Today is St. Patrick’s Day. In the past it was a day of politics, green beer, hardboiled eggs, and large gatherings. Since COVID restrictions are still in effect, any gatherings will be of limited attendance and physically distanced. Being on a college campus, I realize that tradition is not so easily dismissed. There will be private gatherings. There will be groups that go to the local watering holes. And yes, there will be the consumption of green beer. I suspect that the beer will be cheap and plentiful since it is not likely to have a long shelf life…
Entering the “way back machine” transports me to 1978 and a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. I was never a drinker. I still don’t drink and have a very low tolerance for alcoholic beverages. One of my dorm-mates and several of her friends invited me to join them for some green beer at the local watering hole. I was not 21 yet. I was a color-in-the-lines kind of kid so I declined. They insisted I come anyway. The place was packed. It was so busy that we literally couldn’t get inside. So we hung out in the little area to the side where they had set up some chairs and tables. A waiter came over and asked us what we wanted. My friends announced, “Green beer for everyone.” Without batting an eye soon there were 6 frothy mugs of green beer on the table. Five of them were gulped down in an instant. My mug sat there. Finally my friend asked if I was going to drink it. I told her I didn’t like beer. She wanted to know if she could have it; and she drained that mug in nearly a single chug. The “designated driver” movement hadn’t been started yet but that soon became my standard role. I was the friend who made sure everyone stayed together and kept any from wandering into the street or walking into signs…
I swore off drinking green beer
But they pushed the pints ever near
Loud I raised my voice
That drink’s not my choice
To which they shouted hear, hear!
A little limerick in honor of the day. I hate writing limericks, and drinking beer. But I did wear green today!