman.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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50 Comments on “The Ruinin’ O’ The Festivities”

  1. susielindau Says:

    Your breakin’ my heart. You’ll really be hatin’ on my post today….lol!

    Reply

  2. tomwisk Says:

    No Guiness for me thanks, I’ll just watch you weave your way across the street to the parking lot. The green plastic derby will make a fine road cone while we wait for the plice to come and scrape you off the grille of the Buick you stepped in front of. The green “Kiss me I’m Irish” will keep the Jamesons and Harp from messing up the car’s paint job. The driver? He just left the “All you can eat” corned beef buffet up the street and was going to the Meadowland’s annual Running of the Drunks. Drink up Waclav. Welcome to America.

    Reply

  3. Erynn Elizabeth Says:

    This is why I prefer to leave off the traditional “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirt, and instead I simply go for “Kiss me, I’m Shitfaced.”
    It’s more to the heart of the matter, and I can wear it every weekend.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Very nice; I like it. And it’s perfect for weddings and appearances in court!

      Reply

      • Erynn Elizabeth Says:

        True Story: I was once in a car accident that was completely my fault- rear ended someone so hard it caused them to rear end the person in front of them…
        Got out of my car in the pouring rain when the realization hit me that I was wearing a shirt that said “up yours” in giant, mocking cursive beneath a picture of a skull with it’s tongue sticking out.
        UP YOURS, it said. And I had just REAR ENDED these people.
        ….
        say what you want about me- but don’t ever say I don’t keep it classy.

        Reply

        • The Byronic Man Says:

          Where exactly does one even find a shirt like that?

          It may have worked to your benefit, though. I’m sure they thought, “Oh yeah. She’s insured. Let’s just get out of here with getting beheaded.”

          Reply

          • Erynn Elizabeth Says:

            Does it make it more or less terrible that I… (ahem)
            designed the silk screen and went out of my way to… um.. have this totally rude and obnoxious T-shirt made…?
            And I have absolutely no explanation what compelled me to do this?

            Reply

  4. BrainRants Says:

    I prefer to revel in the misanthropy of my genes, which match your description except with some German in there, so I’m a very punctual drunk.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Actually, I forgot to include that one of my grandmother’s was defiantly Kraut in a family of Micks. So, yes, me too. I have very clear ideas of how the drinking and celebrating should be done.

      Reply

      • Walter Says:

        I’m Kraut, Mick, Spic, Towelhead…but I’m still voting for you and BrainRant to rule the world.

        Reply

        • The Byronic Man Says:

          One of my favorite throwaway lines in The Godfather is when Tom Hagen is talking to the movie producer Jack Woltz, and Woltz is telling him to get lost, and no amount of dego guinea wops is going to scare him. Hagen says, “Actually, I’m Dutch Irish” and Woltz says, “Well, let me tell you this, my Kraut-Mick friend…”

          Reply

  5. 1pointperspective Says:

    I’m personally amazed that the Irish aren’t highly insulted by this holiday. I wrote a post earlier this week with my own angle on why St. Patty’s is nothing to celebrate….nowhere near as erudite or intellectual as your piece, which I’ll be referring people to every chance I get – Bravo!

    Reply

  6. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    Wow, you are quite Irish ! I’m all for any holiday, really, but wish there was a “Mutt Day” or a “I might be half Ukrainian but most records were burned when Soviet Uion burned my great great grandfathers village” day.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I suppose the advantage of Mutt status is you can glom on to every holiday. “It’s Cinco de Mayo! In honor of the 1/32 Mexican that I probably might be, I will throw a fiesta!”

      Reply

  7. Blogdramedy Says:

    I don’t care for beer and I don’t like the color green. So, I don’t really need to post a comment.

    This is like a get out of jail card. SCORE!

    Reply

  8. SzaboInSlowMo Says:

    Ok, I just found you from a comment on Fresh Pressed (who knew that worked?) and you’re already on my mental favorite blogger list. Witty and a great writer…that’s inspiring. As for St. Patrick’s Day, I have kids, can’t really go to any St. Patty’s events, so I’m a little bitter. Yet I will drink beer. It may not be green, but I will drink beer in honor of Ireland, or whatever I’m supposed to be celebrating. Cheers. I look forward to reading more of your posts. 🙂

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Thanks, I appreciate the compliment and new follow.

      Yeah, that worked out well, didn’t it? I leave a comment for Snotting Black with a link to something for her… and an hour later she gets Freshly Pressed. I’m half tempted to go back an add a comment explaining that I really wasn’t trying to cash in on her FP-ness.

      Reply

  9. Anastasia Says:

    Kiss me, I’m pagan. I’m going back to see if there’s a super special rant against St Valentine in here somewhere too! 🙂

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Actually – and don’t tell anyone – I kind of like Valentine’s day. Yes, it’s commercial and cutesie and stupid, but I also figure, any day that emphasizes stopping and taking a moment to appreciate people around you can’t be an entirely bad thing.

      Unless I’m trying to go to a restaurant…

      Reply

  10. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Well done. My buzz has now officially been killed. I’m Irish though, so it was hard to tell the difference in my mood anyway. Where’s that Guinness?!

    Reply

  11. mj monaghan Says:

    Ah, you can’t buzzkill a wee Irishman. Just believe the hype, Byronic; accept it, and feel the Irish in you.

    A little Irish Stew, Bailey’s, and Soda bread should pick you up!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I do love a good Irish stew. That’s the one thing about the holiday that always reminds me me of my heritage: the food. Irish cuisine is not exactly renowned for its elegance and, well, goodness. But every meal associated with the holiday I just love.

      Reply

  12. they still let me vote Says:

    I think it was the late, great Spike Milligan who said:

    “Some people die of thirst…the Irish were born with one”

    Reply

  13. thesquareflea Says:

    hahaha like the person a couple of comments above I also found you from Snotting Black’s blog and I’m so glad I did! The Byronic Man? I love Lord Byron! And Byronic heroes! And the word byron! And then I saw this post ruining St. Patrick’s day and I was like that’s totally my job but you should have it from now on because you’re really good at it! Also I think I kinda like you. I will be stalking . . .err following you from now on.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      There’s a lot to like about Byron and Byronism, it’s true. And thanks for liking the post – it was initially much longer, but I thought, “I don’t even want to read this much harumphing about St. Patrick’s day…”

      Reply

  14. cristycarringtonlewis Says:

    I’m so with you. So shall we wear green for Halloween?

    Reply

  15. thesinglecell Says:

    Oh, and I suppose you hate Thanksgiving because we ran the Natives out of their land, and Christmas because Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th, that was just a ploy to get the pagans to remember the occasion upon conversion, and Columbus Day because he never actually discovered North America…

    Reply

  16. Elyse Says:

    Just shook off the last of the St. Patty’s Day hangover in time to realize the error of my way. Or the errors of my ways. Or that I shouldn’t drink. Maybe I shouldn’t be Irish. Definitely I shouldn’t be Irish/German. Sadly I didn’t get the punctuality part of the German part though.

    I’m very mixed up and I don’t even like Guinness.

    Reply

  17. Michelle Gillies Says:

    I have to say I personally enjoy the heck out of St. Patrick’s Day. This is the day I celebrate my birthday and have always thought it was great that I could find a party where ever I go. My days of over indulging are long gone, but I enjoy a Guiness or two. I participate in the wear’in of the green but what really makes my day is if I get see the wee Irish dancers that are hauled around from pub to pub (yes I realize there is just something wrong with that). They are adorable and I love the music and the dance.

    That being said I am aware of the facts you shared and have blogged, given speeches and even written a college paper on St. Patrick’s Day/Irish misconceptions.

    I just can’t help myself. I enjoy the day!

    Reply

  18. gojulesgo Says:

    How did I miss this post?! Well, maybe for the best, since my St. Paddy’s Day buzz is long gone, so nothing to kill here. Only things to learn.

    Like about your tattoo! Byronic Man unfolding before our eyes more and more every day…

    Reply

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