AUTHOR: linda TITLE: St. Paddy's neighborhood bar-hopping DATE: 5:40:00 PM ----- BODY:
It's a beer-drinkers delight to have a holidays fall on the weekend and adding even more reason to celebrate to all the regular weekend-reasons, with this afternoon no exception, so why not join them. A few fog-filled hours spent bar-hopping the neighborhood spots, a little more busy than usual plus tossed with lime and green crepe paper, someone wearing that ridiculous Guinness felt hat, someone else with blinky plastic beaded necklaces. Nearly everyone is wearing something green; there's a rowdy crowd waiting for the downtown train, but otherwise the same lo-key it always is.

First, a Red Tail Ale at Yancy's, where we gaze upon the sidewalk comings and goings at a rickety street-side table by the big open window. Drinking while it's still light outside! Sure is nice to be chill, while all the MG's* who were carting cases of Stella onto the train at 11 this morning are now securely away with their whooping and hollering in drunken stupor amongst hoards of revelers teeming in the downtown post-parade madness.

Next, to Shamrock around the corner for a Fat Tire, and a Bob sitting on a bar stool, wearing a Shamrock t-shirt and years of beer on his face, tells us this while we wait for our drinks:

"A guy walks into a bar and the bartender says, what's the trouble? Let me buy you a drink. My wife left me, says the man. In that case, let's make it a double, says the bartender. What happened? Well, says the man, I come home one night and she accuses me of being a pedophile. And so I turn to her and say, that's a mighty big word for an eight-year old."

There are nearly-full, and half drink pints of beer sitting on the floor around the tired sofas and chairs where we're sitting at the back, and we joke about what might be in them while anxious patrons pace and lean on the wall waiting for the toilet to open and pretending not to listen.

Then, it's back around the corner to the Blackthorn where a jukebox pumps an energetic crowd in the booths and against the sprawling s-curved wooden bar. A guy in glasses and a felt Shamrock hat sitting with two tired-looking friends is sipping red wine and smiles and offers us Girl Scout cookies, which he must have purchased on the corner from those savvy-salesgirls and their guardian mothers keeping close watch on the business.

We thank red-wine guy, and I tell him, "The only thing that could make this any better would be to have ACDC playing!" With that, he jumped off to the jukebox to take his chances with the lineup.

Sweet-smelling corned beef and potatoes sat steaming neatly in catering chafes at long tables at the front, frequented on occasion by individuals who look like they'd been there all day, and who weren't planning on leaving anytime soon.

But we do, while the serious bar-hoppers continue on to the Duck. Way more reveling than I can handle at 5 o'clock in the afternoon.

* MGs = Marina Guys, Marina Girls