While many a meteorological event takes its time to announce itself -- a thunderstorm rolls in, snow clouds gather -- a rainbow can appear in an instant.
It's a fine analogy for St. Patrick's Day. One minute you're home, vowing to watch "Finian's Rainbow" for the 12th time with a bottle or two of Harp, and the next thing you know you're jigging at a famous, shamrock-bedecked pub.
Your life, in short, is the rainbow.
And if the colorful, in-an-instant phenomenon seizes you on St. Patrick's, as it probably should, and you decide to celebrate with other Irish people (and Irish people for a day), then make for...
Pershing Square: The mid-day party is a Los Angeles classic. The Young Dubs swing by and many a partier rocking a spangly green outfit. Yep, it is crowded, but dang convivial, too.
The Original Farmers Market: No tavern-told tall tales here: Magee's corned beef is famous around Southern California. So famous that fans from far and further make for Third and Fairfax to eat it on March 17. Will you wait a bit? Probably. Will there be folk music playing, for free? Yes.
Tom Bergin's Public House: So there's a towering inflatable pint of Guinness out front of the newly re-opened historic bar. Need we say more? No, but we'll point you to the pictures. Best of all, you can walk there after your Farmers Market corned beef, if you're up for legging it a mile or so along Fairfax.
Bar Crawl: Stick close to Santa Monica and raise a mug and possibly join others in song, if the spirit takes you? You can, on St. Patrick's Day evening. Head for The Albright and, yep, best wear something green. Things get crawling at 5 p.m. and tickets are 10 bucks.