One Big Drunken Day
I have figured out St. Patrick's Day, at least here in Philadelphia. It is basically the one day out of the year that celebrates the drunken Moe who sits in the corner of every bar in the city. It is a day for the wino, the almost wino, and the future wino. And the best part about it is that the cops, for once, are on your side!
I dont know exactly how long the parade in Philly lasted this year, but I heard a helicopter high above the city when I woke up around 11, and it was there all day long. Unfortunately I didnt know that there was a parade going on until I was driving up towards Broad Street and began to see a sea of drunken green. But instead of getting stuck at the parade and having to find an alternate route there was one police man at the intersection who stopped the parade after each large group and allowed the traffic to flow for about a minute. It was then that my interest in the significance of the day began.
From what I understand, the parade starts all the way down Broad Street, somewhere in south Philly. Sure the parade isnt as colorful as the Mummers on New Years Day, and it doesnt have any floats like the Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it certainly makes up for it with its sheer volume of people who are all dressed alike! And it seems to be an all day event for these people, Irish or not!
I cant even imagine what time these folks get up in the morning and start consuming alcohol, but I would imagine that it is early. Then they all congregate somewhere and wait for their turn to start walking down Broad Street in a drunken delight, but it is all ok, because this riot is organized and sanctioned by the police. The drunks are contained on one street and stop when told by the police. Is there any other day like this during the year when the police allow drinking in public and in turn the public follows the lead of the police?
I even saw a yellow school bus getting a motorcycle police escort to South Street. At first I imagined that the bus contained added police support for the area, but when I got over to South Street I saw the bus the bus parked in front of a bar and unloading its cargo: drunken, red-headed, green beret wearing Irish/French-men. And each Irish/Frenchman, before heading into the bar, walked over to the motorized cop and giving him a thankful handshake.
This kind of atmosphere is strange to see. In fact, I wouldnt be surprised if anyone getting pulled over for swerving got off with merely a warning yesterday. There should be more days like St. Patrick's Day; it seems to help us all in our attempts to get along.