The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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March 15, 2014

St. Paddy’s Day reveling filled with Irish wannabes

- — Begorrah and begotten, it’s a great day for the Irish. Well, at least it will be on Monday.

St. Patrick’s Day holds a special place in the hearts of the Irish. It also holds a special place for the non-Irish who like to party as if they were Irish.

I’m sure that many of the non-Irish were referred to by Sharon Police Chief Mike Menster who said that on St. Paddy’s Day, the jails are filled by 11 a.m..

No true Irishman would be drunk in that short a time in the morning. On that special day, we true Irish refer to the non-Irish as “amateurs.”

And hey, real Irishmen don’t drink green beer. Remember, it’s only food coloring added to beer. And with too much food coloring in green beer, what comes in green can go out green. It can be a scary sight.

Since I prefer beer, I stick with the tried and true Irish drink of choice – Guinness or Murphy’s – while others who enjoy whiskey go with Jameson, Tulladore Dew or some such libation.

But don’t get me wrong, St. Paddy’s Day isn’t just about drinking. It’s about traditional Irish music, dancing and pride in heritage. It’s just that all three seem better while drinking.

St. Patrick supposedly drove the snakes from Ireland. According to legend the missionary was on a 40-day fast when he was attacked by snakes and he banned them from the Emerald Isle.

If you believe that, then you’ll probably believe that I drove the penguins from the United States. Since snakes aren’t known to swim long distances, it is doubtful that there were really ever snakes in Ireland.

St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He was British. We just adopted him because his name sounded better than Shamus Day.

But he helped contribute a lot for the Irish. He supposedly used the shamrock as a symbol of the Holy Trinity during his preaching, so that’s why the shamrock is such a strong symbol for the Irish.

Being of Irish heritage is something special, that’s why everybody wants to act Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. After all, what other group can claim to have figures like leprechauns or banshees in their heritage. (What do you mean they aren’t real?)

Everyone wants to believe that there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow or that if you can capture a leprechaun you will be granted three wishes.

But catching a leprechaun probably isn’t in your future on St. Patrick’s Day so please use some sense and drink responsibly. And get a designated driver for a ride home if you really want to celebrate.

Truthfully, enjoying St. Patrick’s Day is something you can do even if you don’t drink. If you can sing, join in on those Irish songs. If you can’t sing very well, so what. Sing anyway.

If you do catch a leprechaun, your first wish should be for a designated driver to take you home so you can sleep it off, because you are obviously hammered.

And what you hear screaming at you soon won’t be a banshee – it will be your wife!

Erin go bragh!

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for the Opinion Page. He can be reached at - except on St. Patrick’s day, that is!

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