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How to Deal with Every Way You’ll Get ‘Pinched’ on St. Patrick’s Day

From getting arrested to getting your ass pinched, we’ve got advice on dealing with it from a bartender, a karaoke host, and yes, even a leprechaun

Its St. Patrick’s Day, which means a tide of green-clad frat bros have probably already kicked down your front door and puked in your shoes. This survival guide is designed to get you through the worst day of the year in as few pieces as possible.

The reason your friends pinch you for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is because, according to legend, that’s what leprechauns would do when they spotted you on the holiday (and also, your friends are dicks). In order to stay out of sight of those grabby little cereal-stealers, you’d have to wear green, which renders you invisible to the eyes of a leprechaun. Now, why green makes you invisible isn’t entirely clear; nor is the reason leprechauns would choose to have a wardrobe consisting exclusively of clothing they cannot see. But — like so many other St. Patrick’s Day traditions — we continue to do it, despite it making little sense and having nothing to do with either Ireland or St. Patrick.

Still, there’s more than one way to be pinched, so here’s a guide to getting your ass out of those tight spots. May the luck of the Irish be with you.

If You’re Pinched For Not Wearing Green

Take it from New York City’s most popular leprechaun, if you fail to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, there’s simply no excuse. Scott Seidman — better known as Scotty the Leprechaun — says, “It’s mandatory to wear green. It’s tradition.” You might try to weasel your way out of it by saying your green stuff is in the bottom of the laundry basket, but Scotty says that excuses don’t cut it, especially since there’s such an easy out. “At the bar, they’re giving out necklaces and hats — you can also grab a green beer,” says Scotty. It might also be a conversation starter, as Scotty advises that you can “maybe get a green necklace from a girl you’re trying to pick up.”

All that said, Scotty advises that pinching people for not adhering is kind of a thing of the past. “I definitely call people out for not wearing green, but in today’s society, pinching is a no-no,” he admits. “Leprechauns can end up behind bars for that.” So if someone pinches you for wearing a color that actually looks good on you, you’re free to call that fucker out.

If You Get Pinched by the Cops For Drunk and Disorderly

If you take things a bit too far and end up with your ass in jail, “you can either pay the bail yourself, or if you can’t afford that, call a friend have and have them reach out to a bail bondsman,” advises Jeffrey Law of In and Out Bail Bonds. In the jail, Law says you’ll find a bunch of numbers for bail bondsmen posted near the phones — just pick one and tell your friend to reach out, as doing this all from behind bars is much more difficult.

From there, your buddy may have to front the money for the bondsman, which is 10 percent of the bail plus the bondsman’s fee. The bondsman then gets you out of jail by posting that 10 percent. In Florida, where Law has his business, he says this would usually be about $100 up front for a $500 bail for a drunk and disorderly. You’ll then have to give the remaining cash, or collateral, to the bondsman, which you’ll get back once you go to court. You’d only get $450 back though, as the bondsman would keep that 10 percent as his profit.

If you get picked up on something more serious, like drinking and driving, you may have to spend the night in jail before your bond is even posted, then your bondsman can come the next morning, after a judge has posted bail. For this, you might be looking at a bigger bail, like maybe $5,000, which means you’d have to provide more cash up front and a lot more collateral.

If you’ve got no money, you’re likely going to spend a few days in jail until you’re released on your own recognizance, or until an attorney is appointed for your sorry ass.

If Your Seat Gets Pinched When You Go To the Bathroom

To prevent your seat from getting snagged when you run to the urinal, Shuba Fikru, who has been a Manhattan bartender for more than 20 years, says that putting a napkin over your glass is a generally universal signal that the seat is taken. If you fail to do this or your seat is taken anyway, Fikru says that you can politely ask, “Can I have my seat back?” If this doesn’t move them, try to get your friends to back you up and let that seatnapper know that this is your turf. If none of that works, just let the seat go and stand near your buddies until something else opens up. “A seat isn’t worth getting into a fight over,” Fikru insists.

If You Have to Do Karaoke in a Pinch

Sure, the words are right in front of you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t absolutely eat it on the karaoke stage once in a while, especially if your vision’s too blurry to see the words. If you’re caught in this situation, Keith Houston of Roger Niner Karaoke says, “If you’re going to fail, fail spectacularly.” So rather than slinking offstage in shame, Houston says to, “Make it a show. Make it obvious that you’re completely out of your depth and just be entertaining. You can make up a new melody, improvise the words or recite the lyrics like William Shatner, just don’t back away.”

Other lifelines you may call on if you’re stuck up there are bringing up someone from the audience who seems to know the lyrics, or if they’ll allow it, ask the karaoke host to start a different song; this time though, make sure you pick something you definitely know the words to, like maybe one of those embarrassing pop songs from your childhood.

If You’re Getting Your Ass Pinched Against Your Will

If people are getting drunk and handsy, Fikru says that just walking away generally isn’t enough, because usually people are too drunk to get the hint. As a bartender, he says that flirting is just part of his job and it’s all around good for business, but if someone crosses the line and grabs or pinches his ass or something like that, he’ll drop his friendly demeanor and say, “That’s not cool.” If they persist, he’ll call over to the owner or bouncer and let them decide whether or not the patron needs to leave.

For a patron, Fikru says that if you’re being hit on by someone and you want it to stop, “You can let them know that you’re involved with someone else, even if you aren’t.” If it persists, or if things escalate to unwanted touching, there are different protocols for women and men. For a woman getting pinched, Fikru says it’s usually going into erupt into a fight pretty quickly. If a guy’s getting his ass grabbed, though, he says that in the rare situation that the guy doesn’t want the attention, they can put a stop to things by asking the bartender or bouncer for help. “That’s what they’re there for,” says Fikru.

How To Pinch Your Pennies If You’re Light On Cash

If you’re flat broke on St. Patrick’s Day but still determined to drink yourself silly, there are a few ways to get drunk on the cheap. Despite the fact that hipsters have ruined it, PBR is still the cheapest beer around, so you can always order that, although it’s going to take a few of those to get you loaded. Instead, Fikru recommends ordering “house” drinks. These are the cheaper brands of booze kept under the bar in the bartenders’ “well,” next to the ice — think stuff like Evan Williams whiskey or SKYY vodka. Fikru admits that he sometimes doesn’t even know their brand names: “This is the kind of cheap stuff that you used to get drunk off of in college,” he says.

So while you may not be drinking with the highest of class on St. Paddy’s Day, you’ll still be able to get plenty loaded, and that’s why St. Patrick founded this holiday to begin with, right? Or… did it have something to do with snakes? Ah, feck knows…