A friend of mine, let's call her 'Loves To Jump', asked me a simple question the Tuesday before St. Paddy's day. "What are you doing this weekend?". Surprisingly, nothing! I told her as much. Then she asked me if I would like to go to a really big rave in Montreal. I thought about it. Visions of drunk chicks strung out on E spinning around in glittery clothes filled my head. I said yes, I would very much like to go to a really big rave in Montreal. Why, I wouldn't even need to pack my Rohypnol!
Some backstory: Loves To Jump is working on an Honours Thesis in Anthropology, the subject of which is 'Altered States of Consciousness' among the rave community. This is why she needs to go to raves. For Science! Such a noble cause. I would be going as her research assistant, to help her with observations and whatnot. Anyway, Loves To Jump calls me up on the Friday and tells me that she feels a really big rave of 8000 people might be too much for her first time, so instead we are going to an all night, substance-free Trance party at the Rama Lotus Yoga Centre right here in Ottawa! Through gritted teeth, I concur that it would be a good idea. I should have said NO and ran screaming, but I am a fool. A big stupid fool. As I walked up to the Rama Lotus Yoga Centre, I knew I was in for trouble. Three young hairy types were also walking up, each carrying the hideous torture instrument known as a 'bongo'. Then more and more kids began to assemble. All manner of mere children. Crikey, I thought. Is fake ID so hard to come by these days that all these punks can't even go out and get sloshed on St. Patrick's Day? What is the world coming to? After being let in, we were instructed to take off our shoes and assemble hippie like in a large room. Then some old guy in robes comes out and leads us all in some Kundalini Yoga designed to achieve the same effects of the drug known as E. Having done the yoga and not the drug, I would have to say that if that is how you feel after doing E, then I have a tip that might save you some money. Sit on a couch in front of a TV. Unzip your pants, for comfort. Tune in to Prime, Canada's TV home for old sitcoms, and watch All in the Family reruns for hours on end. The numb joy you feel is fairly comparable. Finishing the yoga, the DJs began spinning their tunes in one room, while in the other, a band of didjeridoo players showed their harmonies. And what's that wafting in from outside? Pot smoke? Why, I guess these dirty hippies definition of 'substance free' excludes the sacred herb! Believe me, it was a welcome respite from the patchouli stink and sandalwood. It looked like Loves To Jump was having a good time, all in the name of Science, but I got to thinking about poutine and grilled cheese sandwiches sometime near midnight, and those thoughts stayed with me all the way 'til 4 am, when God forgave me and let me leave. As I walked over to the 24 hour diner to sassify my hunger, I got to thinking about the true meaning of St. Patrick's Day. About the Irish heritage we all share, somehow. How is it that an island of green wearing drunks have managed to co-opt a whole day here in North America? Why no St. Vasilov's day, where we all eat sauerkraut? They don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Ireland. Why do we? Why did we pick that small island nation to revel in? Why not Iceland? Or Madagascar? Why, the Malagasy peoples have twice the heart of any peat-eating Mick! As I entered the diner's bathroom and saw the toilet overflowing with green-flecked puke, I laughed to myself. This is what it was all about. Vomiting at 4 am on a filthy floor. It isn't about being Irish, or green, or lucky. Puke, friends. It's all about Puke. A day to vomit down our shirt fronts and proudly say "Look! I had eggs for breakfast and I don't care who knows!" And then I thought about those poor hippies, deluded into thinking that granola and pot are better than Shamrock shakes and ten pints of lager. Those poor kids are being robbed of their heritage, and they don't even know it. Realizing that crime, my night didn't seem so bad.