A St. Patrick’s Day Story

Recently Global TV Quebec asked for stories on St Patrick’s Day. We thought we would send in the following story of how the St Pats Drunk Dial came into being. For your benefit we thought we’d reprint the letter for the whole web:

Hi Global TV Quebec, let me share a St. Patrick’s Day Story. This is probably one that is not quite in the scope of things but it’s story of how a St Patrick’s Day tradition was born and how it has gone as far as getting space on Times Square in New York City this year.

Once upon a time there was a boy of Sri Lankan descent (me) who moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland and ended up making lots of friends. So many that I now consider Newfoundland to be my home, despite living in Montreal right now. While there, every St. Patrick’s Day, we would go out to celebrate, share good times and have a pint or two.

Later in life we all grew up and finally we all moved out and moved around the world (and I mean everywhere!) only to get together once a year or so at weddings or Christmas in St. John’s.

But St. Patrick’s Day, well, no matter where we were we would celebrate it. Five years ago I came up with the “blindingly stupid” idea that my friends should
phone me after they had had a few pints on St. Pat’s no matter where they were.

Blindingly stupid because I never counted on the timezones and my own drinking. However the stories from what I remember were fantastic. And so was born the St. Patrick’s Day Drunk Dial.

In subsequent years we set up a web site and a phone number to record it. We judged the best entry and gave them a bottle of Screech

This became so much fun for our friends that word got out. One friend in BC reported how a complete stranger came up to him at a party to tell him about it.

Last year, to our incredible surprise someone told CBC Newfoundland and suddenly our winner was not one of our friends but the fantastic St. Patrick’s Day story sent in by Dan Niederloh in Hawaii.

This year (the fifth year) we decided that we would bring the St. Patrick’s Drunk Dial to as many people as we can. We launched a website , a video on YouTube and a press release to the world!

We don’t want to make money (yes there are google ads on the site, but let’s face it, we’ve only ever made $50 in five years so whatever). It is not commercial, it is simply my friends and I (now based in Montreal) sharing some of the fun we’ve had and some of the laughs we’ve shared with as many people as we can. We personally have put up all the money to do this.

To that end, we actually bought some time on the Reuters sign in Times Square to advertise the Drunk Dial between 4-7pm on March 17th 🙂

There you go, that’s my St. Patrick’s Day story from a non-Irish, Sri Lankan, Newfoundlander living in Montreal who believes that St. Patrick’s Day truly is about toasting a good time, to present and absent friends and reconnecting with those around you.

I hope the staff of Global Quebec will dial in this year and tell *US* a fun story in return for the above, that’s all that we ask!

PS. I’ve copied the press release we issued if you are curious and interested.


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