I’m guessing that last week’s piece didn’t end quite the way you all were expecting it to. I’m not going to belabor you with another full column about my slip on the ice because I have a lot of subject matter to cover this week. I will however bring you up to speed on how it went at the doctor. I did in fact  break three ribs, the severity of which had my doctor questioning how it was that I drove myself there two days later and didn’t arrive by ambulance immediately after falling. He also noted that despite seeing fractures and cracks every day, he hadn’t seen three clean breaks like this since his work in the ER. I simply responded that I was an overachiever. I also punctured my left lung and had some internal bleeding. The pain in my upper half was so severe that I didn’t realize until 5 days later that I had also broken my foot. My 2-year-old was asking me who had colored on my foot and I just assumed that one or both of my toddlers had gotten into the Sharpies again and taken advantage of my Percocet induced slumber and used my foot as a pallet. My 10-year-old then investigated and determined that the black, blue, green, and purple colors on my now very swollen foot were the result of bruising, not art work. Three plus weeks later, I’m still in a whole lot of pain, but I’m back to work because I so desperately needed to get the hell out of my house. So that’s the update on my ribs and my spill.

The next thing I wanted to discuss was the importance of this week to me personally. I mention it around this time every year, and I’ve written entire articles on the subject, so I’ll just briefly touch on it this year. March 12th I celebrate what would have been my Mom’s 76th birthday. I’ve mentioned several times before that she was, is, and always will be my hero. She’s still the best person I’ve ever known and she miraculously beat cancer five times before it finally took her. Happy birthday Mom, I love you and I miss you more everyday.

Also on March 12th, and by no accident, I celebrate my wedding anniversary. On this day 4 years ago, I was fortunate enough to marry the other most wonderful woman I’d ever met. If you’ve been reading my stuff for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve surmised what an incredibly patient and forgiving person she is. She is the best mother and wife that anyone could ever hope for. I won’t bother leaving her a personal message here because she doesn’t read my stuff.

And since I’m getting personal, I guess this is as good a time as any to make this announcement. On or about September 18th of this year there will be another character added to these stories I write. By that I mean that the amazing woman I just described is currently carrying my 5th baby and our 4th together. I’ll start by affirming for all the naysayers that this was in fact done intentionally. We wanted one more, so we tried and we are now blessed enough to be expecting. So you will not be the first person to say something cleverly condescending like; “you know how that happens right?”, or “what the hell were you thinking?”, or “so, gonna keep trying til ya have a boy?”. If those are your thoughts, we’ve already heard them so feel free to keep it to yourself and just be happy for us. Thank you. It’s a bit disconcerting how many people have had negative things to say about our wonderful and exciting news. We’re two pretty good parents who are very much in love with each other and our children. We are not anyone’s tax dollars at work and we are not receiving any type of support from anyone or from any organization. We have three firmly established careers between us and we comfortably support our family. We’re simply trying to do our part to populate the Earth with bright, articulate humans. Fortunately, we are also a couple who couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks of us. To those of you who have been kind and supportive and happy for us, we thank you. We can’t wait to introduce you to the 2015 model.

Now moving on to my annual obligatory Saint Patrick’s Day piece.I respect and admire all of you who are of Irish descent for the passion and vigor with which you celebrate your heritage. I personally don’t have any Irish in me and I’m perfectly alright with that. It doesn’t mean I have any type of prejudice, it just means that I’m not going to pretend I’m Irish one day a year and use it as an excuse to be a McIdiot, or an O’Jackass. Don’t ask me why I’m not wearing green and don’t offer me any beads or blinky buttons that say something witty like “kiss me I’m Irish” on it. I’ve never once in my life pretended to be anything I’m not and I never needed any conjured up excuse to drink. And there have been plenty of times in my past that I have made an ass of myself for no other reason than that the sun came out that day.

What I am is a bartender. So essentially, this is one of my least favorite days of the year. It’s one of the holidays that we in the service industry file under the category of “amateur night”. Others include Fourth of July, Halloween, and of course New Years Eve. These are the days and nights that those who only get to paint the town a handful of times a year feel inexplicably compelled to abandon any sense of decency and try to squeeze all of their poor behavior into one night. Of these nights, St. Patrick’s day is personally my least favorite. It’s nothing more than New Years Eve painted green. But at least on New Years Eve, people have enough sense to not start boozing hard until after dark. On St. Patrick’s Day (more specifically the day of the parade), for reasons I’ll never understand, people feel it necessary to start drinking around 9am. By the time the first classic convertible drives by carrying an unrecognizable local dignitary, they’re going at it as if prohibition was going to be reinstated.

This would be fine if everyone just went to bed by 3pm, but unfortunately that’s not the case. They keep rolling well into the evening hours pissing off bartenders and decent people trying to have dinner. By the time happy hour is over, most are just drinking water and taking up valuable real estate refusing to go home and bail on the die hards who are still hitting it hard. I look forward to St.Pat’s Day each year with the same enthusiasm that I greet the anniversary of my mother’s death.

Just consider this another one of my periodic public service announcements. That said, Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. Have fun and enjoy yourselves courteously and responsibly.

Thanks for playing along.

Until next week, Syd Nichols