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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 17, 1997)
St. Patty’s Day proper
Greenhorn’s guide to Emerald Isle
La brea feile Padraic boibh.
That’s about the most traditional
Gaelic Irish greeting you can get,
but I doubt most of you running out
tonight to celebrate an adopted Irish
tradition know what the saying
Irish Americans and Americans
alike really should know that their
St. Patrick’s Day is 100 percent
different from St. Patrick’s Day in
the land of St. Patrick.
One year ago, I was celebrating
St. Patrick’s Day on the crowded
streets of Dublin. (Kind of like
going to Bethlehem for Christmas.)
You’d be hard-pressed to find
corned beef in Ireland, and the only
stuffed leprechauns are stocked in
souvenir stores for American
tourists. The only time the beer is
green is when it’s on its way back
up. The Liffey River that runs
through Dublin is green, but it’s sure
not from FDA-approved dye as it
probably is in Chicago.
So if you’re looking for a real
dose of traditional Irishness, bum
the green polyester blazer and toss
the plastic shamrock earrings.
Read my “Ulysses.”
It’s a holiday, so everyone is off
work and few places are open —
except for the pubs (not bars). While
the Irish don’t drink green beer, they
do drink beer — Guinness, and lots
About 10 a.m., you should be
strolling in for your first Guinness.
(Here’s a little secret: Don’t order
Harp. It’s the Pabst Blue Ribbon of
Dublin.) If you’re a newcomer to the
art of Guinness guzzling, you’ll
need a fork. It’s thick. For a good
pint, make sure you go to a good pub
where the pints are pulled slowly.
Wait. You must wait. If you drink
the Guinness before it’s settled,
you’ve just committed your first
major non-Irish faux pas.
Your Guinness is ready. It’s time
for an Irish toast. I know you can get
books of those sappy Irish toasts, but
you’ll never hear those in Dublin.
You may hear some football (a.k.a.
soccer) reference that I can’t print
here, but, to-be on the safe side, just
say “Slainte” (Schloin-tuh). It’s
Gaelic for “health,” and a common
Now it’s noon, and you’re
hungry. Like I said, no corned beef
and cabbage. If you were really in
Ireland, you could go to Leo
Burdock’s Fish and Chips to get a
big, greasy slab (and I mean slab) of
fried fish and chips, not the Ruffles
kind, but chunks of fried potatoes,
which are Bke french fries but much
thicker. (And Bono reportedly eats
Another drink, perhaps? How
about Irish coffee, a nice mix of
coffee and Irish whiskey? About
mid-March, in Ireland, you’ll need
it; it’s “pissing rain” and cold.
At some point in time, you could
wade through the tourists gathered '
to watch the St. Patrick’s Day run,
where you might catch sight of St.
Patrick jogging in full robe and
For some solitude and a reversal
from killing your brain cells, you
should drop by Trinity College, the
Harvard of Ireland. Chances are,
you’ll run into the orange- and
white-striped Trinity Cat. He’s a
mean tabby, and a very bold cat. I
almost left my right hand in Ireland
because of him. Anyhow, he may not
seem important, but he’s always
sitting by the pitch (field) unless it’s
If that’s the case, drop into the
old library to see the illuminated
manuscripts of the Book of Kells.
It’s a nice biblical reminder that you
shouldn’t be this drunk at 2 pm.
You’ve got the rest of the
afternoon to kill, so wander over to
St. Stephen’s Green. You’ll be
walking down the tourist-trap
Grafton Street, where you can
window shop. Drop into Bewley’s
for some coffee and a scone, but stay
away from the blood pudding.
St. Stephen’s Green is pretty
peaceful, until you get to die crazy
guy by the duck pond. If he jumps
up behind you, cackles and says,
“Eh, yeah, I coulda pushed ya in,”
just smile, nod and keep checking
out the ducks.
As evening approaches, there’s
only one place to go: the pubs. A
few more pints of Guinness, and you
can relax to some starving Irish
band trying to be the next U2.
Speaking of Bono and friends
(who are probably in Las Vegas),
fans should drop by the new
Kitchen, the discp owned by The
Edge and Bono himself. Disco in
Ireland doesn’t mean John TVavolta
and white, sequined jumpsuits. It’s
retro dance music, ecstasy (hey, it’s
true), neon spandex and neon lights.
It’s 2 am You’ve never needed
the blessing of St. Patrick as much
as you do now. You think you see a
giant potato swimming in the Liffey
River, but you’re just stoned.
Some scary-looking guy in a
balaclava comes up to you smelling
of gunpowder. He mumbles some
thing about joining the IRA and you
(as a dumb American) think it’d be
nice to invest in your retirement
account so early, so you agree.
But then he hears your American
accent, steals your wallet and lurks
off into the night.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Lavigne is a senior news
editorial major and the Daily
Nebraskan managing editor.
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