St. Patrick’s Day is this Saturday, and amidst the green beers, leprechaun costumes, and other shenanigans, the holiday carries another tradition: allowing alcoholics everywhere to “blend in” with their community, for one night only.
“For me, St. Patrick’s Day is just like Christmas,” says longtime alcoholic Jerry Reynolds. “I come to sometime in the mid morning, run downstairs all excited, and grab that plastic bottle of Barton’s vodka that’s hidden behind the couch in the living room. Normally I would be ashamed of myself, but today I don’t have to pretend like I didn’t just chug 6 shooters of Fireball when I leave for work. I can freely admit it on March 17th since I’m just like everyone else.
St. Patrick’s Day is a dream scenario for winos, as it is socially acceptable to start drinking at 10 A.M. “I can crack open a 40 oz. Old English at 9 in the morning and no one gives me shit for it.” Reynolds added. “There are only a few days like that let me tell you, Husker game days, maybe Thanksgiving. Otherwise everyone looks at you sideways like you are some kinda freak.“
Identifying addicts at your local bar crawl should be relatively easy. The culprit will be visually intoxicated, but will not be sick or threatening. They will likely be talking to an invisible person, or imagining they are dancing right along with patrons that are ten yards away.
Of course, the Irish celebration isn’t limited to Americans with substance abuse problems. Smell Nebraska sat down with Valparaiso crazy-person Newton Duncan. “I can’t explain it. I simply have to wear this flag of Ireland as a cape every day. Even my shrink can’t get me to stop running around wearing nothing but an Irish flag cape.” Duncan confessed, “364 days a year I have to stuff the flag under my dress shirt and pretend to be just like the status quo. Needless to say I am notably excited for this weekend.”