Fittingly, for an essay about St. Patrick’s Day, this is a jolly piece — but one that also touches on the loneliness of moving to a new community. Harrison Scott Key takes us on a raucous ride, and although I doubt I will ever end up at the parade he describes, after reading this essay I have a sense of what it would be like if I did. Crazy.

I love these men, because it’s easier to love people you’ve watched vomit into the hellmouth of a portable toilet at two in the morning while you film it for your friends. Not that you always get so carried away. But you do. You forget to eat. And while our wives and girlfriends steer clear of all this good clean fun in the days before the parade, many have begun to join us for the storming of the square, along with our sons and daughters, grown tall now, who have made this ritual their own, generation to generation, as it should be.