Thursday, March 17, 2011

A wee bit 'o bummin' on St. Patrick's Day

I opened the newspaper this morning and it dawned on me: these could be the best two days of the year.
Yet, I’m pessimistic it’s going to work out that way.
On the plus side, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, a great reason for boozy merriment.
I like any holiday that prioritizes drinking over exchanging gifts and greeting cards. There has to be some mathematical formula that proves the more greeting cards that are involved -- Christmas, birthdays -- the worse the holiday.
On the flip side, three of my favorite holidays are St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July and April Fool’s Day.
Nobody gives out “Happy Fourth of July!” cards, thank God.
Then there’s the drinking. The psychoanalysts won’t advise this to their morose patients, but every activity is better when it involves at least some alcoholic consumption.
But today’s shrinks don’t make any money off prescribing things like Jameson or Jim Beam over things like Xanax so that’s not likely to change.
It’s a real pity that all life’s most aggravating endeavors with which adults must wrestle -- commuting, working and wise parenting -- require at least some degree of sobriety.
So we have St. Patrick’s Day, a day when heirloom drunks like me can usually indulge. But I can’t afford to vaporize a day to hangover so cutting lose isn’t an option.
It’s like someone told me I need to send a dozen “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” greeting cards to people who could just drop dead, for all I care.
Then there’s the start of the NCAA basketball tournament. I always plan on spending the day in the bar with good friends all day watching college basketball from around the country.
But two days ago I got a call from an old buddy who used to run a bar I’d frequent.
Note: Nearly all my old friends have at one time or another either run a bar, tended bar. Today, they’re either fundamentalist Christians who wouldn’t dream of touching Demon Rum or are serving prison sentences and looking forward to their release and their first beer in 5-10 years, pending time off for good behavior.
There’s no middle ground.
But my old friend is trying to revive his sagging bar business by opening at 3 p.m. He called to personally invite me to be there to watch the afternoon Pitt game.
This I will gladly do.
Yet, it’s taking me away from my core bar and my core friends on one of the best bar days of the entire year.
Now when my primary bar owner finds out I’m returning to my former bar owner, he’ll be furious at the betrayal. He’ll think the former bar owner will charm me in ways that will lure my affections back to my ex-bar.
And, yes, I’m aware of all the Freudian undercurrents here. But it’s not like that, I swear.
A lot of lonely adolescent boys dream of a day when they’ll have two girlfriends and all the illicit fun that implies.
Trust me, son, it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
And I guess the thing that’s bothering me most is Paul. I’ve for two years looked forward to Paul’s arrival. I dreamed about Paul. I couldn’t wait to see Paul.
Well, tomorrow, Paul will be here.
“Paul” is the new Simon Pegg/Nick Frost movie about two sci-fi geeks who find an smart ass alien.
Pegg and Frost made two of my all-time favorite movies, “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead.”
They couldn’t be any funnier. So I’ve been eager to see their new movie. But as details emerged, I began to feel a sort of dread.
First, there’s Paul himself, a little alien voiced by Seth Rogan, who’s never made me laugh.
I sensed what was happening was Hollywood producers wanted to take these two comic geniuses, Brits, and make them more palatable to dimwitted American audiences who’ve made Rogan and movies like “Super Bad”  and “Knocked Up” big hits.
Early reviews on the reliably accurate are, “eh.”
Well, I don’t want, “eh,” I want, “Ah!” I want, “Oh!” I want, "Ha!"
So I feel bad about feeling bad that my perfect little world won’t be all I’d hoped it would be.
I wonder if anyone near the Fukushima Daiichi plant is bumming because their St. Patrick’s Day isn’t working out how they’d hoped.

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