Tips for Surviving St. Patrick’s Day

So St. Patrick’s Day is “right around the corner,” as the lazy copywriters say. Time to disinfect your blarney stone and get ready for the third-biggest drinking holiday in the history of alcohol, right behind New Year’s Eve and Meeting Your In-Laws Day.

Although it’s marked on the calendar, many people are unfamiliar with the details of the Irish holiday. This could be due to the fact that none of us really know anything about Ireland itself, but more likely it’s the barrels of green beer that get dumped down our faux-Irish throats every March.

But quake not in your vomit-covered shoe buckles! O’Brian is here to impart wisdom on all things Irish, including wee leprechauns, pink hearts, yellow moons, even the green clovers. And if you don’t learn anything after reading this week’s column, the information could still come in handy at Carmody Pub’s Trivia Night … provided every category is “Made-up Irish Stuff.”

Toasts: Making a proud proclamation while hoisting a pint in the air can be traced back hundreds of centuries to civilization’s very first bar which, coincidentally, is still located in Superior. Scholars have pieced together the ragged remnants of a cocktail napkin and deciphered what may be the very first Irish toast:

“May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings,

Slow to make enemies and quick to make friends.

And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

Unless you’re a feckin’ Vikings fan.”

Dances: Due to its intricate and complex choreography, “Riverdance” is probably the most famous movement to come out of Ireland since the Green Cabbage Johnny Jig. In fact, many Republicans are studying the fancy footwork to prepare for Donald Trump’s upcoming presidential nomination. It’s so popular that Polymet is trying to create their own version for Northeastern Minnesota, but early reviews for “The St. Louis Riverdance” say it’s only “adequate.”

Folklore: While leprechauns do figure prominently in Irish legends, there are also a number of other magical creatures that appear in the stories. For example, there’s the banshee, an Irish wailing ghost, and the Bennett, a WDSM wailing radio announcer. Other frightening Celtic creatures include witches, demons and vampires. Not-so-frightening Celtic creatures include Larry Bird and Kevin McHale.

And there you have it. Simply work in some of the above-mentioned particulars while you’re out and about this St. Patrick’s Day, sprinkle in a few faith and begorrahs and everyone will believe you’re as Irish as Paddy O’Furniture. And if they don’t, what do you care?

Have another Guinness and meet the in-laws!

By Brian Matuszak as published in the Duluth Budgeteer News.

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater, and visit their website at He’s Polish, not Irish, so instead of inviting you to give him a kiss, how about a nice pierogi instead?