Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Pat's Day itself... an anticlimax

The South Side Irish Parade was Sunday. The Northwest Side Parade was March 8 (and as nice as the weather was for the South Side parade this year, it was that miserable on the Northwest Side -- cold and rain and flash flood warnings and all).

And then there was the Downtown parade on Saturday.

Younger Daughter was still home on Spring Break and she announced her intentions of heading down for the event. A whole group would be going and they thought they'd get VIP treatment (a couple of kids they know are in the Shannon Rovers).

Now I know a little something about the Chicago St. Patrick's Day parades. (That link will take you to a reminiscence about the 1977 downtown parade.)

So it's safe to say I knew there might be some ethanol involved. And Younger Daughter is not yet 21. So I laid down the law: Public transportation only. No open alcohol consumption (the cops promised a big crackdown on the TV news just the night before). Come straight home after the parade; do not even think about trying to get into a bar somewhere.

Long Suffering Spouse and I watched the parade on TV. We didn't see Younger Daughter. That was fine.

After the parade, I went to pick up Youngest Son from baseball practice. The baseball coach runs particularly long practices on and near St. Patrick's Day. The coach is a gentleman of Polish extraction. "Is it the Irish he doesn't like?" I asked Youngest Son when we were coming home, "Or is it just the drinking?"

"I think it's the drinking," said Youngest Son.

"Well, that's probably a good thing, then," I said.

Driving to and from school, I'd seen a lot of people milling about the streets who'd obviously been downtown for the parade. As I walked in the door, I inquired if Younger Daughter had been heard from yet.

Then I saw the largely empty pint bottle of rum on the dining room table.


Younger Daughter had come home in high spirits, if you know what I mean. She was toting a bag full of stuff she'd either brought with her or picked up along the way. Since the van wasn't in the driveway, maybe she thought no one was at home.

But Long Suffering Spouse was at home, sitting in the living room. Waiting. And watching.

"What's that bottle in your bag?" said Long Suffering Spouse when Younger Daughter came into the room.

"What bottle?" asked Younger Daughter, trying to feign innocence. And, remember kids, if you can fake sincerity, you've got it made....

"That bottle."

"Oh, this?" Younger Daughter pulled out a pennant.


She pulled out her purse.


She went to reach for something else.

"I can see the top of the bottle from here," said Long Suffering Spouse.

The bottle was eventually produced. I eventually came home. It was eventually revealed that most of the bottle's contents had been swilled before heading on the train that morning.

"Oh," I said. "Cuba libres to start the day. How very Irish," I said. "I suppose you took the Coke cans on the train and figured no one would know."

Younger Daughter's eyes grew wide. "We didn't think of that."

"You're giving her ideas," Long Suffering Spouse said. She was not amused.

So, instead, I mostly talked like a pirate for the rest of the day. (You can guess the brand of rum from that sentence, can't you?) Youngest Son also talked like a pirate. We were very loud pirates, too, especially when Younger Daughter seemed about to doze off.


And now, here we are on the Feast of St. Patrick itself. It's a beautiful day in Chicago -- the warmest in years, possibly a record. Still, all the young people are pretty much tuckered out from the weekend, I should think.

A lot of people are wearing green, though.

I am. I have a green shirt and a green tie. It brings out the unhealthy greenish pallor in my cheeks, don't you think?


Shelby said...

ok, pretend this is this morning. pause. top o' the marnin' t'ya!

little late in the day, but I just got home from work.

Barb said...

A pirate goes into a bar with a paper towel on his head. The bartender says, "What's up with the paper towel?" The pirate says, "Arrrr.. I have a Bounty on me head."

Sorry I couldn't resist.

Was the river green again? On purpose, I mean?