Fake Patty’s Day challenges familiar

A toast for good judgment might be helpful

By The Mercury

We hope celebrants at this year’s Fake Patty’s Day — that’s Saturday, by the way — don’t do something so dumb, like trying to drive while drunk or picking a fight in a crowded bar, that it gets someone hurt.

We similarly hope celebrants resist the temptation to do something boorish in the extreme, like urinating on someone’s property or in an alley. Yes, we know the effect beer can have, but there will be plenty of portable restrooms (and plenty of people in line to share stories with).

And we join Richard Hill and Brice Ebert, board members of Landlords of Manhattan, who in a letter to the editor today express the hope that this Fake Patty’s Day “will come and go without any negative occurrences.”

Their concerns — about litter and code violations that can result when throngs of young people, often in not-so-private parties in rented apartments, exercise bad judgment — are easy to overlook. But they’re justified. Some landlords are more responsible than others, certainly, but none should have to pick up after or spend money to repair damages associated with Fake Patty’s Day rowdiness.

There will be plenty of law enforcement, including officers from agencies from outside Riley County, on hand to encourage partiers to enjoy themselves without interfering with others’ enjoyment. Other personnel will be there to assist those with medical problems and to make sure that bars — which have gotten better at counting heads — don’t become so crowded that patrons’ safety is at risk.

Fake Patty’s Day might still be a unique event, but it’s been around long enough — and on occasion generated enough understandable outrage — that public safety officials have come to know what to expect and how to prevent the worst excesses. Some area residents may always consider Fake Patty’s Day a scar on the calendar, while others are a bit more tolerant – as long as their property isn’t damaged. Most area residents know better than to try to shop in Aggieville on Fake Patty’s Day.

We urge motorists driving in the vicinity of Aggieville this Saturday to be alert, particularly at night. Be as careful as you would be on Halloween, though instead of masks, the revelers will likely be wearing green. And like many of the kids on Halloween, Fake Patty’s Day partiers walking home in the dark don’t always remember to use crosswalks — or sidewalks.

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