Tag Archives: Saint Patrick’s Day

When Drinking, It’s All About The Altitude

Yesterday being St. Patrick’s Day, and not having an aversion to green beer or, say, Jack and Coke, I took today off.  Not in anticipation of the possible hangover, although I was accused often of doing it for that reason, but because I have a vacation day left from 2010 that I needed to use before it disappeared from the check stub.  We are no longer able to carry over earned vacation into another fiscal year at my company.  Whatever.  The 18th of March sounded as good as any before the end of April when the vacation day vaporized.  So I’m going to work around the house today, not.  Like I said before, if you work it’s really not a day off now is it?

I’ve had a number of self-inflicted illnesses over the years.  I am constantly reminded of the time I had to crawl to the truck because the change of altitude, when I stood up, made me ill.  My plan worked until I got to the truck and, of course, had to stand up to get in.  Not to drive home of course, I’ve never done that…… right.  Still, why do we do it?  Because we were having a hell of a good time up until our bodies caught up with what we were doing.

Portrait of Suzanne Valadon - Hnri Toulouse-Latrec

When you suffer from a hangover, the first thing you say is “I’m never doing that again.”  You drag yourself out of bed suffering from a headache, nausea you thought you cured by hugging the porcelain throne most of the night, diarrhea, lack of appetite, shakiness, feeling tired and just an overall not feeling quite right situation.  Without going into a lot of medical detail, you messed with a lot of neurobiological balances and it’s going to take a while to get the alcohol out of your system.

There’s got to be a cure, right?  Something to throw you together enough to get you to work.  By the way, the economic impacts of hangovers just in the US are estimated to be $148 billion a year, mostly in, as you might imagine, missing work or less than  stellar productivity.  Then there’s that guilt for calling in sick for a “flu” you know you could have avoided, if you have any sick days left.

I’ve heard thousands of cures over the years.  None work.  Might as well take a couple of placebos, drink a lot of water and tough it out.  The most accepted cure is what I like to call “The hair of the dog that bit you.”  However, the worst thing you can do is have another drink and make this condition worse.  Still, some recommend a “Bloody Mary” on the morning after because your body might forget about dealing with the alcohol in your system and turn its attention to the new alcohol.  Plus you’re getting some needed vitamins.  But really, think water.  Lots of water.

Drinking coffee loaded with caffeine, not a good idea.  It will continue to dehydrate you which is not what you need right now.  I’ve tried drinking pickle juice, something they do in Poland (no, no jokes here), and it kinda helps.  Not sure why but it’s probably the vinegar, a homeopathic cure-all.  Orange juice.  Orange juice is good because it has a lot of vitamin C.  Alka Seltzer.  “Plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is.”  But stay away from headache medications.  They will all play havoc on your system because they are blood thinners just like alcohol.  Lastly, if you’ve got some B vitamins, take them with water before you go to bed if you’re in any state to think.  If you wake up on the bathroom floor hugging the porcelain throne, you probably weren’t.

Anyway, I don’t have a hangover today.  I saw a lot of people last night dressed up in green looking a little green, and probably looking a lot greener today, but I wasn’t one of them.  I’m getting too old for that…..right.  WTF

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If It’s Not Scottish It’s Crap

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  When everybody is Irish for a day.  You know, the Church wasn’t sure when St. Patrick’s actual birthday was.  Some thought the eighth and some the ninth of March.  So they added the two days together and made it the 17th.  WTF  You can’t make this stuff up.

White House Green Fountain March 17, 2009.

Did you know that green beer, or beer of any kind for that matter wasn’t always available in Ireland on St. Patty’s Day?  A bill was passed by an O’Mara in 1903 that made the day a religious holiday.  Since it was illegal to sell liquor on religious holidays in Ireland, until it’s repeal in 1970, Irish pubs had to close on that day.  In 1970 they made it a national holiday and drinking was allowed again.  A 67-Year St. Patty’s Day Prohibition.

Hallmark will sell 8-15 million cards for St. Patrick’s Day.  They’ve been doing it since the 1920s, although it is not a public holiday except in three other countries besides Ireland: Montseratt, Newfoundland and Labrador.  That’s not to say it’s not celebrated world-wide, just that it’s not a public holiday in the US, like Columbus Day, and Presidents Day, and Christmas.

McDonald’s will sell “Shamrock Shakes” during the month of March.  They’ve stopped on and off over the years, and not all stores have them, but they’re a pretty popular item out there and a pretty active search item on the web.  Seems the price has increased steadily over the years as well.  The  minty shake has an almost cult following, and through their efforts in online forums and petitions, they were able to bring the shake back in 2008 after a five-year hiatus.  They probably use the same vegetable dye to color it green as the City of Chicago does to turn the Chicago River green, by dumping 40 pounds of it into the river. 

You’ve all heard about how St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland.  Well, there has really never been any snakes in Ireland.  And here’s a shocker:  St. Patrick isn’t Irish and that’s not his real name.  His real name is Maewyn Succat and he was born in Scotland.  As was said in the movie “Braveheart”, “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!”

The Newark Bagpipes. Flickrcommons photo by Jackie.

And you’d think that the biggest celebrations, the most Irish Pride, would come from Ireland itself, but not so.  The City of New York goes overboard with their St. Patty’s celebrations.  The whole city smells of corned beef and cabbage.  The parade, which started in 1762, is the largest parade in the U.S.   Almost 3 million people come to see it, over 150,000 people are in the parade, and it spans a mile and a half.

So, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, have a green beer and some corned beef.  By the way, I’m told if its prepared correctly it has potatoes in it with the cabbage and corned beef.  Makes sense being an Irish dish.  I’m on a hunt now to find the best place in town to get me some.

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