Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Connecticut Avenue NW, just above Dupont Circle, along the western "wall" of the Masonic pyramid.
St. Patrick's Day was my least favorite day of the year when I was a bartender. I would trade for the lowliest shift imaginable so as to avoid contending with the inevitable glazed eyes, foul behavior and sloppiness that accompanies any American celebration of this day.
God knows, the Irish have had an unhappy history; drinking to excess during any number of horrible periods of time would have made sense to me, too. But here in the U.S., for most white people, life has been pretty easy. Not for everyone, but certainly for the dudes who can afford to pound down the green beers until they can't stand up, it's hard to imagine circumstances that could justify the quest to get completely wasted - except for the "truth" that those dudes love getting wasted. Any excuse will do. It seems disrespectful, but what do I know? I'm not Irish.
At least that's what I used to think about on the unfortunate occasions when I had no choice except to tend bar on St. Patrick's Day. Thank goodness my bartending days are long past. Today I'm going to make an Irish stew to celebrate. I'm hoping the stew will turn out to be colorful, warm and aromatic enough to combat the unrelenting gloom that has settled over Washington DC. Here in the house on Tennessee Avenue, we'll have a couple of beers, some stew, and of course I'll remember to leave a small glass of Irish whiskey out on the table for the Leprecauns. It will be, as usual, a low-key celebration after which we'll turn in early. Oh yeah!
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields,
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.