Hambone, beer sage of yore, and I went to the annual St. Patrick's Day (or close to) Ancient Order of Hiberian event.
The local Hooligans, who recently lost their top-ranked Google status to another band called the same, went out with a whimper instead of a bang. They sang "Soldier's Song," but, inexplicably, didn't sing that goosebump-inducing "Give Ireland Back to the Irish". Despite Herr Bone suggesting it a couple times. But that twas a minor blemish on a fine eve.
It was our first time at the "new" Tara Hall, an old house in what looked to be a bleak neighborhood. A sort of genteel poverty has descended on the once strong and thriving AOH; their fortunes and numbers have diminished as the average age has increased. I like our loyalty, that we still patronize the grand ol' organization even now that there are no Irish dancers or young colleens, no ornate suite of halls as found at St. Patrick church back in the day. Now there is the congenial surroundings that has the feel of a speakeasy.
And speak easy we did, and drink freely as well. The discovery of the fine Irish sippin' whiskey is a thing desired over the otherwise gigantic liquid intake that Guinness might suggest. Frequent trips to the bathroom would look rather conspicuous given the layout of the joint.
The Hooligans set, other than the aforementioned omission, was eclectic. They let their hair down with a rather risque toast, and sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" for reasons now shrouded in Celtic mystery. The great Mr. Norris played the tin whistle and I felt that familiar urge to whistle along.
Der Bone is ever the cock-eyed optimist when it comes to Republican fortunes. "Even a toothbrush with an 'R' next to its name will beat Obama in '12," which would seem to be a rather bold proclamation until he said that toothbrushes come in many fine colors and can be very interesting.
We started out at Gordon Biersch which, with its handcrafted ales and good food and atmosphere, seems a fitting place to begin our annual toast. There was an amusing moment when the waiter, apparently not steeled in the preciousness of craft ales, tried to take away my glass when there was still a bit of liquid in it.