March 16, 2007

Scots Wha Geall a Holiday

AH, ST. PATRICK'S DAY -- a day for Americans to celebrate their Irish heritage, enjoy Irish culture and cuisine, and have a drink or two even before the clock strikes noon. It is such a fun time, in fact, that even people without any Irish heritage join in the fun, and celebrate through wearing green, holding wild parties, and what not. Why, even I -- noted curmudgeon and raconteur that I am -- will celebrate with a beer or two around 11 a.m.

I must admit, though, that as someone with no Irish ancestry whatsoever, I don't get into the holiday nearly as much as other people. On one level, this is understandable: as I'm not Irish, I can't understand what the day means to those with that ancestry. But on another, it suggests that I'm looking for someway to celebrate my own ethnic heritage, which has always been a bit problematic.

After all, my ancestors made a point of leaving the generally Godforsaken places from whence they came, primarily because they knew that if they stayed, their descendants would have to deal with bad harvests and rampaging bureaucrats and panzertruppen. Even where it was nice, there was little in the way of jobs or opportunity. So that makes me a bit hesitant about openly celebrating my Continental heritage.

But I do think I've come up with a solution. As a Scot -- well, part Scots anyway -- I too can get into the celebratory spirit. I'll keep celebrating St. Patrick's Day, but I'll also celebrate St. Andrew's Day. St. Andrew's Day is the national day of Scotland, and as such it should be a big deal here in America. Yet practically no one celebrates it, and I don't understand why that's the case.

After all, St. Andrew's Day falls on Nov. 30. If you ask me, that's a perfect day for getting blitzed. I mean, it's Nov. 30. People are done with Thanksgiving, but it really doesn't feel like Christmas yet, and it's the end of November and it's gloomy and cold outside. If that's not enough reason to get out The Glenlivet, then nothing is. Plus, as Scots, there are plenty of ways we can celebrate our national heritage, with celebrations of national sports, cuisine and ...

READERS: Uh, dude, that's during Christmas. We're supposed to spend more money on --

Oh, quit. OK, I'm proclaiming this the first rule of St. Andrew's Day: the Bein' Thrifty with the Celebrations, even though that's a national Scottish pastime, will be restricted from between 7 a.m. until 8 a.m., or whenever one has one's first shot of whisky, whichever comes first.

Besides, many of the festivities on St. Andrew's Day will be free. Why, just think how much free fun a Scot can have during an extended session of Rooting Against the English. Och, the English, with their caste system and arrogance and drunken braggadocio. Damn their soccer players and their unionism and their seizin' of the North Sea oil, which as everyone knows is rightfully Scotland's and Scotland's alone.

So the second integral part of St. Andrew's Day will be the Rooting Against the English, whether that means hoping all their soccer teams lose or actively supporting the Scottish National Party. The Rant would, however, encourage this rooting to be all in good fun, as all the Trident missiles are in England.

There will be plenty of good fun on St. Andrew's Day, especially when the people indulge in the Drinking Before Noontime. While revelers probably ought wait until after noon to commence seriously heavy drinking, folks should break out the good whisky as soon as they feel ready, and continue imbibing. Alternatively, one could drink plenty of India Pale Ale throughout the day, although the Morning Celebratory Whiskey and the Wee Nightcap would almost certainly be mandatory.

I'm sure there are plenty of other things Scots in America and elsewhere could do for St. Andrew's Day, such as playing the bagpipes, golfing, and eating bagels and lox for breakfast. But here in New Hampshire, another ritual of St. Andrew's Day -- and this St. Patrick's Day -- is going out to Clean Off the Car so the Landlord Can Plow the Parking Lot. This post, however, should get everyone thinking ahead for the big day in November.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at March 16, 2007 09:58 PM | TrackBack
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