This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
2018 is already a cursed year in many ways, and we can add to that list the fact that St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday.
This means that hordes of white guys with green paint in their beards will be free to start drinking Jameson out of red solo cups in the morning instead of waiting until after typical work hours. The last time this happened, the street parties of one mid-size Canadian city escalated to a literal riot that torched cars and pelted cops with bottles.
The good news is, you can choose not to be part of this unfortunate tradition. You have the freedom to make chill plans that will not result in alcohol poisoning, and your local bar staff (not to mention your insides) will likely thank you.
In no particular order, here are some less terrible ways to occupy your time instead of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s March Madness, pal. Fill out a bracket and watch a bunch of “student athletes” work for free because that’s how capitalism works! The NCAA Tournament is one of the most entertaining sports spectacles around. It's definitely more fun than watching a bunch of bros turning up in "Kiss Me I’m Irish" shirts.
Start a cleanse
There are some good reasons to start a cleanse, but scientifically-proven health benefits is definitely not one of them. Whether or not you actually believe drinking liquified kale “detoxifies” body organs, you can feel especially superior embarking on an alcohol-free week or month when everyone else on the planet is getting wasted beyond repair.
Make some food
Make yourself some good grub. I don't know some Thai curry or shepherd’s pie. Feel good knowing that by staying home you probably won’t be puking it into an alley later in the evening. Bonus points if you make enough for lunch at work the next week you responsible devil, you.
Go to a local sports game and get in a fight in the stands
Why celebrate an Irish tradition when you can celebrate the proud Canadian tradition of going to a minor league sports game, getting all hammed up on some Alberta Premium rye you snuck in, chirping the goalie of the other team only to find out that his cousin is also all hopped up on ‘berta Premium like three rows over, tell said cousin that his family member is a “fucking trash tendy, bud,” let him get all up in your face before saying “Whatcha. Gonna. Do?” and pushing him, from here, you and your partner proceed to do the dance of the Great White North, meaning that you and him tussle a little bit but because you’re on shitty hockey stands and all revved up on the good stuff, so you just kind of fall down.
Here is an example:
Drinking sucks, so you might as well take advantage of the green theme and celebrate that other holiday dedicated to excessive intoxication. Why not hotbox your best friend’s bathroom and throw on some cartoons? You know you’ll be smoking some anyway to get rid of that St. Paddy’s hangover.
Turn to the Cloud for cautionary tales
Before you grab that bottle, pull out your phone. Whether you’re an Android or Apple user, you’ve got the Cloud—and the Cloud has got you. Scroll right down to March 17, of the past few years and gaze with horror at the trove of drunk pictures you’ve taken. Some are simply intoxicated blurs, while others are shit-faced selfies you’ve taken with people you don’t remember. If you’re lucky, you won’t find any videos that feature your obnoxious voice chanting “Here’s to brother (bro name)” at some poor asshole. Heed the Cloud’s warning.
Finally learn what the fuck a “blockchain” is
If you do this one, can you let me know? I’ve been dying to figure it out.
Prank call a VICE journalist and tell him to cut off his dick
This actually happened to me last night. Please don't do this.
Do your laundry
You know that pile of clothes that you’ve been moving from your bed to a nearby chair every night? Imagine how good you’ll feel when that wrinkled collection of grease-stained cardigans and jeggings are cleaned and returned to their rightful place in your wardrobe. You can take extra solace in knowing that none of them will be stained with green beer this evening.
Watch this incredibly depressing movie about the Troubles
Find an empty karaoke bar
Every time you attempt to round up your friends for a night of screaming Beyoncé lyrics into a microphone, your fave karaoke bar with more Korean than English song selections is always full of people who are definitely more talented than you. It’s likely that all the good singers (or at least the drunkest singers) will be elsewhere on this particular evening, so take advantage of the empty stage and/or private room.
Go to a bar and tell everyone that you hate St. Patty’s day while taking part
On second thought, don’t do this you fucking attention-seeking loser.
Go to a Protestant church and find Jesus
The ultimate St. Paddy’s day rebellion.
Read Fire and Fury
It’s been sitting on your coffee table for months and you’ve been meaning to open it. No better time to become the engaged global citizen your mom wants you to be.
Jerk off all day
We won’t judge.
Reflect on that one St. Patty’s where you attempted Edward Fortyhands
Remember that time you taped two 40-ounce bottles of Olde English 800 to your hands? No. No you don't, you fucking dimwit. Learn from your mistakes.
Listen to the Cranberries No Need to Argue
Another head hangs lowly / a child is slowly taken / and the violence caused such silence / who are we mistaken? But, you see it's not me / it's not my family / in your head, in your head / they are fighting / with their tanks and their bombs / and their bombs and their guns / in your head in your head they are crying / in your head, in your head / zombie, zombie, zombie, ei, ei / what's in your head? In your head / zombie, zombie, zombie ei, ei, ei, oh do do do do do do do do.
Firstly, there’s an All-Star cast (haha). We’ve seen Mike Myers’ Scottish accent before, sure, but in this instance, the voice really adds emphasis to Shrek’s position as an outsider at the outset of the film. He’s the only one with a Scottish accent and he lives alone in a swamp. Coincidence? Nay, clever artistic choice. Then you’ve got Eddie Murphy. As one of the most memorable sidekick characters ever written, Donkey is a difficult character to nail. And yet, Murphy’s performance brings the character to life with an annoyance and likability that couldn’t be achieved by a lesser comedian. Honestly, it’s just such a fantastic movie. I understand that Shrek has taken on a whole other life in the last few years in the wake of viral videos like Shrek Is Love, Shrek Is Life and other equally inane memes, but it’s important to remind yourself that it’s actually a great movie.
Live your life, friend.
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