Drunk Ecosystem

I am an ethnologist embedded within Chicago for St Patrick’s day. I am building the ecosystem for drunks that are the “pillars” of the St Patrick’s day experience.

You need crowds of drunks in green and the ubiquitous taxi drivers. I talked to a cab driver recently and he said that St Patrick’s day is the biggest day of the year for cabbies – bigger even than New Year’s eve. This is probably due to the fact that it starts earlier – he said he is generally picking up smashed patrons at 10am – and it goes all day and all night long.

Other pillars are porta-johns and bagpipers. While bagpipers are needed for police and fire funerals this is likely the only day of the year when playing the bagpipe gets you action with the ladies.

You need outdoor tables and Irish flags. Today happens to be the most beautiful weather for St Patrick’s day in Chicago in my lifetime so anyone who has outdoor seating is absolutely cleaning up.

Don’t forget renting a party boat and filling it with drunks in green, especially on a beautiful day like today. Not shown – the drunken trolley full of shouting people going from bar to bar.

So that comprises the pillars of the drunk ecosystem –

1) drunks in green
2) bagpipers
3) cabbies
4) porta-johns
5) Irish flags
6) outdoor seating if the weather is good
7) alternative conveyance including boats, trolleys and buses
8) and of course, more booze

Cross posted at LITGM

12 thoughts on “Drunk Ecosystem”

  1. My sister lives in Beverly. For many years, Beverly had a St Pat’s Day parade on Western Avenue, he weekend before the downtown parade. That is the center of the Irish ethnic group in Chicago. Two years ago, the drunks were so obnoxious and destructive that the parade was cancelled for two years. his year it was held again and my sister tells me it was peaceful and there were no drunks. There was a heavy police presence (her husband is a retired Cop) and that may be because so many live in that neighborhood. Anyway, it was like the old days.

  2. The drunks seem to ruin the (an) event for everyone. For years we had a wonderful Oktoberfest. German bands (I mean, coming from Germany), German bratwurst and potato salad (nobody can make that like the Krauts), just good camaraderie that an Oktoberfest is supposed to bring.

    Since this has always been an indoor venue we missed the porta-johns.

    Then the college kids started showing up in droves with drunken fights.

    The event is still going on but on a smaller scale and hardly publicized. I keep forgetting about its weekend (the actual Oktoberfest runs for about 2 weeks) now for….10 years?

    Michael – at least you have an excuse for your typos – I have none ;-)

    Best keyboard ever made for the PC was the IBM PS/2 keyboard – modeled on their Selectric Typewriter. Those of you of a certain age remember when the Selectric was the gold standard of office typewriters. I recently saw a classic movie from the 60s – they have an office scene with 50 people all with their Selectrics.

    Perfect feel, rugged, alas we are all now consigned to cheap Chinese-made keyboards……

  3. Inside the World’s Greatest Keyboard
    From the satisfying click of its keys to its no-nonsense layout and solid steel underpinnings, IBM’s 24-year-old Model M is the standard by which all other keyboards must be judged.

    By Benj Edwards, PCWorld Jul 9, 2008 1:01 am

    The technology was acquired by Lexmark, which bought IBM’s printer and peripheral business. Lexmark spun the keyboard business off to an outfit called Unicomp. They still make and sell the classic keyboard, with lots of variations for different systems, such as Mac:


  4. Robert – thank you – it was an interesting slide show showing exactly why I liked that IBM keyboard so much!

    I am going to order one….

  5. While bagpipers are needed for police and fire funerals this is likely the only day of the year when playing the bagpipe gets you action with the ladies.

    In Chicago, maybe. Irish pipe bands, maybe. *ducking*

    While we have a couple of Irish bands too, we have a lot of Scots pipers here in Colorado, and aside from the half dozen or so Celtic Festivals/Highland Games here; pipers turn up at all sorts of events. And they do … very well w' t' lassies.

    Mind you, they also turn up for police, fire, and military funerals. We have too many of those.

    Subotai Bahadur

  6. I’ve been bagpiping for nearly two decades. Since starting, the only problem I’ve had with the ladies is in rationing their onslaught down to 4 at a time. This problem becomes more pressing while playing the pipes, as both my arms are occupied (which makes fending the extras off a bit more of an acrobatic an activity). The kilt is a chick magnet too, just in case you wondered.

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