Leisure

Loose Cannon: Green is the new black-out

March 21, 2013


“I’ve been a wild rover for many’s the year! I’ve spent all me money on whiskey and beer! And it’s No! Nay! Never …”

Oh, hey readers. I keep forgetting St Patrick’s Day is over. Well, the first thing I want to do, as the monitor of drunken debauchery on campus, is congratulate the student body on a job well done. While the weather was not nearly as glorious as the freak summer day that blessed us last year, we did not let the weather gods hold us back. This year’s two day long party fest last weekend was another one for the records—that is, records in green kegs crushed or teeth chipped while attempting Irish Car Bombs that I don’t think we’ll ever learn.

One reason for all the record breaking is that we collectively decided that one day would simply not be enough for celebrating our Irish heritage. Another is that the whole campus seemed to decide the real holiday was on the 16th. I will admit there was some confusion. No one really knew what to call Saturday when drunkenly spilling beer on and yelling “Happy Pre-St. Pat’s Day” at innocent bystanders touring Georgetown. Personally, I think St. Fratty’s Day is a pretty solid choice. Not only do I feel it captures the ridiculousness of the holiday, but also, as someone who is glad that there are no fraternities at Georgetown, I like the irony of it.

On a more serious note, I somehow managed to sneak in some self-reflection and scientific research into my two day long drunken rampages. I thought I would share these preponderances with the rest of y’all, who I doubt are as efficient as I am while drunk.

One of the more popular Irish folk songs of the holiday, “The Wild Rover,” was always consistently greeted with cheers at any party I attended, no matter the composition of the guests or how many times the song had been played before. And what’s not to like about it? Its Irish, catchy, mentions booze, and has a chorus that is easy to blare out at the top of your lungs while toasting all your chums. The irony of it all is that it is a song about giving up the drink.

But the more I thought about the lyrics and the more Guinness I downed, the more fitting I found the song to be as an allegory for college life. While it is a song about temperance and getting your life in order, the song’s subject doesn’t seem very regretful of his roving past and it seems more like a tongue-in-cheek denunciation.

We have all been in the wild rover’s position, poor college students with a tendency to imbibe too much, yet college is the perfect place to come to terms with booze. One time during freshman year, on the arduously long walk back from Leo’s to Darnall, I had the (then) awful realization I wouldn’t be able to get piss drunk every weekend for the rest of my life for obvious health and career reasons. Yet, enough bad hangovers since then have taught me my lesson, and I now no longer can empathize with what the hell I was thinking earlier.

College provides a uniquely safe space to learn this due to the physical and cultural environment that would be hard to reproduce anywhere else. It’s pretty hard to drive drunk on the Hilltop (obviously, scootering is a different matter), and no one is going to judge you while you figure out your unique relationship with alcohol. Lastly, I’ve heard that there is no correlation between binge drinking in college and alcoholism later in life. I’m not sure how scientific those studies are, but I refuse to look them up, preferring my cognitive dissonance.

The second subject that grabbed my attention on St. Pat’s Day was the curdling taking place in my Irish Car Bomb. Why does Bailey’s start to curdle in the Guinness but not when mixed with the Jameson whiskey? I pulled over a chemistry major who was clueless (why did we buy those dumbasses a new science building?). Next, I turned to Google.

Long story short, Bailey’s is a dairy product that has casein, a protein, which wants to clump together. The main thing stopping that is fat—the more the better—however acids work the opposite way. The Jameson isn’t acidic, and the two liquors can be mixed well in advance. The Guinness is acidic, like all beer, so once the shot is dropped you better chug quick or you’ll get a stomachache. So, if you learned anything today, I hope it was that college is good and that, when mixing cocktails, use cream instead of whatever milk is in your fridge.



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