It’s not easy being green

Liz Buckley

No rest for the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

Emily Sander (left), junior advertising major, celebrates St. Patrick’s Day along with Kasey Hines, junior human development and family studies major, at Panini’s early yesterday morning.

Credit: Beth Rankin

In the true spirit of gonzo journalism, I decided to partake in the St. Patrick Day’s activities. Besides raising my blood alcohol level for this story, I decided to pump up my tribute to Hunter S. Thompson by not only quenching my morning thirst with green beer but doing so after a night of zero hours of sleep.

My just-in-case alarm went off at 4:00 a.m., giving me enough time to shower and beautify myself so I could be fresh as a daisy for the noxious cigarette smoke and booze fumes. I properly attired myself in a “Proud to be Irish” shirt, bright green cardigan, equally bright green Chuck Taylors and assorted beads and pins.

My roommate and I drove into downtown Kent.

On the way into town, we decided to listen to the Carpenters a la Tommy Boy. Pretty soon, we were singing along to “Superstar.” My roommate finished singing the first verse and said, “Take it, Buckley.”

“Don’t you remember you told me you loved me baby?” I shrieked. And it only got worse and more tone deaf from there. St. Patrick’s Day had officially begun.

We arrived at Panini’s Bar & Grill on North Water Street a little before opening at 5:30 a.m. Hard-core fans of the man who banished all the snakes from Ireland were already lined up outside the door of Panini’s.

Panini’s started to let people in six at a time at 5:30 a.m. According to someone in line, it was to prevent the bartenders from being overrun with orders.

We finally got into the bar at around 6 a.m. and promptly ordered a shot of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey and a glass of Killian’s Irish Red that had been dyed a sickening green. The shot warmed my blood and my brain, and I immediately spotted an orange-hooded sweatshirt.

“Why are you wearing orange?” I asked the guy. “Are you Protestant?”

His friend snickered.

“I told you,” he said to the man in orange, who denied he was Protestant.

“I stayed up all night, and this is what I had on,” said Jeff Kobza, senior technology major and man-in-orange.

I commiserated about staying up all night with Kobza for a bit and then moved on to Buffalo Wild Wings.

BW3 was giving out a variety of goodies at its door. Patrons got a glow-in-the-dark necklace, a green rabbit’s foot and a headband with glittering shamrock antennae. As I passed a table of guys, one of them asked me if I thought his glow-in the-dark halo was cool. At the same time, his friend asked me if I liked Guinness. I said yes and was handed a Guinness.

Risk of Rohypnol or not, I wasn’t turning down a free beer. I took the beer, told the haloed gentleman I thought his headgear was very cool and asked my roommate to keep an eye on me for any signs of trouble.

The line for breakfast at BW3 started at 7 a.m., and I got in line. I was a little disappointed to find only egg sandwiches and hash browns. No green eggs were in sight. I scarfed down some food and soaked up some of the alcohol streaming through my system.

The novelty of getting up crazy early to drink green alcohol began to wear off at about this time. My roommate and I decided to see what was going on at the Loft.

The Loft was definitely quieter than BW3 but was still a sea of Irish pride. I got another shot of Jameson’s and a beer and ensconced myself in a booth.

A guy wearing a sticker declaring him a designated driver and green sideburns attached to Elvis glasses walked past my table.

“I’ve got an advertising/promotions test at 9:15 a.m.,” senior marketing major Mike Oestreich said.

And I’ve got a nap scheduled for right about now.

Contact quarter-Irish enterprise reporter Liz Buckley at [email protected].