Today is my birthday. Which is all well and good. St. Patrick’s Day babies get to be honorary citizens of Ireland; our birthdays are remembered by more people; and there is an entire section of greeting cards dedicated to those born on March 17 (if you divide the U.S. population of 303 million by 365 days in the year, there are 830,000 of us).
But going out on St. Patrick’s Day sucks. First of all, it’s amateur hour. Every two-bit drinker and his monkey’s uncle is getting shitfaced and wearing a green Leprechaun hat. Plus it’s absolutely packed. Try convincing a bartender to give you a free birthday beer when 150 turbos with green Leprechaun hats are demanding Guinness by the bucketful.
And then there’s the green beer.
So, I started a new tradition a couple of years ago: I go out on the night of March 16 and celebrate my birthday at 12:01 a.m. on the 17th with, yes, a Guinness and shots of both Bushmills and Jameson (in an effort to unify Ireland). It works well most years. No mobs, no grumpy bartenders, no amateurs and no Leprechaun hats. But this year, March 16 fell on a Sunday, which, although it’s a school night, was weekend enough for most people.
And I had to suffer a new indignity: Guinness in a plastic cup. Bars, on big nights, often hide the glassware so it doesn’t get broken by the drunken hordes, and use plastic instead. But Guinness should not be imbibed out of plastic. So at the Pour House Pub, which is next to Nallen’s Irish Pub, but far enough away to avoid the green Leprechaun hats, I asked for a glass. No dice. What if I order a more expensive Snakebite. Nope. It’s my birthday? Plastic. Oh well, what can you expect from a Red Sox bar.
So, there you have it. A tale of birthday woe. Slainte. – Jonathan Shikes
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