It's that time of year again--March 17th! This year also happens to be the 150th anniversary of the Italian unification which is totally awesome because before 1861 Italians were all known as "inhabitants of that peninsula in south central Europe that contains disparate city states and used to be the seat of the Roman Empire and they make neat pasta and stuff". This was a severe strain on newspaper copy editors, so they unified the country and they had a great time ever since (despite a 21 year fling with Fascism which proved not to be too fascisional once they made the mistake of teaming with Hitler).
It is also St. Patrick's birthday, apparently--a Roman who became famous to bringing Christianity to Ireland, abolishing slavery there, and other neat stuff. (Much as I rail on Christianity, they're not nearly as lame as Druids. Go back to worshipping mistletoe, hippies!) It is also the occasion that amateur drinkers, frat guys, townies, and various people with a trace of Irish ancestry decide to go out, crowd the bars, and get good and wrecked.
My friends in DC--prompted by the infamous Disaffected Scanner Jockey who came up with the idea--have had a new tradition for a while--going out for Mexican food and drinnks on March 17th, celebrating "Cinco de Patrick" (part II is on May 5th, when we go for Irish food and drink), who rid Mexico of snakes and ensured Irish independence from Napoleon III. This is a good way to remain festive, while avoiding the worst of the crowds.
What will we be eating? Corned beef tacos and Guiness-flavored margaritas, of course!
Ole go bragh!
Surprise and Fear
10 months ago