Today is my national holiday.
I’ve celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in many different countries over the past years. This year, it’s England. Previously it’s been Germany, Canada and the USA.
I have to say that the most tasteful celebrations are usually to be found in Ireland itself where the day is marked by modest parades, a day off work and the sporting of a small amount of shamrock on the lapel.
The American celebrations are, by contrast, positively bacchanalian. Everyone gets to be Irish for a day (except the homosexuals) and suffer from the delusion that drinking green beer is somehow a good thing.
I remember finding myself in New Orleans one St. Patrick’s Day. Actually, I spent most of the day in a car on a road trip with some friends. We had set out a couple of days previously from New England.
We arrived in New Orleans in the evening and the festivities were well underway. Still in the car, we took a wrong turn and ended up inching down Bourbon Street in the middle of a throng of revellers.
I overheard a homeless man ask:
"Wha’z goin’ awn?"
To which a happy bystander responded:
"It’s St. Patrick’s Day! Where have you been?"
"Ah bin drunk!"