Welcome To Paulie55, With a St. Patrick’s Day Story

I’d like to welcome you to my brand new site, Paulie55! I recently cut ties with Give ‘Em Some Stankeye, a blog that I had operated on and off for about six years, as I’d like to branch out and write about stuff other than baseball. So what kind of content will Paulie55 contain? All kinds of stuff. It’ll be a veritable potpourri of various subjects, from baseball to movies, from music to books, and will contain no shortage of goofy anecdotes from everyday life here in the sprawling metropolis of Sacramento. Yeah.

Why should you be reading this? Good question. Aside from my assorted insane ramblings, I’ll still be talking a lot of Giants baseball on here, and I’ll try to post a weekly movie review. Whatever your fancy, there’s sure to be something of interest here for your reading pleasure. This is definitely a work in progress, so if the look is…er…amateurish, rest assured I’m working to make it as appealing to the eye as possible.

Let’s kick off Paulie55 with an amusing story from St. Patrick’s Day, which involves a run-in with a drunkard with a very unsophisticated taste in beer. I’m always amused by people who dress head-to-toe in green garb and don the shamrock necklaces in a loud celebration of Irish culture, only to go around drinking Bud Light when Guinness is being sold for dirt cheap prices all damn day. If you’re going to do that, what separates St. Patrick’s Day from any other weekend foray to the local bar? As if half the bar denizens in midtown Sacramento need to use the Irish as an excuse to get rip-roaring wasted.

On Saturday, I went with a few friends and embarked on a St. Paddy’s Day pub crawl here in downtown Sacramento, a nineteen-bar, 21-block odyssey that lasted all day and likely resulted in brain cell genocide for many patrons. Most of the bars on the crawl were your typical Saturday night hangouts, places used to being packed to the gills with inebriated twenty- and thirty-somethings. It didn’t take long for the first bar on the crawl to get completely filled up with green-bedecked young people ready for a day of horrifying alcohol consumption.

One of the early stops on the crawl, though, was actually a fairly nice kitchen and bar that was definitely not used to hosting a drunken horde hell-bent on wreaking intoxicated havoc. Just about every bar on the crawl was serving Guinness for three bucks, but the lines were getting increasingly packed, so we ducked into the nicer restaurant a bit ahead of schedule in order to beat the crowd.

It worked like a charm, as this bar filled up literally five minutes after we sat down. Bar space quickly became scarce, and as the crowd stood and angrily fought for the bartender’s attention, we sat smugly in our seats with our unlimited access to pint after pint of Guinness. Somebody behind us made an offhand comment about how we had the “good seats”. Yes….yes we did. Nothing to do now but calmly drink Guinness and shoot the shit.

Then, out of nowhere, came the Song of the Douchebag.

From behind us a drunk red-headed guy with an almost comically orange five-o’-clock shadow muscled his way into the bartender’s vision and began, somewhat belligerently, ordering various drinks. First, he ordered a Vodka Red Bull. Now, never mind that a drink consisting of cheap well vodka and piss-tasting, kidney failure-in-a-can just sounds terrible at three in the afternoon. What was really ridiculous was that the bartender had just finished explaining to like three people around us that they weren’t serving any mixed drinks.

After requesting, I kid you not, two more mixed drinks, and being refused, the drunkard then decided to cave and order a Coors Light. This was despite the fact that Guinness, a far superior beer and one much more in line with the theme of the day, was being served for only three dollars in pint glasses. Hey, I guess some people just like mediocre beer. Fair enough.

Sadly, his day was about to be ruined, as the bartender informed him that they didn’t have Coors Light. As an alternative, they did have Bud Light. Surely that would be an acceptable alternative, right? I mean, it pretty much tastes the same. This guy’s response?

“No way, man. I ain’t drinking that shit. What else do you have?”

I had to seriously restrain myself from doing an epic facepalm right there at the bar. It’s one thing to be a beer snob, but quite another to be a shitty beer snob. If you’ve never tasted either Bud Light or Coors Light, let me enlighten you. If you went into a parking lot, got on all fours and found a puddle of congealed oil, water, and hobo pee, sucked it up with a straw, and spat it into a bottle, you’d have an idea of what those two beers taste like. If you go to a bar and audibly complain about being offered one horrible beer after requesting another, you don’t have the right to criticize any beer, ever. I just wanted to hook this guy to an IV of Milwaukee’s Best and get him the hell out of there.

The guy finally settled for an Olympia or something (a very minor upgrade) before wandering off braying to some other part of the bar. The rest of us sat around looking at each other with a mixture of horror and bemusement. Were we the only enlightened spirits that realized that maybe you should drink an Irish beer when going out to celebrate an Irish holiday? I doubt that guy could tell me who Michael Collins or Gerry Adams was, or what two sides fought the Irish War of Independence. Hell, he probably didn’t even know who St. Patrick was.

Perhaps I’m getting too worked up. Maybe the shitty beer snobs are there for a reason. Maybe they’re like sin-eaters, consuming the crappy beer so that we don’t have to. Without them, maybe we would be lumped in with the throngs of the unenlightened. I shudder at the thought.

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