Sunday, March 2, 2008

Patrick, the Patron Saint of Public Embarrassment

These carbombs only terrorized our sobriety.

Patrick is the patron saint of public embarrassment, according to how his holiday is celebrated. Not to be sacrilegious, he is the patron saint of Ireland, the homeland of my grandfather (Bray, County Wicklow, for those counting) and it is part of the common myth that he drove the snakes out of Ireland, so if you keep his medal in your pocket, you won't get cockblocked on St. Patrick's Day.

In Hoboken St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 1st. Ask not why, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, especially if it's a draft horse lugging kegs of beer. We ventured cross the Hudson to experience what Hoboken had to offer on this holy day for Irishmen and drinkers. Sarah and I met up with Katie and her friend Laura from upstate, and later my pals Johnny, Sean and Andy, and finally my cousin Lou "the actor I doth knighted King Douche" and his girlfriend Courtney (not Love, thank all the gods in heaven).

We began braving the cold to slog to a party thrown by a guy named Matt, about 80 blocks away from the PATH station, at least it felt that way in the sudden icy winds. Next door to Matt's was Fiore's House of Quality, a deli. You know they're quality, it's right in their name. They are also Famous for their Mozzarella. Now every Italian deli or salumeria in Jersey fights for the best mozz title so I took it with a grain of salt. And some salami. And I must say Fiore's is in the running, their sign is no travesty. To build a solid foundation to drink upon, we introduced the New York transplant gals to the sangweech, the term for any sloppy sandwich using Italian deli products upon a crusty loaf. And yes, I constructed that sentence deliberately so I could use the words crusty loaf.
Genoa salami, fresh mozzarella, and roasted peppers.

We'd heard that most bars had a $20 and higher cover charge and a line out the door, but Matt told us of a place up the block called 3A's Bar and Grill. Their cover was only ten bucks, the line wasn't that bad, and signs outside lured us with Guinness and Smithwick's. The fire department was being incredibly strict with "maximum persons" ratings for the bars; they came in three times during our 8 hour adventure, and bouncers were letting in people only when others left. Not sure if this was just the usual Hudson County corruption, or overzealous enforcement. Either way, we grabbed a spot at the bar, and the festivities began.

Early on, Katie (who is fascinated with hats and other props) saw a very drunken fellow with a huge Guinness hat on, and wanted to take my picture with it. So, catchphrases ahoy.
I drink your milkshake!

It looks as if I am ingesting this man's brains, from his expression. That would be only the third worst thing I imbibed that day. Katie wanted us to drink Irish carbombs to start with, but we held off a little while until some of the rest of the crew showed up. Still, we had enough to drink that the girls were grabbing my tweed hat and spontaneously singing stuff from Newsies.

What is it with girls and "Newsies?"

Johnny, Andy and Sean got through the line first, and I introduced them to the girls. Johnny eagerly played catch-up, jealous of our buzzes. He likes Jägerbombs and I hate Red Bull, so I bought us some red-headed sluts instead. Jägermeister is not my favorite beverage, it's a fratboy drink and too sweet and weak for me. In Germany I drank Ratzeputz, a higher proof Ginger schnapps. Ve liken der gingerschnapps!
Johnny: No roofies tonight!

After a few carbombs my resistance was weak and I partook of a Jägerbomb with Johnny, Sean, Sarah and others. The first thing this insidious cocktail attacks is your memory. Rather like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sean became erased from our memories at this point. We later tracked him down in the john, where he learned that Jägerbombs and martinis don't mix. We brought him water but the bouncers threw him out while we weren't looking, and he found his way home. He did give me the best quote of the night.

Sean: I think when my head was in the toilet I saw the face of amy winehouse

Sean, you suffered not in vain. Here are some other beauties overheard throughout the evening.

Random drunk guy: No, the ingredients of each animal cracker are different, depending on the type of animal.
Random drunk Katie: Dicks, all over my face? Aw...
Random drunk Johnny: No roofies tonight!

Shortly thereafter we cajoled my cousin Lou into braving the short line to enter the bar, after getting pissed off at the bouncers earlier. I'm glad he made it, I hadn't seen him this year and because of the acting, it can be hard to see him. He was with his lady friend Courtney, from the old hometown. As you can see from this photo, soon to be sold for millions to greedy tabloids, she is a lot of fun.

I'm so excited to meet your cousin Tom, the famous blogger!

Lou introduced me to the newest drink craze sweeping the nation, the Benjamin! It's a beer, preferably an Amstel Light, cheap gin, and a lemon wedge. It's not as bad as it sounds, and that's the best I can say about it. I prefer gin in the summer, so maybe it'll taste better then. This binjeer or ginbeer combination does a job on the brain cells, because I can't remember when Lou and Courtney left. We do have extensive photo evidence that they were infected with the "prop vibe" that gave the night its flavor, posing with my hat, flowers I stole from a table, and so on.
Sssh, the leprechaun might hear you!

If you go to San Francisco, don't forget to put some flowers in your crack.

It wasn't the end of the night for Newsies, either. Here's Christian Bale singing "Santa Fe," and then Katie and Sarah's version. They would also sing Madonna, and some random chick who looked like Jodi Foster meets Posh Spice was dared to kiss Katie by her friends, but didn't have the guts.

More "Newsies," the girls are no Christian Bale.

Thank goodness no one captured me wailing "Sweet Child O'Mine" to Sarah when it played. Amusingly enough, Lou, who's performed on Broadway, didn't break into any songs, as he is often wont to do. The jukebox was broken, we tried to play "Pour Some Sugar on Me" to get Katie to dance on the bar, and "Big Balls" so Johnny could do the Pom Poko dance, but it was not to be. It was a fine evening at a decent neighborhood bar, with good cheer and only one casualty, Sean. I checked in with him and he's recovering well, with a newfound respect for martinis on an empty stomach.

Everything wrong with St. Patrick's Day.

This was a nice break-in to St. Patrick's Day, in a few weeks. I have tickets to see The Pogues that night, so I imagine there will be drinking as well. I'm going to try to gather the gang to meet before and or after. In honor of that day, here's a link to my Ireland photos from last year.

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