Erin Go Blah – The Beast of St. Patrick (Revisited)

Ready to pillage…

“And in the Euston Tavern you screamed it was your shout
But they wouldn’t give you service so you kicked the windows out
They took you out into the street and kicked you in the brains
So you walked back in through a bolted door and did it all again
At the sick bed of Cuchulainn we’ll kneel and say a prayer
And the ghosts are rattling at the door and the devils in the chair”

– The Pogues, “The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn”
Rum, Sodomy and the Lash: 1985


Ugh… it’s that time of year again.

While I no longer hunker down behind the bar/in the trenches and fight the good fight through the Feast of St. Patrick, I still feel the need to share these nuggets of wisdom (originally published years ago when I wrote for The Hudson Reporter). They still hold up, which means no one is paying attention when I dust them off year after year. But it DOES give me the chance to say I told you so…


Having stood in the line of fire for a jail-term’s worth of St. Patrick’s Days, I’ve observed the following:

-”Kiss Me I’m Irish” buttons will get you nowhere with the ladies.

-There is no “Official” Beer of St. Patrick’s Day. Despite all its recent financial difficulties, the Catholic Church has yet to seek corporate sponsorship of its saints’ feast days (though it may only be a matter of time…).

-The same goes for “Official” St. Patrick’s Day Headquarters—as if that stinky dive down the street with the broken urinal would actually be the epicenter of the world’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

-Just because Mario’s Bar & Grill has a shamrock in the window, it doesn’t necessarily make it an Irish bar.

-In most circles, House of Pain’s “Jump Around” is not considered traditional Irish music.

-Ask any brewer and they’ll tell you—when a beer turns green it’s a BAD thing.

-Killian’s Irish Red is made in Golden, Colorado, not Enniscorthy, Ireland.

-One of the top-selling beers in Ireland is Budweiser.

-Guinness is most certainly not a microbrewery (I can’t make this stuff up—I swear I actually heard someone say that once).


-Asking a bartender to put a shamrock on the top of a well-poured Guinness is like asking Da Vinci to put a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

-Not only is the “Irish Car Bomb” (a pint glass half full of Guinness with a shot glass of Bailey’s and Jameson dropped in) an appalling name for a drink, the waste of Guinness and Jameson in some novelty shooter is nothing short of blasphemy. Save the “Boilermakers” for the Milwaukee’s Best and enjoy a quality beverage the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.

-A pint of Guinness takes a while to be poured properly—if you’re in a hurry, then order something else.

-Guinness in a plastic cup is a travesty, no matter how busy the bar is.

-The plural of Guinness is Guinness, not Guinnesses.

-More often than not, Irish people (by that, I mean people born and raised in Ireland) couldn’t give a rat’s arse what town your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather left during the Potato Famine.

-There is no room for a discussion of Irish politics in a crowded bar.

-The stereotype of drunken Irish bar-fighters applies mostly to Irish-Americans.

-The Irish pastime of hurling is not what most people in this country think it means.

-No matter what you may have heard or read, a traditional Irish breakfast DOES NOT consist of a six-pack and a potato.

-No, I’d rather not wear a silly plastic green hat while I’m working, but thanks for the offer.

-There is no “siesta” napping on the bar for St. Patrick’s Day—you have that confused with Cinco de Mayo, which is two months away.

-Just because the bar is open all day and all night doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be there drinking the whole time.

-Just because you gave a big tip doesn’t give you carte blanche for being a jerk off!!!

Yet despite all the bitches, gripes and complaints, I’m well aware that there’s a lot of earning of the green that goes along with the wearing of the green. I feel your pain, bartenders—believe me… but your best bet is to “Er-Grin ‘n’ Go Bear-it” as you look forward to the pot o’ gold at the end o’ ye rainbow—the long, messy rainbow that it is.