Mike Brown’s Monthly Dirt: Amateur Night

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A true drinking pro knows that partying is like a marathon—don’t rush things. Photo: Mike Brown

From my days working in the unlucrative yet highly fashionable world of bartending, I learned many lessons about humanity and human behavior. Watching a sweaty crowd’s mating rituals from an elevated platform, lubricated with liquor, was always entertaining and educational. Life lessons were learned on the regular as well, like knowing when to say “when,” and when to say “fuck it.” But perhaps the biggest lesson I learned from all my years of bartending is that the only thing worse than an idiot is a drunk idiot.

There are certain holidays that are pretty much catered to the boozing and bar industry. We all know what they are: Halloween, the Fourth of July and the notorious New Year’s Eve. But there’s one designated drinking day that seems to suck the stupid out of people more than all of them. That day, of course, is St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it’s because I fancy a drink a tad bit more than the average American male, but I don’t need a holiday to tell me to drink. I probably got more hammered on Flag Day than I did on all of these “holidays” combined, and I don’t even know when Flag Day is.

For the men and women behind the bar slinging your drinks, these nights are special—special as in special ed. Surely, the tavern workers make more money than they do on a regular shift, but, for me, it was never worth it. A hurricane of idiots storm the nightlife scene and they become drunk idiots. People who normally don’t go out suddenly feel the special urge to descend into the local bar district. Lacking bar etiquette and adequate drinking ability, I simply call these people the amateurs, and they are some of the worst people in all of humanity. Thus, leading me to simply call a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day “amateur night.”

Whether it is professional sports or drinking, there’s a lot that separates an amateur from a pro. An amateur always tries to make an immediate impression on the game—they rush things. Shooting six Car Bombs in one hour will not help you win the game or make you a champion. A true drinking pro knows that partying is like a marathon—no matter what your liver will allow you to tolerate, you have to pace yourself or you won’t reach the finish line. Unless you consider the finish line your face nuzzled against the soft coolness of your toilet bowl. Then I guess you win.

So, on nights like St. Patrick’s Day, I choose to bench myself and not even compete. I don’t see the point of going out and risking a DUI by being too impatient to wait an hour for a cab, when I can stay at home with a stockpile of non-Irish whiskey, video games and porn. Since I quit bartending, the solitude I enjoy in the ritual that takes place on my beat-up couch is unmatched. I don’t believe in god, but partying by myself on amateur night is my little chunk of heaven.

Besides, I just don’t get this holiday at all. Why are we celebrating a holiday for another country in our country? And why are we doing it by pretending that we are Irish for a day? Irish people must think we are so fucking stupid. Do the Irish celebrate the Fourth of July by stocking up on assault rifles, playing baseball and eating fast food for a day?

The amateurs also choose to charge all gung ho toward the saloons that brand themselves as Irish bars, but, the problem is, they aren’t real Irish bars. Just because they have Guinness on tap and don’t serve Bushmills doesn’t make the spot an Irish bar. There are ways to tell you are in a real Irish bar: They aren’t very clean, they won’t serve you an Irish Car Bomb and they are in Ireland.

The closest thing to a real Irish bar, state-side, is going to be closed on St. Patrick’s Day in honor of actual St. Patrick (whom I’m too lazy to look up on Wikipedia for this article, even though I probably should), or in honor of getting their employees drunk for the day. But, most likely, because the real Irish bar will know how many dipshit amateurs they would have to put up with that day if they were open.

The whole green thing throws me off a bit, too. Like, if I don’t wear green, I get pinched? Sure, this was a cute, fun game when I was in grade school, but nowadays, I can see it going awry. Like, creepy dudes with pinching fetishes going to the bar purposely not wearing green to get off. Or an even creepier dude going to the bar and pinching every butt in sight and then just claiming that they are colorblind.

Overall, this holiday is dumb. Whatever you decide to do, whether it be to drink green beer and eat green eggs and ham, and end up puking green puke or pooping green poo, please remember one thing: If you look forward to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and you are not Irish, you are a dipshit, an idiot and an amateur, all wrapped up into a douchebag burrito.

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