Every New Year's Eve I am reminded of musical genius Jim Croce's words--"Yeah I used to be a terror/ but now I am a tired man." The New Year's Eve parties used to be the stuff of legends, but now they are quiet, tame affairs.
Not that this is a bad thing. Whereas before it was fun to trash somebody else's place, but now that I pay rent I don't really relish the thought of 40 odd drunks (only three of whom I actually know, the rest are "a friend of [mumble mumble]") in my apartment and smashing my windows with the sheer force of their projectile vomiting.
To celebrate the Faux Millennium as I have decided to call it, I just had two friends over. I cooked them dinner, we had some snacks and some ice cream, and toasted in the New Year with some glasses of raspberry ginger ale. Then we went back to watching Toy Story.
It sounds pretty boring, but fuck you, we like boring. There are 364 more days to the year and they are way too interesting for our tastes. It's nice to shift into a lower gear and cruise, instead of going overboard with parties and drinking, as if the world really will end tomorrow.
When I was a teen, I was at some pretty wild ones though. They never got so out of control that the cops raided them, though there was the odd trip to the hospital for alcoholic poisoning. We did not demolish the house of the poor sucker whose parents were away and ill-advisedly offered up their dwelling as a place for the festivities. Demolishing though would have been more human. Instead, the unlucky recipient's house would be cocooned in vomit like a spider webbing its catch.
Some great stories comes from those days. I remember Jon, hugging a toilet from 9 pm to about 2 am. His girlfriend had just broken up with him and he was really in the mood to drink heavily, so he did. At about 1 am, Dan burst in with a deep deep need to regurgitate.
"Jon, move. You gotta move."
"Please Jon, you've got to-" He couldn't hold it in. I understand that very little managed to actually get in the bowl. Most of it was scattered around the washroom. Some of it landed on Jon, who finally managed to come to.
"Dan, you just threw up on me."
"I know! And it only took one try!" Dan staggered out of the washroom and passed out on the couch, where Brian would later take cam stick (the stuff soldiers paint on their skin in order to fit in with the terrain) and draw all over his face.
Shortly thereafter, Jon was hauled upstairs and thrown on to a bed to sleep it off. Tragically, it was a waterbed.
Ever lie on a waterbed while you've got nausea and a pounding headache so bad that if a serial killer were stalking through the house, you'd try to signal him to your position? No matter how still you are, the bed shakes, making you feel like you're on the ocean, the last thing a drunk wants to feel. It's those moments were even hardcore atheists believe that a vengeful God is looking down at them and saying "I trust I've made my point clear."
When Jon came down early the next day, he vowed he would never forgive whoever had dropped him on the waterbed, and then slumped into a corner to listen the Suicidal Tendencies song "I Feel Like Shit."
You had to be mad to offer up your house for a New Year's party in my circle. But at least most of the people who did stayed sober and tried to protect their houses. I remember one instance where the guardian of the house had himself gotten drunk, and was in no shape to play goalie. A lot of things he regrets happened that night.
The usual stuff happened. People drank to excess (didn't see that coming, did you?). One person, waking up at about 4 in the morning, was so out of it he decided to relieve himself against the basement wall (the basement was furnished). Fortunately we grabbed him and hauled him upstairs in time.
One drunk passed out in our hosts' room. Since the razors we found weren't sharp enough to shave off his eyebrows, we decided to put toothpaste in his hair instead (passing out around us was very, very dangerous). Our host didn't appreciate the toothpaste getting all over his sheets and pillow. When he was much drunker later that evening, he came up to us laughing that another drunk had puked all over his room. I told him to wait about five hours and see if he still thought it was funny.
The Giggles in Our Foolish Host gradually gave way to Depression. He was having problems with his girlfriend, and decided to vent the most sensitive one of them. "She's such a bitch! She slept with-" he proceeded to name off about five guys, and in the finale, the girlfriend of a close friend of ours.
I had already known about this, so while everyone else's eyes were bugging out with shock, I was thinking "Uh oh, so much for that secret."
"[He shall remain nameless]'s girlfriend?" demanded one of the stunned onlookers. Our Foolish Host remained silent, but the damage had been done.
By the time I was out on my own, our parties had settled down to some light drinking, potato chips, and conversation. My places were never redecorated by people who had lost control of their motor skills and bodily fluids. I've had enough of that sort of thing really. It was fun to watch for awhile, but I don't drink, it's no fun to be the only sober person at a wild party, unless you're there to shave off eyebrows. Other holidays commitments--friends, school, work, family--started to exhaust me and there have been times were I'd be perfectly content to spend new years with a bottle of coke (Coca Cola, that is) and a good book.
One New Year my then girlfriend and I planned a nice romantic evening like we had last year, but we were so exhausted we went to bed earlier. We managed to be half-asleep in each other's arms. When we heard the cheer out on the street, we wish each other a drowsy Happy New Year, then .07 seconds later, we were snoring.
Pathetic, is it? I don't miss anything really. The New Year is highly over-rated in my opinion. Particularly this year, with all this millennium bullshit.
A lost cause is the only one worth fighting for. Permit me to practice what I preach by saying vainly that it's not the millennium. Few people seem to recognize this, and everywhere you go its millennium blah blah blah bladdy blah.
For the trillionth time, there was no 0 AD. There was 1 BC, and then there was 1 AD. Thus, 2001 is the new millennium.
On usenet I read a post from a Bible thumper how our calendar is based on the birth of Christ (true enough) and that the millennium is based on 1000 years from the time of his birth, therefore, 2000 is the new millennium. Thanks, Miss Bible Thumper. For an encore, could you explain why a shitload of dinosaur bones don't prove the theory of evolution and misinterpret the third law of thermodynamics?
Never take advice on science, astronomy or sociology from a Bible Thumper. First, Christ was born in 1 AD. It would almost work if we took the time Mary was carrying Jesus in her womb to be the central date, but assuming she had a nine month pregnancy, that leaves us three months short. Second, the exact year of Jesus' birth is actually the subject of some controversy. I've heard one estimate suggest that Jesus was actually born as late as 6 AD by our calendar. So by that reasoning, 2006 will be the new millennium.
As you may have noticed, the world did not end when the four digits rolled over from 1999 to 2000, as many were predicting. The Y2K glitch caused a minimal amount of damage. Now families of idiots will be eating canned ravoli and drinking bottled water for the next five years. Neither the anti-Christ nor Jesus made an appearance anywhere that I'm aware of. The Russian nuclear aresenal didn't launch. You'd think there would have been more media coverage if any of these things had happened.
You really have to wonder what was behind these predictions of doom (actually, no you don't: stupidity). So the world's going to end at the stroke of midnight? Yes, except for all the cultures that don't celebrate the New Year on January 1. So China would be left intact. Was the world going to end by time zone ("Uh, I don't mean to panic everyone, but we've lost contact with Australia").
Even more distressingly, where are all the nice gizmos that sci-fi movies said we have? Why aren't the cops armed with lasers and robotic dogs? How come I can't fly or teleport to work? Why don't I yet have my own personal holodeck yet with a selection of programs like "Tahiti Vacation" or "Participate in 'The Usual Suspect' Boat Shoot out" or "Sexual Assault by Lena Olin's character in 'Romeo is Bleeding'"?
1999 really was the year of hype. Just about everything we saw or did was hardly 2/3rds of all the bluster its marketing people created. Why should the "end" of the millennium be any different?
Next year, some friends and I are planning a real millennium party. All you have to do to get in is realize that 999 years does not make a millennium.
Attendance is expected to be low.