Thursday, March 22, 2007

Even the Irish get drunk

Now holidays are created to celebrate a religion, to show appreciation to someone, or to just plain get the day off of work. Each one has its traditions and rituals. Well I think some people got together and said “I feel like drinking myself silly, isn’t there a holiday for that, well there should”. Hence the glorious holiday of St. Patrick’s Day.

In Chicago, there is a famed South Side Irish Parade which basically is a bunch of drunken people and coolers with wheels. The City of Chicago parade is in the loop and they dye the Chicago River green every year. Now I have a funny story about some guy jumping into the green river, but I’ll save that for another post (plus it happened in the past). New York City of course has a huge parade marching down 5th avenue in midtown. Wanting to experience everything in New York before I leave, I headed over to watch. Big mistake. Like the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, the crowd was at least 10 deep. It took me ten minutes to wade myself through the crowd and advance one block up 5th Ave. I viewed the parade from between people’s heads or large obnoxious hats while on my tippy toes. Well I did not miss much. The parade could be summarized with: group of bagpipers and drummers, another group of bagpipers and drums, city councilman group, group of bagpipers and pipe players, high school marching band, group of Irish dancers (who were just walking in their costumes), and another group of bagpipers. No floats, no balloons, no candy…..soooooo not worth the effort. After an hour of thinking “okay maybe the next one will be good” I headed home. The most interesting part of the parade was the spectators. The people were wearing everything from shamrock glitter antlers, big green leprecan hats, green blinking buttons, green shamrock & beer mug glasses, etc. I was bored enough to take pictures of anyone in the crowd who either had the tackiest sense of fashion or must have seriously been intoxicated before leaving home. Case in point, a group of high school girls were wearing shamrock boxer shorts, knee socks, and green sweatshirts. Huh? It was barely 40 degrees outside. Oh well. Here is a bad shot of a woman who I thought was Tammy Fae Baker. She had the glorious eye makeup, overdrawn lips, and fake eyebrows.

Marshall met me at my apartment that afternoon to “get drunk” in honor of the holiday. Due to his next to none cash flow, we had to pre drink store booze at my place before going out. Not bad when you figure you can get over a dozen beers for less than $15. Plus we got green bottles to make it all more celebratory. While tipsy, Marshall had me take head shots of him with my digital camera. Okay that seems like a tangent, but it started with him trying to see if he has lost any weight. I have a picture of him at his chubbiest (only because it is a really good picture of me). I took a picture of him in the same pose so we could compare the two on the playback screen. One thing led to another and I had him posed on the couch with my desk lamp angling his head just right. It seemed like a good idea at the time (because he needed head shots), but I guess we should have done that while sober (or at least slightly sober). I counted them the next day, and I took close to 30 pictures….just of his head! Only 5 or 6 were in focus, and the rest were blurs. Ha ha ha.

Well, several beers later (six for me, eight for him), we met Anna and Jeremy out. They went to parade as well, and decided to just head out to the bars since the drunken people were more entertaining. Just to mock the tourists, they both had green glitter frame and green tinted lens sunglasses. Plus, Jeremy had a fuzzy green beret hat that was actually Anna’s! Ah ha ha ha.

The four of us stopped off at the House of Brews on 50th in Hell’s Kitchen. The part I remember is the random kilted bagpiper who came into the bar, played a ditty, and left. Anna had a full day by then and headed home while she still knew her address. Now that the wife was gone, Marshall and I dragged Jeremy to an absolute dive Rudys on 9th. This place makes you want to wash your hands after leaving. After a pitcher or two of PBR, the group dissolved. On the way home, Marshall confessed that he couldn’t want anything more besides me…..well me holding a quarter pounder with cheese. Lucky for him, there was a McDonalds on the way home.


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