You can tell the Irish and Mexicans have fully integrated into American culture because we have drinking holidays that fully embrace those cultures most ridiculous stereotypes. If on Purim we painted Jews the way we portray the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day or African-Americans on Martin Luther King Day the way we paint Mexicans on Cinco de Mayo you wouldn’t hear the end of it.
But as a fan of ethnic caricatures I will not protest this March 17 the idea of celebrating all Irish as short drunks searching for pots of gold who pinch anyone that isn’t wearing green. Though I will admit I find the idea of pinching to be very strange. It can not be a coincidence that the only other time someone speaks of pinching is to see whether or not they are dreaming. For only in a dream will someone pinch you. Unless you are in Ireland apparently.
When I was a kid I heard that St. Patrick was celebrated because he made all the snakes in Ireland disappear which made me think it would be easy to become a saint. I could just say I made all the polar bears in Florida disappear and they would call me St. Pablo, but apparently the church is harder to satisfy these days.
But for most people St. Patrick’s Day is an excuse to embrace alcoholism on a weekday. We dye kegs of beer with green food coloring, Irish themed bars charge covers, and guys can wear shirts that say “Kiss Me I’m Irish” without the slightest bit of shame. In fact there is great pride because it is not the Polish, the Koreans, the Ethiopians or the Peruvians that has all of America drunk. It is the Irish.
And on the 5th of May it will be the Mexicans.