A month or so ago I was talking with Pultz about all of the things two bearded, over-educated, Cleveland transplants are likely to talk about when forced by necessity to drink in a bar they normally wouldn’t frequent. I admit to my snobbery. One of the topics that came up was the impending Saint Patrick’s Day Amateur Drinking Hour Variety Show that Downtown Cleveland turns in to every year. Pultz, as a self-described professional drinker, does not imbibe publicly on this day.
I have another friend, a fellow Notre Dame alumnus named Liam, who is a connoisseur of the great Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in the US: Chicago, Savannah, Cleveland, New York City and Boston. The man knows his Irish-American celebrations.
I have a Notre Dame cap with a shamrock on it. I wear it year-round, but only feel like an idiot when I wear it on Saint Patrick’s Day.
I wish every day in Downtown Cleveland was as crowded with people as Saint Patrick’s Day. Euclid Avenue in particular feels less like a road through ‘90s Sarajevo and more like an actual city.
This is the part where I sound like a grouchy old man.
The majority of young people who roll downtown on this day, unfortunately, are animals. The sense of entitlement and lack of respect for anyone else in the vicinity was astounding. Catholic schools in Cleveland are closed for the day, and the hordes appear. I saw several homeless people loudly insulted by groups of drunken young’uns who then proceeded to run into the traffic-packed street, bang on car hoods, and yell profanity in front of families; generally not knowing their ass from a hole in the ground.
Look, the people I’m talking about are puking green beer on street corners, and having their friends haul them to West 6th so they can finish the boot & rally. The aforementioned homeless folks have more decorum, and [if you pardon the deliberate insensitivity for the sake of some levity] can hold their liquor better.
On my twelve block walk to my bus stop, I saw relatives to this sort of behavior pretty much the whole time. I was actually thanked by an old lady for not running into her and letting her have the right-of-way. This is because the crowds of young’uns refuse to deviate from their course, which, due to drunkenness, takes up the whole of the extended sidewalks on Euclid. They’ll walk right through you.
The bus was filled with passed out kids from Padua heading back toward Parma, and the bus driver almost had to pull over when one of them lit a cigarette and wouldn’t put it out when the regular passengers hollered at him. There was an additional RTA employee on the bus, whether for security sake or just headed home, who was mocked by the drunken white kids for not having the best English.
I’m pretty sure the solution to this is to get these mallfratrats to come downtown more often, so they can get a chance to learn how to act in public.
Maybe next year I won’t wear my hat.