Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As a beer geek I have struggled to find meaning in the holiday this year, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to hit your favorite pub and have a great time. As you do I’d like to remind you that St. Patrick’s Day is also called Amateur Night, and for good reason – it’s the day that knuckleheads everywhere drink too much and spoil other peoples’ fun.
And the knuckleheaditry is worse than ever this year, according to Reuters. In Hoboken, NJ, 35 people were arrested and 2 sexual assaults were reported during their annual parade earlier this month. 296 summonses were issued for public urination and open containers, and drunken thugs dumped beer and a planter on firefighters responding to a blaze. A crowd also broke into a local business that was closed and trashed the place, urinating as they went. Stay classy, New Jersey!
It’s so bad, that officials in Hoboken are considering moving next year’s parade to a weekday in order to cut down on the number of out-of-towners who attend. Similar scenes played out in Albany and Newport, Rhode Island, and officials in those cities are also devising tactics to curb bad behavior at next year’s parades.
Surprisingly, one thing that might be behind the unruly crowds is Twitter. Newport Police Lieutenant William Fitzgerald told Reuters, “It’s the first time we heard of people coming to the parade because of Twitter.” Fitzgerald went on to say that Newport Police are working on a strategy to use the Internet to keep things under control next year – we’ll see how that goes.
I can only guess what’s happening today in New York City (the granddaddy of all St. Pat’s parades), but I expect more of the same, just on a larger scale. I’ll see first hand this evening, as I’m headed into town to take my son to a Knicks game. I expect the train back home to full of puke-stained amateurs, trying to make it back to the burbs. My nine-year-old son is excited about this, because as he says “I’ve never seen a drunk person.” I didn’t contradict him. 🙂
Whatever your plans are for this evening, make sure you take the knucklehead factor into account. I know we’re all pros around here, but you have to look out for the other guy. Be sure to stay away from people under the age of 25 wearing green (I’ve posted a pic to illustrate who I’m talking about), and if you’re on the road, make sure to leave a little extra distance between you and the other cars. Part of the amateur menace is their willingness to get behind the wheel after drinking too much green beer.
With all that in mind, enjoy yourself and have a safe, happy and fun St. Patty’s Day!