March 17, 2008

Happy Evacuation Day

No, today isn't the day that we drink green-tinted magnesium citrate and sing Celtic songs in the bathroom. "Evacuation Day" is a state holiday, of sorts, that celebrates the day the British left the Town of Boston.

According to Captain John Barker, they would have left on the 13th, but the wind was unfavorable. It remained so through the 16th, so I guess there was improvement when the British military woke up on the morning of the 17th. Or they were just plain turned off by all the green beer and people vomiting.

Here in Bristol County, we tend to call the day "St. Patrick's Day" and we use it to celebrate being Irish. Or pretending to be Irish.

If you're of the green-beer-drinking persuasion, I can understand why you'd want to limit your consumption to one day per year. If you actually enjoy Irish beer, I doubt you're going to want to save the Guinness for a single day in March. It's all very confusing to me, which is why I decided to spend the day with my wife instead of going to work. And have pledged to drink no green beer. Just an ounce or so of Jameson last night before bed. Followed by a heavy sleep. Quite abruptly.

It's Spring Break at the university, so there is no class. There, I said it.

Evacuation Day means that some schools are closed and state offices have an official holiday. During university vacation time, they make it a "floating" holiday. That means you can take it now when you are really busy or tell your boss that you'd like to take it at some other time when you're really busy in the next 2 months or so. It does not mean "a holiday during which you drink enough beer to float your liver." But there is some confusion on this point.

A happy day to you all, and don't let the amateur revelers get you down.

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Posted by James at March 17, 2008 10:01 AM
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I learned about Evacuation Day only yesterday while reading this article about historic road markers on my cell phone as I walked to brunch. I'm surprised we don't do more to celebrate the staggering accomplishment of transporting 59 pieces of artillery 250 miles along muddy hillside roads from Lake Champlain to Dorchester.

As for beer, I'm having increasing difficulty finding pubs willing to serve me the potent car bomb version of Guinness. Perhaps that's just as well. So I'll pretend I'm Irish and raise a pint of Murphy's to you. Sláinte.

Posted by: Mike at March 17, 2008 10:14 AM

Please. Evacuation Day is just a convenient excuse to give Suffolk County St. the day off on Patrick's Day.

I can't wait to take the T tonight with the dregs of society and their boozy, belligerent, pukiness. If I had had my wits about me this morning, I would have driven in instead of taking the train.

I speak from experience when I warn all:

Know that St. Patrick's Day and any other day that involves a parade in Boston (Super Bowl, World Series) is an excuse for people to drink too much and behave like beasts, which is why it's best to drive instead of taking public transportation.

Oh, how I wish I had.

Posted by: Patti M. at March 17, 2008 12:01 PM

Evacuation Day, huh? So, is that the day that St Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland or that the Irish chased the English out of Boston? OK. I know that there weren't many Irish in Boston in Colonial times. Maybe the colonist confused the English with snakes that needed to be chased out?

Posted by: Kitten Herder at March 17, 2008 5:45 PM

Mike - an amazing accomplishment indeed! David McCulloch did the event justice in his book 1776.

Patti - right on! We participated in the "Southie Death March" yesterday, and it is readily apparent - AT 1 PM WHEN WE STEPPED OFF - that everyone there (including some of the marching groups) would need today to sleep it off!

That being said, I found out just how easy it is to get a drunk in Southie "psyched"...just wave. They loved us!

Posted by: Bull at March 17, 2008 10:24 PM

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