How to spot a dickhead on St. Patrick's Day

"WHY AREN'T YOU DRINKING?"

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Whaeeey, it's St. Paddy's Day! Time to get loaded up and cause chaos around town. Whatever historical or cultural importance St. Patrick's Day once had, it's now firmly designated as a festival of drinking and debauchery. There's no escaping it, it's just what it is now.

You'd have to be a particularly bitter plum to begrudge anyone for getting wasted on March 17th. After all, drinking is one of our great cultural pastimes, so why not have an entire day dedicated to it? And it's not like St. Patrick's Day is the only victim - there was no real need to go out on the lash when Will and Kate got married, but by gum we did it anyway.

The thing is, there's a right and wrong way to make merry on St. Paddy's. Dressing up in green and succumbing to the dark mistress known as Guinness is all well and good, but you can do it without being a total prick.

Unfortunately, not everyone knows that.

They're wearing Irish flags as capes

If you're Conor McGregor celebrating a UFC win, or if the Republic of Ireland make it further than England in the Euros (not unlikely), then you can probably co-opt the Irish flag into a fine piece of neckwear.

But getting our neighbour's flag covered in beer and puke isn't really on, now is it, chaps?

They're proclaiming how 'Irish' they are

Source: Wikimedia

Exactly no one cares that your half-great-grandmother was born in County Cork (but then moved to Ipswich when she was two and hasn't been back since). If you have to work out what percentage Irish you are, you're not Irish.

Worse still are people who use their dubious ancestry to justify their antics. If you're going to piss on a car bonnet, do it, but don't besmirch the good name of Nanny Niamh while you're doing it.

They're demanding kisses because of said 'Irishness'

Source: Alejandra Palés

As we already established, you're not Irish, and even if you were, it's not a licence to go around forcing your sweaty lips on strangers - shit's downright creepy. Besides, since when was nationality a justification for kissing? Where are all the 'Kiss me, I'm almost out of my overdraft!' or 'Kiss me, I make really good guacamole' badges?

They're talking to actual Irish people like they're performing seals

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Being Irish on St. Patrick's Day can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, yay, it's a day to celebrate your country, your countrymen and all the fine things both have produced. On the other hand, you're going to have idiot English people coming up to you asking for your pot of gold, or if they can rub you for luck.

Of course most people will react to your nationality by saying: "Oh cool, happy St. Patrick's Day!" But then you have the few dickheads who think they're so funny and original when they ask you to do a jig.

They're (just about) wearing the worst costumes imaginable

Is the mankini the worst thing ever to have happened to human culture? Don't answer, because it is, and you'll be guaranteed to see a few of those tonight because - lol - it's green. Not far behind it is the 'sexy ____' costume franchise, of which the worst offender has to be the sexy leprechaun. Just think about it: a sexy leprechaun.

There's nothing wrong with being sexy (also the name of my debut album), but the whole thing is so arbitrary. But maybe we're wrong. Maybe the juxtaposition of human sexuality with a little bearded fairy is actually the next great artistic statement. Maybe if we have another six pints of Guinness, we can believe it.

They're drinking Irish Car Bombs

Source: Andrew Mager

Thankfully most bars won't serve Irish Car Bombs due to an overwhelming abundance of common sense and cultural sensitvi- Oh look, it's the PC brigade again! Can't you just take a joke? If I want to have an IRA-themed drink on the biggest international celebration of Ireland, then why can't I? Eh? Freedom of speech! Freedom of speeeeech!

Aha. Touché.

They're really scraping the barrel of Irish culture

Source: @KatieLBradley14 via Twitter

Irish History 101

• St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland
• Guinness was invented
• People died from lack of potatoes
• A bunch of Irish people moved to New York
• Bottom Ireland stopped being friends with Top Ireland
• Westlife

They're trying to make everyone else as boringly drunk as them

This dickhead is not unique to St. Patrick's Day. In fact, you can see them out most nights. The boorish, knuckle-dragging types who need to paper over their insecurities by getting shitfaced and forcing everyone around them to do the same.

The problem with St. Patrick's Day is that it's even more of a self-issued licence to goad everyone into drinking more and admonishing people who, honestly, are just trying to have a good time. No one likes the fun police, especially if they're wearing a fake ginger beard and a t-shirt that says 'Drunk me I'm fuck'.

Yes, you certainly are fuck.