I've had some memorable St. Patrick's Days. The earliest I can remember is from when I was in kindergarten at Emerson Elementary in Warren, and the teachers did the old leprechaun-in-the-classroom trick. We came back from gym to find our backpacks ransacked, our coats strewn asunder. Our teacher, in what we later deduced was mock surprise, exclaimed that the culprit was escaping out of the window, and ran across the room to catch him. A (fake) struggle ensued, and she returned with A TINY BLACK BUCKLED SHOE. Irrefutable evidence of leprechauns. They just can't resist messing with kids' backpacks. Or being badly portrayed in movies.
I totally believed there was a real leprechaun in our classroom for, like, years. I mean, she HAD the shoe. I guess there could be some sort of prop leprechaun shoes you can get at the fabric store or something, even though there was no Internet back then. But my evolving cynicism and penchant for not believing in cereal mascots left me a little wiser, if not jaded.
Another much later year, I made the mistake of trying to revel on Carson Street in Pittsburgh with a friend who had just moved there. Yeah, right. You couldn't even get into any of the buildings, let alone enjoy any of their green-dyed goods. So, we just stood out on the cold street and pretended to steal each other's wallets to see if anyone noticed. No one did.
Having dated a fraternity brother, I also have had a couple wild (and early) St. Paddy's. Kegs and eggs at 6 a.m. is just ... no. I'll sleep in and miss the green eggs and / or ham. I don't know how they do it; near 18 hours of straight food-coloring-soaked chaos. If only those guys put the same energy into ever getting out of college.
So, having borne witness to the good, the bad and the crowded of the holiday, I offer some St. Patrick's dos and don'ts:
So, this weekend, enjoy some good music, watch dancers kick up their heels, chow down on some corned beef and cabbage, and be a little more Irish with all of your fellow revelers. Just hold onto your backpacks. That leprechaun is sneaky.