Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Please Sire, may I have a drop of dye?

My parents and I make a point to not only drink beer on St. Paddy's Day, but to drink green beer. The first time we participated in this activity, I was underage. And we were on a seminary campus. As in, a "sacred ground" of sorts (albeit, arguably, a Lutheran one), where men are instructed and brought up to be future leaders of Christian congregations. comment.

Well here's our argument. Number one, I was supervised. By my parents. Number two, my parents never gave me alcohol prior to this event. Three, I was two months and six days away from turning twenty-one. Four, I had been in southern Africa the semester before, where the legal drinking age is 18, so I had already (responsibly!) participated in drinking elsewhere in the world. Four, we did it behind closed doors; we didn't invite other underage-ers in to join the party. And five, we were on vacation. Give us a break.

So we took our little cups, dropped drops of green food coloring in the bottom of them, added our Michelob Ultra (Amber Bock for Dad, who insists on the darker, even though you don't get quite the same effect because the dark lager kind of blocks out the green hue), said "Cheers," and had a little parental-daughter bonding moment.

Two or three years later, when I was already old and boring (it didn't take me long to advance well beyond my fun years), reading books and doing little else, and once again living with my parents post-graduation, we decided not to be total bumps on a log on March 17th, and discovered,


we had no green food coloring. And declared that we must fix this problem.

So we each grabbed a pilsner (I grabbed my vanity pilsner, with the Bailey's Irish Cream emblem etched on the glass) and went on a neighborhood scavenger hunt. I am a little sorry to say that, while we were not prepared in our own possession of green food coloring and thus should not be able to judge, our neighbors were not quite helpful in providing the specific required means to our 3.2 percent, kelly green end. It took us not one, not two, but three knocks on doors until we were finally successful. Tony and Eva provided us with our drops, and we headed back up the hill to continue on in our tradition.

By the way, to my understanding, we're, like, barely Irish. I'm not even sure Mom is at all. Yet my 'rents named their children Kelly, Patrick, Bailey and Riley. And we felt it necessary to knock on three doors--as I recall, some of us may have even been barefoot--to add a tinge to our festive frothies. I'm not complaining. I'm just sayin'.

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