I have already detailed the life and times of St. Patrick (or was it Saint Palladius?), so I won't rehash old posts, merely provide you with the link. However, do remember that today is the feast day of the Patron Saint of Ireland, which means lots of drunken revelry coupled with the phenomenon I like to call "Erin Goes Bra-less" along with countless sad motherfuckers stumbling around bars strapping on fake accents and asking the fair, drunken lasses "Pardon me, dear one, but do ye have any Irish in ye? Would ye care for some more?" God, horny drunks are so creative.
I, however, won't be participating in such activities. Not that I wouldn't mind bedding a fair Irish lass--oh, wait, I already have one...wan, fair complexion, red hair and a filthy mouth all included! No, this whole drinking thing isn't for me, not any more. Oh, don't worry, I'm not going to get all high-and-mighty on your sinners asses, no, not today. The reason for my teetotalism isn't out of some overdevelop sense of higher morals, it's strictly physiological.
It's with a heavy, sober heart that I come before you and admit: I've developed a wicked allergy to hops.
If you know me, you know that I love beer. Not the macro-swill that you pound down at a tailgate in order to be able to stomach the sad state of affairs Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham have put on the field...no, I love craft brews. I've sampled well over a thousand beers in my day from 37 different states and 17 different countries (if you count Scotland and Wales as their own countries, that is). I even drove way the hell out of my way in order to stop off at a crappy microbrewery in West Virginia so that I could add one more beer and one more state to the list.
That microbrewery trip was the one where I finally had to start facing up to the truth that I had a problem. See, with the merest sip of a beer these days, my throat begins to close, my breathing becomes ragged, and my stomach lurches. The sad thing is, I used to absolutely love my beers with hops. I've had 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head shot through Randall the Enamel Animal where the hops was so powerful, it felt like I could pick them from my teeth. I've had a slightly chilled Stone IPA where I thought, "Hmmm...yes, that's about right", despite the fact that Stone's beers are typically offensively hopped (as much as I love hops, some beers are ruined by an overabundance of their oils). Research even says that hops could be good for the heart and most likely they would exhibit positive anti-oxidant levels in your blood (hops are antioxidants for beer, thus their use as preservatives). But none of this is for me. Not any more.
I used to run my own beer blog where I was attempting to review beers, breweries and beer-based books. I even used a picture of a naked woman festooned with strategically-placed hops as the "mascot" of said blog, but as the hop allergy became worse, I had to suspend my work and, with a heavy heart, delete my beloved blog from the blogosphere. Even now, I'm tearing up a little.
So, my friends, while you're out in the bars wearing your plastic green bowlers, pretending to love Guinness and pinching the asses of those ladies who had the bad foresight not to wear green tonight, I ask you to down at least one pint and think of me. I'll be at home sipping on my Diet Dr. Pepper and watching Notre Dame piss away their first-round NIT game.
Regardless of my personal afflictions, let me wish you all a Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Also, happy birthday to my old drinking buddy Pat, aka Dr. Assy. Hopefully, he got a replacement laptop for the one that was stolen from his apartment and can read this once more.