“Green socks? Check.  Green shirt? check.  Silly green top hat? Check.”

You run through the litany of your green wardrobe, because c’mon, you’re not really celebrating unless you’re dressed for it, right?

Your computer dings unexpectedly, snapping you out of your mental checklist.  Oh lovely, another meeting invite.  So much for coasting through the workday before your three-day weekend.  “Fine, let’s get this over with”, you mutter, mousing over and clicking the join button, hurriedly adjusting your headset.

The meeting window opens to a black presentation screen, nothing going on, no usual murmur of participants waiting for the meeting to start.  After several moments of this you yawn “Good morning,” in hopes of breaking the silence and maybe getting this thing moving.  More awkward silence, then a soft click.

“Frelling double-muted, of course.  They call this ‘Progress’?  It was so much easier when I just used to step out of darkened alleys to impart wisdom.“ From the darkness on your screen, you can start to make out a Figure, albeit quite obscured. 

“IT needs to get you a better camera; I can barely see you,” you grumble, before realizing that you can clearly make out a calendar and metropolitan map on the wall in the background, and the considerable amount of red marker which seems to encircle this particular Friday and three locations on the map.  “Hey, who is this?” you ask.

“I’ll do you one better:” replies The Figure.  “What the hell do you think you’re doing, planning on wardrobe selections of all things?  Mere Green Garments Will Not See You Through This Day To Come.”  Somehow, The Figure’s words echoed in your chest, causing you to sit up a bit straighter, like you were being called upon in court. And how did this Figure know what you were doing anyway? You start looking around the room for hidden cameras.

“No, there’s no other cameras, and I wouldn’t trust the infernal things anyhoo. I Know, because I Know, because deep down You Know, though you don’t really think about that, do you?”

“W-well,” you stammer, “I guess I do feel nowhere ready for tom-“

“Of course you’re not ready!  At the rate you’re going, you’ll be tanked out halfway through the day, and mumbling incomprehensible things into a bowl all weekend!”

Something in your visage must have changed noticeably, because The Figure’s pauses for a moment, and switches to a slightly softer tone.  “Look, if you really want to enjoy The Day, not just this year, but for many more to come, then you’ve got to realise that it’s way more than just the clothes and the drinking.  I can teach you, but first you must ask yourself if You’re Ready.”

Now that you think of it, previous memories of St. Patrick’s Day have been a bit subpar.  The music was magnificent, the friends fantastic, and the whisky wondrous, but it seemed to never last as long as you had planned, and the hangovers were quite the experience. “Well, yeah, you’re right, I guess.  So what should I do?”

The Figure sits there quietly, staring into your soul. You realise that you really didn’t answer the question asked of you, and state “I’m Ready.”

“FRAKTABULOUS!” The Figure erupts.  “Now I’m only going to have time to go over this once, so listen carefully, and do try to get all this down:”

“Pace yourself. It’s a long day. If you down 7 pitchers at 11AM,
you’re most likely going to miss a lot of the day, and who wants that?”

“Make sure to eat a solid meal or two during the day, it’ll help sustain you as you move from show to show. CAUTION: be careful when mixing your ethnic groups.
Guinness and corned beef? Great choice. Tequila & tacos? Brilliant.
Whiskey and chimichangas? Maybe rethink that one. Your stomach will thank you for the consideration.”

“Speaking of the drink: if the beer is green, don’t fucking drink it.
Much like commercial domestic beers, green beer is an insult and a tragedy in the guise of a good drink. Avoid it.
It’s St. Paddy’s, enjoy a Guinness or Smithwick’s without the food colouring.”

“Give your Designated Driver (you DO have one, yes?) gas money when you first get into the vehicle.
That way, you’re less likely to forget, and spend it on yet another pitcher.”

“Tip early, tip often. Requests made written on a $20 bill are 37% more likely to get played.
Oh, and those lovely people serving you food and drink? Make sure you save some dollars for them, too.”

“Do. Not. Hit. On. The. Bar. Staff.
Not on Paddy’s, not ever.”

“Telling random strangers that ‘I know the band’ isn’t likely to make you look cooler.
Making out with the drummer, on the other hand…”

“Sunscreen. For the love of everything holy, and the fact that you don’t want cancer, sunscreen.
Apply twice at least during the day. We live in a bloody desert.”

“Drink water.
No, commercial domestic beers still don’t count.
Yes, you might find the taste of water gross. Still drink it.
There are plenty of flavored electrolyte packets out there.
At least one pint per tasty drink you have. We STILL live in a desert.”

“Make sure all your electronic devices are charged and topped off before you leave in the morning, and bring charging cables and extra batteries with you. Nothing is so annoying as going to take some awesome video and your phone or camera just shutting off. Extra SD cards might be a good idea too. “

“Some venues may have tighter space than others. The bands may be there for your entertainment, but please be sure to leave a healthy distance between their equipment and yourself (and in particular, your drink, the electronics aren’t nearly as happy about the beer as you are).”

“Buy low, sell high. This is great advice on Wall Street, perhaps less so at your local dispensary.”

“Nothing tells your favorite band that you love them quite like chocolate cake. Delivered to them onstage. By a furry. It’s an ancient musician’s tradition that some drummer came up with.”

“From that same drummer: If you still want to buy that extra pitcher of Guinness, just remember: Drumming is thirsty work.”

“Did you get a couple of good pictures of the band? Awesome!
Are you willing to share them on social media? Awesomer!
Make sure to tag the band when you do, they love to see the shows from your perspective.”

“With the crowds out on Paddy’s, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people.
When you grab a seat, introduce yourself to those around you. Swap a couple of stories.
Exchange insurance information. See if you can get their debit card and PIN.
Swear an Oath of Blood Vengeance together. Buy a round for each other.
Start a 501c3 charitable organization with them. Arrange a marriage between your offspring and theirs.
Share your nachos. Put yourself out there, you might end up with a new lifelong friend/accomplice!”

“I know we covered this already, but for the love of everything McAwesome and O’Fecking-A, use your head, and I mean the upper one, lads.  Hydrate, Eat, get a driver.”

“Also quite important: Consent should be enthusiastic.
NO, a drunkenly uttered ‘Yesh’ followed by snoring does not qualify. “

“On that note, when the consent IS enthusiastic: Use protection, yah feisty feckers.  Unless you really look forward to spending more time in clinic or hospital sometime between now and December.”

With the list concluded, you’re amazed that you managed to get it all, especially what with your pen running out five lines in, and scrambling to grab the sticker-laden one you swiped from the checkout stand a few days ago. “Wow, thanks!”

“It was my pleasure.  Just make sure to follow these guidelines, and you’ll be able to take your celebrations to the ‘next level’, as the kids say, although I don’t recommend using too many stairs during the festivities, okay?” The Figure asks.

“Absolutely,” you nod.  “Is there anywhere in particular you’re planning to be tomorrow?  I’d like to buy you a round.”

“Oh, I’ll be following Open Beta about.  I was checking their Events Calendar on the website, and it looks to be quite the day.  Mostly a matter of seeing where I can find the most shadow to enjoy the show from.”

“Speaking of which, if you’re going to see a band other than Open Beta? Nothing wrong with that. Here’s a pro-tip: Other bands LOVE it when audience members make requests, it makes them feel like the crowd is really engaging. Make sure to ask for such favorites as ‘Danny Boy’, ‘The Unicorn Song’, or ‘Gangnam Style’. They’ll love it.”

The figure briefly turns to pick up a memo that Just Appeared on the desk.  “And with that, I must be off.  It seems there’s a last-minute request for some merch items.  Now where in blazes am I going to find logo-emblazoned thongs?” And with that, the meeting ends, dropping you back at your desktop.

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