COLUMN: Why just the Irish?
Sure and begorrah, it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day – the holiday where everyone in America celebrates their Irish ancestry, whether they have any Irish ancestors or not.
Students on college campuses all around the country will roll out of bed before noon on Sunday to construct beer pong tables, and some will even get a nice buzz on before going to church. (These would probably be the same students who show up drunk to classes with no attendance policies when St. Paddy’s Day falls on a weekday.)
Around dinner time, the smell of corned beef and cabbage will waft through town, instantly nauseating those who have been up drinking since 10 a.m. After this traditional meal, those who have not yet passed out will go for another round, or seven, of thick Guinness beer and greatly regret it in the morning.
Monday morning, Mount Pleasant and the rest of the country will be hung over, and everyone will go back to virtually ignoring Ireland.
Since everyone seems to love pretending to be Irish for a day, I have to wonder why America hasn’t adopted holidays loosely based on other random European heritages.
I have mostly British ancestry, so I’d love to see a day each year where people dress up as Buckingham Palace guards and consume vast quantities of tea for the caffeine buzz. We could call it John Lennon Day or something.
I also have French ancestry, and I think people would have a lot of fun drinking a lot of wine, eating a lot of cheese and dressing like mimes for a day. Maybe this celebration could be held on Bastille Day, whenever that is.
And what about the large portion of people in America who have German ancestry? That holiday would be extremely easy to facilitate, since it would be a lot like St. Patrick’s Day, minus the green things and corned beef and cabbage. Sauerkraut and schnitzel could easily be substituted.
It just seems bizarre that America has chosen to exaggerate Irish stereotypes in the form of a holiday, so it’s only fair that other European countries get singled out in the same manner once every year.
We already have a holiday in America that satirizes our own culture, and it’s called Thanksgiving. No one’s really sure what Thanksgiving is about anymore; it’s just an opportunity to eat copious amounts of food and stare at a football game on TV.
Perhaps the Irish should start celebrating Thanksgiving in the same way Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish could start eating turkey very early in the morning and continue binge eating throughout the day. Instead of wearing green, everyone in Ireland could be encouraged to wear awful, holiday-themed sweaters. And, of course, pints of watery Bud Light would flow freely.
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