So it’s that time of year again. St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and I, proud Mick-American that I am, will be spending it the same way I have for the past decade: locked up in my house, pretending to be German.
Or Italian. Or Vietnamese. Or whatever is required to assuage my weird guilt over not spending the day hanging out in one of Philadelphia’s hundred Irish-y pubs, drinking watery green-tinted Budweiser and getting arrested for assaulting a police horse.
Now, I have been known to enjoy a drink or two. Or seven. My natural habitat is the dim confines of a bar, my elbows up on the long oak, a pint at hand. I can remember happy St. Patrick’s Days past when I whiled away entire weekends in this manner, drinking my fill and laughing myself hoarse among friends and strangers.
But lately, St. Patrick’s Day has become a bit darker and a lot uglier. Always a drinker’s holiday, it’s morphed from a slightly debauched celebration of all things (vaguely) Irish to something more akin to a localized public disaster. When your holiday reflexively comes with a line item in the city budget for riot police, you know that something has gone very wrong.
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