Saint…I Mean State Patty’s Day
This weekend thousands of Penn State students will drunkenly take to the streets to honor… the alcoholism of our Irish ancestors? Anytime I ask somebody what exactly they’re celebrating on State Patty’s Day, they respond with the exact percentage of Irish blood they have as though that will justify their celebrating.
Well, I happen to be 100% Irish myself, so I called up my relatives from the Emerald Isle to see how they felt about the way they’re being portrayed this weekend.
First of all, they find our celebration inauthentic. The REAL Irish Saint Patrick’s Day used to be a time to go to church to get a fresh shamrock pinned to your lapel. What a treat! It was also the one day a year that the pubs would shut down (okay, so maybe State College is keeping up with tradition after all).
One important thing that Ireland blames celebrations like State Patty’s for is the level of “tack” that has infiltrated their own celebrations. Big cities like Dublin decided to mirror America by hosting a huge Saint Patrick’s Day parade. My mother (an Irish native) confirmed that this is where people go to get “shwasted” on the big day. Now, they celebrate the stereotypes Americans gave them by rocking all green and dressing like leprechauns.
There was a general consensus among my relatives from across the pond about which four rules one must follow on State Patty’s day in order to not be considered an annoying yank:
1) Make no mention to Lucky Charms. The Irish have ZERO affiliation with the cereal brand. In fact, my cousins had never even heard of Lucky Charms until they came to visit.
2) Please, please, please do not wear a cheesy slogan shirt. “Irish I were drunk,” and “Kiss me, I’m Irish” are two big no-no’s. (I’d like to note that my own grandmother broke this rule when she bought me a pair of green and orange pants that said “feelin’ lucky?” Thanks, Granny…)
3) There’s a long list of things you just shouldn’t say including, “Erin go Bragh,” and most importantly, “Top of the morning to ya!”
4) The golden rule: Do NOT attempt an Irish accent. It never sounds as good as you think it does.
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About the Author
ESPN’s signature pregame show will return to the iconic Old Main Lawn on Saturday morning.
Gene Rockey — an employee in Copy Services for the past 26 years — will retire this week after more than 30 years of service to Penn State.
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