I think it was last year that the Guinness company — a fine organization I’ve got no problems with in the usual course of things — put all these ads on TV urging Canadians to sign an online petition, that asked the federal government to make St. Patrick’s Day a statutory holiday.
This was crossing the line, I think. For one thing, we don’t need a holiday in March, we need one in February, and with the number of times we’ve asked for one then and been turned down, it would be an awfully bad omen to see the government grant one to Guinness for some date roughly a month later on. Kind of like renting out holidays as advertisements; once let it begin, and you can be sure they’ll all come just when you can use them the least.
Also: jeez, what’s the matter, Guinness, are you seriously telling me you don’t think you’re moving enough booze on St. Patrick’s Day?
Downtown Vancouver’s Business Improvement Association (ptui! – yes, I actually just spat) organized us our first-ever St. Patrick’s Day parade last year, too.
Kind of them, wasn’t it?
See, it’s like this: way fewer people self-identify as Irish up here, than seem to do so down in the States. Green beards are hard to come by, green beer harder still. You get more people self-identifying as Scots, actually, sporranning up to attend big St. Andrew’s Day balls (you do not want to know how far ahead you have to reserve your sporran for one of these functions), and waving sabers over the haggis on Robbie Burns Day. Och aye! Wha hey!
I don’t particularly care for this either, but at least it’s still got a certain harmless quaintness to it — even without official government sanction, St. Paddy’s is still responsible for an amazingly-higher number of stomach-pumpings than is St. Andy’s. But, it’s only harmlessly quaint until somebody puts a kilt on a statue of Dr. Sun-Yat Sen or dyes a Spirit Bear green, and that’s for sure, bhoy. Terrible, divisive crap, and I never grew up with it, so no thanks, I don’t miss it, I don’t need it, and I don’t want it. The odd shamrock shake is enough St. Patrick’s Day for me.
Maybe with a little Tullamore Dew on the side, just to clear a path for it.
That’s all. Less of a punchline than one might have hoped for, but…oh well…
Can’t have everything.