3 Authentically Irish Ways to Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day

Originally written March 3, 2017 at Tradition Brewing Co.

3: Get a Tattoo

We’re all Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day, but why relegate your false heritage to some arbitrary calendar date? Be Irish for life with a tattoo.

Popular Irish tattoo selections include four-leaf clovers and Celtic crosses. But if you’re the sophisticated type (venti moccachino with two shots of Bailey’s), get an Irish proverb done in the original Gaelic. Here’s an idea, pro bono*:

“Is iomaí slí muc a mharú seachas a thachtadh le h-im,”

(There are many ways of killing a pig other than by choking it with butter.)

Tip: It is unsmart/unsafe to get tattooed while under the influence of alcohol; get your tattoo before you start pre-gaming the day prior so that you can show it to some gingers the next day and goad them into buying you shots of Jameson’s.

*pro bono means it’s so Irish it’d impress Bono.


2: Kiss People… They’re Irish

These days the term “mouth rape” gets tossed around like a wad of gum in an aggressive make out session, so understand that the slogan on a stranger’s tee-shirt will not hold up as written consent when you’re on trial. With that said, wear your own shirt and ask people to smooch you. Make a game out of it. With the right demographic and frequency –say, at the local Saint Patty’s Day parade- you just may be able to cop a buzz from the whiskey breath.


1: Don’t Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day

Nothing’s more Irish than unrequited stubbornness. A true Irishman does not need a catholic holiday to guilt him into drinking himself belligerent; it’s a daily dinnertime ritual. Instead, walk to the nearest Mexican cantina and order a large frozen margarita. Even if your genealogical heritage is as far from the Emerald Isle as Stephen Hawking is from his own attic, it won’t take a pint of Guinness to summon the desire of your inner banshee to urinate all over the Lucky Blarney Stone (or the lucky dumpster behind Plaza Azteca.)


Your Bachelor’s Degree is a Participation Trophy

Originally written December 4, 2016 at Dog Street Pub

I worked very hard to earn the only participation trophy I ever received. They also gave one to the kid who sat in the grass picking at his own jock strap, but I earned my trophy, damn it!

Cries ring out from the country clubs and nursing homes about how the millennials were ruined by the participation trophy. “Something for nothing,” they say between phlegmy harrumphs. “You’re fragile and entitled, all of youse!”

I showed up to every practice and played my guts out. I put up with the coach’s shithead kid. I was hit in the face by errant soccer balls, I fell and got scraped, bruised, and bloodied. For what? Fun? The love of the game? I only played because at that age you simply participated in seasonal sports without question. It’s the type of social buy-in you continue to experience in adulthood, like playing Secret Santa at the office Christmas party or secretly fat shaming Sheryl at the office Christmas party. She offered to bring cannolis and then proceeded to only eat the cannolis. At least back in my soccer days, people like Cheryl made good goalies. Now look at her.

I fear that this same attitude is the reason I ever attempted to go to college. High school Ethan was a terrible student. Still, my teachers and guidance counselors insisted that I would never get a job without a degree. I would never be taken seriously. All my peers were doing it. So I went to college. I showed up to every class. I studied. I put up with the weirdo professors. (Side note: Those who can’t do, teach. But if you can’t do, then what freaking business do you have teaching?)

Quitting school was the most fun I had in college. I realized that the degree I aspired to was just another social buy-in. I very well cannot tell you that every degree is otherwise worthless, but I can tell you that you don’t have to be a top student in your class to get one. “D’s” may not actually get degrees, but if you show up, participate, and try your hardest, you are practically guaranteed a “B,” and “B’s” get degrees.

Every class has its valedictorian, has its jockstrap kid. Every average student in between –likely the ones who tucked away their participation trophies without a second thought- will still earn his or her respective degree.

As for me, I learned my lesson. I’m going to sit out here in the grass watching the other kids play, scratching at the itch of my own jockstrap.

Bawstin Lawgguh: An Open Love Letter to My Favorite Beer

Baby, I swear it’s not product placement.

Originally written December 12, 2016 at Park Lane Tavern

I don’t root for any sports team. If I like a band, I purchase rather than pirate. Only one entity in this world is worth squealing in the presence of, despairing in separation from, crushing the tracheas of naysayers and opponents… at least figuratively, and on social media, and sometimes of waitresses in restaurants that dare exclude it from their libational ouvre…

Boston Lager, my bubbly, well-balanced bae,

I’ve coveted you. We were celebrating with rare steaks in San Angelo and when you disappeared at the end of the meal, so did my soul. And that glass, that tulip shaped glass you wore… I kept it. Snuck it home in a lady-friend’s purse, I did. Sniffed it just once before cleaning it and adding it to the shrine. How it sparkled, like the tears I shed whilst on the toilet expelling my penance for ordering that steak cooked rare. I am a greedy fool. You bring it out in me.

I’ve fought for you. I was turning 23. Every time that waitress came out to take my order I asked again if she had you in stock. She never did. She probably didn’t even know it was my birthday. I implored the manager –no, threatened her employees to have you in stock at once; no other beer would do! But she couldn’t give you to me. So I told her I’d have a whiskey. Also, I had a Blowjob Shot, an Irish Car Bomb, and -not one, but two Four Horsemen. It was my birthday, after all.

I’ve paid for you. And you ain’t cheap.

I’ve loved you. They call you the old man’s beer. They wait for the seasonal wenches in October and Winter and Summer, but I remain true. You were there first, you are there always. Your exotic dark caramel body begs to be cupped by these gentle man-hands, hoisted, and cherished. I could practically drink you in. Nope, literally. I can literally drink you in. You’re beer.

Baby, I swear it’s not product placement. It’s the real deal. Cheers to us.