March 18, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 88  

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St. Patrick’s Day: Irish and non-Irish rejoice

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff
Meghan Hart/Gazette
ST. PATRICK’S DAY + LOTS OF ALCOHOL + THE SPIRIT OF THE IRISH = DEBAUCHERY. From left to right, Jillian Humphreys, Trevor Campbell, Alicia Bond and Mike Healey celebrate the greatest drinking day of the year at The Spoke yesterday.

Yesterday, most of the world — at least the Irish world and the one that wanted to be Irish — celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, a day of saintly patronage, solemn reflection and irrepentant boozing.

Western was no exception to the Irish festivities as The Spoke hosted a wild party for the Irish saint.

“Nobody takes St. Patty’s Day off — there’s a couple [employees] lucky enough not to be scheduled,” said Spoke manager Andrew Mes, adding that customers were already lined up when The Spoke opened at 11 a.m..

“Last year was huge; I think this is carry-over from last year,” he said, noting that last year’s St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Monday when The Spoke sold $1 beers.

“They’ve been drinking more than last year, if that’s possible,” Mes said, adding the beer delivery truck also arrived at 11 a.m., so bar staff were bringing up beer as the taps at the bar were running out. “It was touch and go there.”

The questions lingers: why would so many people come out to drink on St. Patrick’s Day?
“They all want to be Irish — they’re all wannabes” said Irish Club President David Heffernan. “You’re only Irish if you’re born there.”

A short trip to The Spoke shed some light on Heffernan’s revelations.

“I’m one-sixteenth Irish, but I’m mostly Scottish,” said Spoke customer and University Students’ Council VP-campus issues Adrienne Kennedy. “But hey, everyone loves St. Patty’s Day.”

“I’m pretending to be Irish,” admitted second-year media, information and technoculture student Alex McRae. “If I said ‘kiss me right now’, you’d have to because I’m Irish.”

“Those lil’ bastards, always faking it — you gotta keep it real,” said third-year political science student Luke Reidy, noting his Irish heritage originated in Limerick.

The Irish Embassy could not be reached for comment because they were taking the day off, and Lucky — of Lucky Charms cereal fame — also could not be reached (although repeated messages were left at General Mills, Lucky’s cereal manufacturer).

Meghan Hart/Gazette
TOP OF THE MORNIN’ TO YA. Second-year administrative and commercial studies and economics student Tori Nethery celebrates St. Patty’s Day at The Spoke yesterday with some good ol’ liquid courage.

Heffernan said St. Patrick’s Day evenings at the Irish Club tend to be split evenly between the Irish and those wishing to be Irish.

He did offer some advice to those trying to find out how to be more Irish on St. Patty’s Day. “I certainly think the only way you’re going to find out is by being with Irish people.”

Whatever their reasons for consuming many a frothy pint, Mes indicated that the afternoon crowd at The Spoke was much larger than anticipated. “Hopefully, we don’t run out of beer.”

St. Patty’s Day revellers also had their own reasons for donning green costumes and pounding back beer by the pint.

“Mid-terms are done, exams haven’t started yet, hot girls are dressed in green and they’re all drunk,” explained third-year physiology and psychology student Shane Gonsalvez.

“Moody says on Patty’s Day you drink your beers, then fuck your sluts [and] drink your Labatt 50,” said third-year engineering student Adam Moody.

Third-year kinesiology student Marina Knezevic, who was sitting beside Moody, quietly agreed with him, and recounted her St Patty’s Day experience last year. “I passed out at 10.”



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