17 March 2006
Wetting the Shamrock
Ah, St. Paddy's Day; the unrestrained joys of my youth are flashing before me.
Every March 17th, I can almost smell the beer-soaked floors of the Midnight Court. It's similar to an acid flashback (not that I would know) but instead of going psychedelic at the sound of a Pink Floyd tune, I get a scent memory when I hear an Irish song like Black Velvet Band -- something that is unavoidable on this day. I'm not sure how the Midnight Court, which closed in the early 1990s, got lodged in my Limbic system as I've indulged in the uisce beatha in numerous places on March 17ths past.
Most of my St. Pat's memories from high school sort of blur together but they all involve, in some capacity, drinking peppermint schnapps out of a Dunkin Donuts cup in M Street Park in South Boston. In college, LP and I used to flee the 413 area code to drink green beer and see McMurphy (bums up!) at the Midnight Court. And we'd stay there for about 12 hours. (I believe I just answered my own question on how the scent memory got lodged in my brain.) In my 20s, I recall a movable, Bass Ale-fueled feast with assorted co-workers that began in some questionable South Boston establishments and sloshed back toward downtown as the day wore on. However, St. Patrick's Day eventually became a non-event for many, many years as we grew annoyed by inebriated, step-dancing fools like ourselves and began to scorn all the green drunken sentimentality. I don't feel this way anymore, however.
Right now, James and I are in the grips of a fierce Mexican jones that has gone unquenched for several months. That said, we'll likely be wetting the shamrock at Acapulco's this evening. A few years back we went out to dinner at a Lebanese restaurant on St. Patrick's Day and there were Italian musicians playing Irish drinking songs, the bulk of which were dedicated to a frail blue-haired bird named Mrs. DiBona. Who knows what Acapulco's might have in store? At least we'll have some green guac.
If you have a moment today, check out this English-Gaelic translator where you can learn to say "Happy St. Patrick's Day" or "I'll have the same as the man on the floor."