Friday was St. Patrick’s Day, a generally festive time for American humans, but a stressful time for the fish of the Chicago area. Can you imagine if your entire neighborhood got painted green overnight? Freaky. Anyway, us humans got “lucky” this year with the “holiday” landing on a Friday, which is certainly better than Thursday last year or Wednesday the year before, but still not ideal.
That’s because St. Patrick’s Day is the Cinco de Mayo of March. Both are on a fixed calendar date, which makes no sense, and we don’t get work off for either of them, which makes even less sense. Both have some amount of green added to the beer, and no one from the holidays’ countries of origin celebrates them. Here in the good ol’ USA, however, we embrace them like they were the Fourth of July or New Years. And much like New Years, no one knows what we’re celebrating or why. But we’re all Irish for one day in March, and we’re all Mexican for uno dia en Mayo.
The overwhelming problem is that the only people who get to celebrate these two “holidays” with any regularity are students. Specifically, college kids and elementary schoolers. The college kids use the days as excuses to party, and the elementary schools use them as excuses to make leprechaun traps, Mexican flags, and most importantly, eat cookies.
Meanwhile, we adults have to wait until March 17th or May 5th land on a weekend before we get to party anymore. Why should the students get to have all the fun? Why shouldn’t the parents get to participate?
We used to have fun on St. Patrick’s Day. We used to drink green beer and actively look for other college kids of the opposite sex who weren’t wearing green so we could pinch them, as is the standard custom.
We used to have fun on Cinco de Mayo. We used to drink Corona with lime and eat discounted tacos by the truckload while wearing giant sombreros, and actively look for other college kids of the opposite sex who weren’t wearing green so we could pinch them, as is the standard custom.
Did we know why we did any of this? Of course not. Did we care that we didn’t know? Of course not. We cared about doing our part to uphold centuries of fake traditions. We cared about beer with the appropriate green holiday additive. We cared about pinching cute members of the opposite sex. We cared.
I’m tired of being left out. I’m tired of not caring. I want to care again. We should get to party, too. It’s only right, since we’re the ones paying for all of this anyway. Why shouldn’t we get these days off work?
Why? I’ll tell you why. Probably because someone still needs to pay for all this, that’s why. But are we going to let that stop us? Heck no! There are plenty of other days during the year we can work. Although, we do already have a lot of holidays…
OK, let’s compromise. We could combine St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo into one holiday to minimize the work stoppage but still have some fun. What do you say?
I knew you’d be on board!
Ladies and gentlemen, I officially propose a new national holiday.
We will compromise on the month and have the new holiday in April, since it has always been a travesty that we don’t get April 27th off for President Ulysses S. Grant’s birthday either. We will anchor it around that date but it will need to float, of course, to always fall on a Friday so this party is a three-day weekend. It’s only fitting to include Grant, since he really should be the patron saint of these two holidays anyway. You may not know this, but in addition to being a war hero and a Roman god, Ulysses was a prolific inventor and is actually responsible for creating, among many other things, the taco, green beer, the piñata, and Ireland.
We shall call the new holiday either Dia de St. Mayo Patrick de Grant, or Cinco de Ulysses Patrick’s Day. We can vote on that later.
As far as logistics go, we will simply combine all the current fake holiday traditions into one big three-day weekend of awesome.
The holiday uniforms can remain mostly undefined, but should include the required holiday colors; green, white and red, with an obvious emphasis on green and large sombreros.
Mariachi bands will need to shift their focus a little and include bagpipes and plaid. Irish heel-clicking salsa dancing with be a natural follower to the new groove.
The main holiday beverage will obviously be green Corona with yellow lemon wedges instead of limes to signify lucky gold. Cuervo gold tequila will remain unchanged, since it satisfies both holiday motifs. As an alternative to Mexican tequila, Irish mojitos will be made out of crushed clover and Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Red, white, and green tortilla chips will be served with cabbage salsa, and children across the land will spend the new holiday smacking leprechaun-shaped piñatas filled with gold coin chocolates and corned beef taquitos.
We can work out the rest of the details later. I’m not really sure who’s in charge of new holiday creation over in D.C., so if one of you could forward this on to them, that’d be great.
I’m going to get back to my green Corona.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2023 Marc Schmatjen
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