Who is Saint Patty?

Getting into the spirit of kicking things off early (for example, I note American preparations for “the holidays” begin the day after Thanksgiving), I’m posting this the day before “Saint Patty’s Day”. Don’t blame me: sure, I’m just following the illustrious example of the New York City St. P Day Parade Committee to hold the parade on the day before the day itself. But before we get ahead of ourselves too much, who is this Saint Patty? I could have sworn it was Paddy’s Day, or Patrick’s Day, or Lá Pádraig, if you prefer. It wasn’t until I moved to New York in 2010 that I discovered that Paddy has a doppelgänger. Perhaps in the spirit of all-women performances of Waiting for Godot, or the strange insistence on pronouncing said “Godot” “Ge-dough” instead of “God-Oh”, a mysterious emanation has arisen to replace Paddy. Her name? Saint Patty, short for Patricia. Oh, she is vast, she is green, she is festooned with green beer, the green rivers of Chicago, and green water cress masquerading as shamrocks.

St. Patricia bleeds for Chicago
St. Patricia bleeds for Chicago

I wondered if the Saint Patty thing was purely vernacular, or “word on the street”, but no: Time Out New York , for example, gives its readers a primer to avoid the “shamrock-adorned bros and douchiness that comes with St. Patty’s Day”.

If you need guidance regarding how to, and why to, pronounce it correctly, while avoiding the douchiness (for there, indeed, you will find Saint Patty) here is Gawker’s take on the issue of the vital double DDs.

And, for a bit of craic, have a look at a website that is entirely devoted to the war against the dreaded Saint Patty. Ladies and Germs, I give you: Paddy,Not Patty!

P.s. Here’s a comment from Gawker’s site on the St. Patty’s Day article. ”

THIS! As an Irish person, this really annoys me. What really rankles me is every single Paddy’s day in Dublin, you’ll get at least one American tourist telling you to stop being offensive/telling you you’re spelling it wrong!

Also, just FYI Americans, Irish people do not hold a tradition of pinching people if they don’t wear green. You will get in trouble if you pinch someone who does not want it!

Oh, and naming drinks “Irish Car Bombs” or “Black And Tan” is highly offensive to the average Irish person! If you order one in Ireland, you should be prepared to have a history lesson and/or be asked to leave!”

On the last point, I remember sitting on my favourite stool in the Eighth Street Taproom in Lawrence, Kansas, over on the left, where they prepare their delicious ginger smashes (with that zing of freshly-grated ginger: amazing!) when some douches walked in and asked for “3 Irish Car Bombs”. My pal, mixologist extraordinaire Mr. Jeremy Sidener, pointed to the sign behind the bar that read “Car Bombs Kill”, and shook his head. For the nonplussed douches, this was the first time in their lives that they even had a slight inkling that the dreaded beverage might have a connection with something real from Irish history. They departed the premises.

(Photo credit: http://jetsetera.net)

Oxycontin Tattoos

27th October, 2010

There are more skyscrapers in downtown Brooklyn than the whole of Ireland. There’s also more oxycontin consumed per capita here, but that wouldn’t be that hard, given that most of us in Ireland don’t know what it is. (And, to be fair, Brooklyn is in the top 10 biggest cities in the USA.) The fact that we don’t know (and don’t know it can be pulverised, and freebased, or snorted, and is damned near amazing, and dangerous), preserves what’s left of our innocence. According to some sources, it’s great when you just want to “chill”. When you want to be a passive verb (ah, the passive voice can be good at times); when you want a “chill” to come upon you with GREAT vengeance, when you want to enter the kingdom of a major Chilldom.

Yes, you guessed it, Biddy, it’s a time-release opiate, a synthetic morphine, (“Feck off, Miley,”) made to make the pain go away. Right you be there Michael and Marsha. Right you be. Have another pint, or ten. Rum and black? No bother.

During the Northern Ireland “Troubles” there was a roaring trade in prescription Valium, mainly amongst the mothers: taken first thing with a shaky morning cup of tea. Their husbands and fellas didn’t, as a rule, “touch the stuff”. Sure, they just had a rake a’ black pints, breakfast, lunch and tea instead. As Leland Bardwell writes: “don’t touch them – them’s your mammy’s pills.” (That morning consuming of drugs brings back US friends’ stories in Spain about their “bushy-tailed” swallowing of the daily tab of LSD for breakfast before High School. But there isn’t the same quiver in the hand at all in that, is there, now? Or the same reason. Not by a long shot. Though, the tragedy – or the reason – might be more private). By the way, fraternity lads, that’s why we don’t appreciate the American cocktail you call “the Irish car bomb”. Just saying, boyos, just saying. Try asking for that in South Armagh, lads. You might just get one.

Apparently, there are more cool people in New York than the rest of the US put together (or so naturalised New Yorkers would tell you), not including – of course – Austin (Texas), Portland, San Francisco, and Lawrence (Kansas). They say that the coolest person in every small town moved to New York, and is now a smaller fish in a big smelly sea of cool; but whether boy or a girl, one can be tattoo-sleeved in such a way as to suggest, “em, don’t think I’ll be going home any time soon, like.” That’s another difference.

(“Jaysus, Didi, aren’t they fierce sensitive about their tatts and prescription drugs?”

“Sure wouldn’t you be, Gogo, if your arse was blue with them, you had your back done in several Portuguese Man O’ War jelly fish, just for the fucking craic of it, like, and you were high on pills, all at the same time?”

“Jaysus, that sounds wild, ha? Are they lunatics, or what? Nuther pint while we wait?”

“Sure, go on the kid. We have another while yet.”)

I had a similar conver. with an Italian American lass – or was it a Jewish American girl? Anyway, we concurred that people from more “ethnic” backgrounds, for want of a better word, or people more “recently arrived”, don’t do as many tatts, or at least the ones from wrist to shoulder, because what would “the mammy” say at the Chrimbo? (“Sorry there, lads, “the holidays”, I should have said, apols. Christ, indeed, Didi, you’d want to be watching what you were saying, wouldn’t you?”) It’s an unprovable hypothesis, and a ridiculous generalisation, but I have the sense that, along with the great geographical distances, there are distances in the US in terms of the family. (“Do you think that, now, Gogo, you awful gobshite?”) Well, I suppose it was here that divorce was pioneered, after all, along with the great LSD experiment, and that isn’t a bad thing (I’m referring to the first, of course, the first! (“Lob us an auld tab there, Didi, while you’re at it. Oh, you already put it in me pint? The devil fuck you.”)

A Jewish dude at a party the other evening said: “what’s the difference between a Jewish and an Irish mother? The Jewish mother says ‘you’re killing me!’ The Irish mother says: ‘I’ll murder you!'”

Mammy, I saw my first facial tattoo the other day. And it wasn’t on a New Zealand Maori, I can tell you that much for nothing. I wouldn’t say he’ll be looking for a pensionable job in the bank, would he? Won’t be long ’til the Christmas. “Ara, sure, the Holly and the Ivy!”

“Would you ever shut up, Didi?”

“Gogo, you’re an awful bollox.”