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What about the Irish? — CURT YEOMANS

Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com. 

Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com. 

Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner but I’m not feeling lucky.

I have been considering going out of town to celebrate a highlight of the year for the Irish. The problem is that I can’t find an affordable hotel close enough to where I want to go.

Then again, the intended destination is Savannah on the weekend of its big Saint Patrick’s Day parade. Hotel rooms in Savannah are going for anywhere between $300 and $1,000-plus.

Essentially, Savannah is out. At least there is the “Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade” to make up for the loss.

Since the Irish are the topic this week, let’s get one thing very, very clear here: Wearing the color green does not give you carte blanche to pretend you’re Irish.

If you don’t have Irish blood in you, you’re nothing more than a poser. Granted this is coming from a third generation Irish-American, but it needs to be said.

You can celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. No one is going to stop you from doing that.

However, if you throw on a fake Irish accent and dress up like a leprechaun (or wear some T-shirt that perverts Irish stereotypes into sick innuendoes) then you may very well find out where the term “fighting Irish” comes from.

We’re temperamental and we’re drunk so watch out, and here’s hoping you bring your own ice pack to the party.

And while we’re talking about people making fools of themselves, let’s talk about the reason for that foolishness: Booze.

For some reason, people tend to look at Saint Patrick’s Day as a big drinking holiday. Honestly, that’s because it is a drinking holiday. Even the Irish still living in Ireland readily admit that much.

It may be the only holiday that is both named for a Catholic saint and has its own alcohol sponsor. Leave it to us Irish folks to blur the lines.

But it must be stressed that the proper way to honor this holiday is to drink only Irish alcohol.

In other words, drink only Guinness, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Irish whiskey.

It’s insulting and quite frankly disgusting to think of people drinking American beers on an Irish holiday. For whatever reason, some of those American “beers” (if you can call them that) are extremely popular. It’s a total mystery why this is so.

Not to call any particular beer makers out but at least one of them (perhaps the biggest of them all) is just downright nasty to drink. Forcing someone to drink this particular “beer” should be considered a form of torture that should be reserved only for use by the CIA.

The smaller American beer brands aren’t so bad because they are willing to take some chances with their flavors. The results are actually quite good.

Still, how can anyone hold a candle to Guinness? It is like the national drink of Ireland. It is one of the five sacred symbols of Ireland, along with Michael Collins, the Blarney Stone, the Book of Kells and shamrocks.

One sip from this nectar of the gods should make all other beers go home, curl up in the corner and cry themselves to sleep.

Just keep this in mind as you prepare to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.

Curt Yeomans is the Senior Reporter for the Clayton News Daily and an avid traveler. He can be reached at 770-478-5753, ext. 247, via email at cyeomans@news-daily.com or on Twitter at @CYeomansCND.

Comments

Michael 1 year, 1 month ago

Excellent Mr. Yeomans, As someone of Irish heritage, I shall lift a Guinness, probably more than one, with you. Even those of us who came from northern Irish protestant stock can blur the lines to drink to a Catholic Saint.

Have a happy St. Patty's day sir.

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Robert 1 year, 1 month ago

Oh let the people celebrate St. Patrick's Day and have a good (safe) time. White people celebrate Martin Luther King day and straight people watch gay pride parades. The only difference between St. Patrick's Day and MLK Day is that on St. Patrick's Day everyone wants to be Irish. Celebrate safely, responsibly and enjoy but don't drink and drive.

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OscarKnight 1 year, 1 month ago

..... I went to The Atlanta Public School System, in the late fifties and early sixties, and Saint Patrick's Day was always celebrated.

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