I was sitting at the bar with a friend of mine enjoying a tall draft beer when I looked up at a countdown clock on the wall counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until next St. Patrick’s Day—358 days, 4 hours, 39 minutes and 15, 14, 13 seconds.
I didn’t make it in this year so I asked the bartender how they did. He said the place was full and that they really did great (they weren’t doing all that great the night we were in and it was a Saturday night). It almost seemed like he wanted to speed up that clock. “Boy, if only every day was St. Patrick’s Day, wouldn’t that be something?” And I thought, not St. Patrick, but why not every day? Every day has a saint, a saint for every day.
In the seventh grade Sister would ask every morning, “Does anyone know the saint for today?” Of course the two girls in the front of the class next to Sister’s desk knew the saint because they had the official “Saints” book and called out, “St. Paul the Hermit” and that was it for that day because he had to be one of the most obscure saints of all time. When we had a saint we had actually heard of we knew we had to hear all about that person’s life and what he or she meant to Sister. Funny though, thinking about it now, it seemed like most of the saints who got the “up close and personal” treatment were Irish.
So, I sat there and stared at the St. Patrick’s Day countdown clock. Why was everyone waiting a year? The calendar is full of saints, the kegs are full of beer, the jukebox is full of songs and there is no “St. Patrick’s Day” until next St. Patrick’s Day? That just doesn’t make much sense.
“Everybody sing.” “When Irish eyes are smiling la, la, la, la.…Did your mother come from Ireland, la, la, la, la….Oh, Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling, la, la, la, la.” On St. Patrick’s Day nobody knows all the words to those songs and anyway they only play them for a little while until someone plays Bon Jovi and the girls wag their arms in the air. You might as well start the night off singing “That’s Amore” (“when the moon hits you eye like a big-a pizza pie…”) or “She’s too fat for me” (“you can have her I don’t want her she’s too fat for me”) as you drink a Bud Light and eat pepperoni and mushroom pizzas or kielbasa and kraut sandwiches.
And how about the national holidays of other lands? We’ve already started to observe Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo as a holiday although I think that one was actually made up by Corona and the Lime Growers Association. What’s wrong with Bastille Day for the French with a fine wine from the south of France or maybe Boxing Day for the Australians with a Foster’s or a Labatt Blue for the Canadians? Start the clock and let’s countdown to tomorrow night.
“Hey, we’re going to head on over to “Saint’s Day Tavern” for a Peroni or a Guinness or a St. Pauli Girl or a Beck’s. Happy St. Bridget’s Day, Happy St. Anthony’s Day, Happy St. Philomena’s Day, Happy Calan Awst Day, Happy St. Paul the Hermit’s Day, let’s have a couple of cold ones.”
“Which saint today?”
“You know, the night always ends with Bud Light and Bon Jovi so what difference does it make?”