A disposable guide to a disposable day...
Today is Law Nayve LuForrig – or whatever the correct Irish spelling is – and that means we celebrate our national day with traditional Irish pursuits that have made us the most popular little country in the world.
Given that this is a Christian occasion, it would have been fitting to pay a visit to your local church. Since, however, half the churches in the country have been burgled in the last two weeks, they're all closed. But that doesn't matter, the sacrament of oblivion can be obtained from any off-licence.
Due to some unfortunate, intolerant attitudes, these shrines are often forced to open late, so a real Irish person will have stocked up yesterday. Because nobody wants to wake up on this treasured morning and drink coffee. No, if you are going to brave the icy winds of the parade, you need to be fortified. So maybe you should immediately start drinking vodka. After all, you can now buy a litre of 200pc proof Lithuanian Lobotomy Water for less than a fiver and while you may be blind by the end of the evening, you certainly won't feel the cold.
Of course, you have to wrap up warm and the Irish take their apparel very seriously today. So, ideally, you will already have made a pilgrimage into Crappy McCrap's shop where you should have picked up leprechaun hats, fake beards and a plastic shillelagh.
To the untrained eye, this might give the impression of thousands of drunken mules who all look like an old Punch cartoon, but there is method to this madness. When you decide to run across O'Connell Street and projectile vomit on top of a bunch of American cheerleaders, the cops have little chance of picking out one puke-dappled Darby O'Gill from the thousands of others.
Ah yes, the parade.
The parade has been rather contentious this year, following the decision to ban straight people from the event on the grounds that: "We have nothing against straight people but we don't like them constantly shoving it down our throats. There will be kids at this thing, so let them keep their filthy habits on the rugby field where they belong – and where we don't, apparently."
A tearful straight rights campaigner said this was another example of discrimination against the HVMI community (for the unaware, that's the 'Heterosexual, Vanilla, Missionary and Interruptus' community) and he would defy the ban. In fact, he said that he and some of his mates have promised to crash the party and form their own human float. This will see a bunch of militant straight activitists dressed in their traditional flamboyant garb.
So if you see a bunch of men wearing smart casual chinos, Dockers and sensible shirts while chanting 'we're straight, sorry we're late, get over it', you can say that you saw the first flush of a burgeoning civil rights movement.
Ireland has some of the finest food in the world, if only we knew what to do with it. But this is the day when we are all expected to have Irish stew. Don't worry if it tastes vile and stringy and more full of gristle than Madonna's armpits, nobody else likes it either.
But it's Paddy's Day, and it's tradition and if you can keep that down after 15 pints of Guinness, then you are given a free passport.
Hellholes, or 'pubs' as they are known on this day, are where people go to have massive public arguments. So, if you want to get a taste of our ways, head out into the suburbs and find the first pub that looks like a giant, windowless barn, packed tighter than a village hall on the Eastern front where the locals are about to be burned by the Nazis.
On a good Paddy's Day, you could see as many as five fights between families who arrived straight after the parade and by the time it's 6pm, they are all tired, frazzled, grumpy and drunk.
Oh, and they'll be surrounded by screaming kids going into psychotic shock with the amount of sugar mainlining through their system. It's a recipe for fun and it never fails to deliver.
But remember this, on Paddy's Day, nobody is a stranger.
They're just someone who hasn't punched you yet.
A TEENY BIT CRUEL AND UNUSUAL?
Proving that some scientists really are mad, a group of English boffins has said that they might be able to come up with a pill that would indefinitely expand a person's life span. And they say they want to use it on prisoners, because sometimes a life sentence just ain't enough and you want to keep them alive to suffer for longer.
In what reads like a piece from The Onion, scientists from Oxford University have come up with the idea because: "Some crimes are so bad they require a really long period of punishment, and a lot of people seem to get out of that punishment by dying."
It all seems the stuff of science-fiction – and eerily similar to a short story I read as a kid – but there is a cheaper alternative for making a prisoner feel like he's spending eternity in detention.
Just play Mrs Brown's Boys on a loop and he'll be grey and dribbling on himself within a few hours.
THAT'S IT – LOCK HIM UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY
A man in Donegal had his collar felt last Friday when he discharged his shotgun in the direction of a car driven by suspected burglars. Has it come to this? Have we really reached a point where burglars who, lest we forget, are only burgling because of the recession and Government cut-backs, can't earn an extra few bob without some maniac pensioner endangering their lives?
What if he had hit someone in the car? After all, we see plenty of burglars whose culture insists that they use children when they rob houses. What if one of those innocent tykes had been hit?
It's time we took the bull by the horns and recognised that burglars are the most despised minority in this country and we should give them seperate status, ensuring that anybody who shoots them is charged with a hate crime.
I guess I'm just a big liberal softie after all.