Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patricks Day ... in The OC, bitch...

I love Guinness... I will start this off the right way and just profess my love for this beverage to set the tone for this post. I love everything about it. From the taste (bitter and sweet at the same time) to its color (the most beautiful black in the brewer's entire palette), it is not just a "beer", it is a beverage to be savored and truly enjoyed.

St. Patrick's Day is a time when people congregate in bars and pubs across the country and raise a pint of the good stuff.

Since I grew up next door to downtown Boston, I know how to celebrate this day properly. You drink alcohol that comes from Ireland, you wear something green, you hang out with good friends (you might even make new friends), you repeat the first step continously, and then you hope a fight doesn't break out at some point. It's a great day.

I don't live in near Boston anymore however... I live about 3,000 miles away in Huntington Beach, California. Smack in Orange County or The OC as a popular albeit canceled Fox show likes to call it. It's actually 2,992 miles from Boston to my street address here, I checked on Google Maps.

People here dress up in the green colors... they congregate in the bars and pubs... and they drink. It sounds the same doesn't it?

It's not.

I didn't start my St. Patrick's Day at a Sully's Pub/O'Hanrahan's/Kitty O'Sheas/Insert Stereotypical Irish Name Here/etc. I started it at a bar on the beach called Chimayo's. That's a mexican word, it has Mayan roots. This is in fact my favorite place in Huntington Beach because it's on the water however it didn't have a St. Patrick's Day vibe that I was looking for. Sure the Guinness was being served, but there were people eating tacos and nachos and I think I saw a few Corona's and Pacifico's being imbibed. It wasn't right.

A few friends joined my fiance (also from back east) and I and we went to our next location which was further up the street away from the beach a bit. The line was long but thankfully I knew the head bouncer. His skids were in need of greasing but it sure beat the very long line. Once inside I thought I was in a better position because the first person I saw had on a Larry Bird jersey. Jackpot! Well... right then his friend walked up and he had on a Kobe Bryant jersey. The guy wearing the Bird jersey on St. Patrick's is fine, the weather in CA is warm enough where you don't look like an idiot, the shirt is green, plus it's Larry Friggin' Bird... show some respect. Now, the guy in the Bryant jersey , he just looks like an asshole. Not because it's a Kobe Bryant jersey, because it's a Bryant jersey on St. Patrick's Day.

I tried to stick to my aforementioned guns (i.e. my rules for St. Patrick's Day, see above if you forgot them already) and drank nothing but Guinness. However, at one point my friend decided he wanted to do a shot, which is fine, but the shot he choose violated my rules.

He ordered Jaeger shots.

Now I was internally conflicted! Should I brush him off because Jaeger is from Germany, disgusting by itself, and violates my "irish-only" alcohol rule for the day? OR do I stick to my other principal about never turning down a free drink (with one exception) and keep the heritage of Ireland alive because an Irishman would most likely drink it regardless? Easy answer... it tasted like shit by the way.

To start to wrap this up here... people all over the county celebrate this day (except in parts of Utah) and it is a little different depending on where you are. People in Orange County celebrate the day as if it is just another excuse to get drunk whereas people in Boston drink like it's their last day on Earth. The result is the same though everywhere even if the feeling is different... you hang out with friends, you make new friends, and you drink. Sounds like a great day no matter where you are, to me...

Oh the one exception to my free drink rule? If someone offers you a drink called a "Three Wise Men"...

punch them in the gut.

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