New Year's Eve Carol
I really love Christmas, but I despise "New Year's Eve" and everything that it brings with it. You may call me the "Scrooge" of New Year's and if that's your mind, then so be it. I really don't care what you think.
New Year's Eve? Bah! Humbug! What's New Year's Eve
but yet another excuse for getting drunk, kissing a wife or husband
you haven't kissed all year, and acting like a complete idiot.
"Humbug!" I say.
Those with the brains and the money have long since abandoned this boring little town and left this forsaken climate for places warmer, sunnier, and drier. I am neither smart or rich, therefore I again find myself stuck here in this tiny town. Winter is just two weeks old and I'm already yearning for spring. In February Walmart will put out the garden seeds and I'll be one of the fools who will buy a dozen packets as if that will make spring arrive more quickly. I'm such a foolish old guy. I know it.
Spring ha! Two weeks into winter and waiting for
spring in my little town. Spring here, even when it does come by the
calendar, brings nothing but spine-numbing, bone-chilling, icy rain and gloomy,
skies. Well at least at the beginning. Most springs don't really begin or end
around here. The seasons change drastically sometimes. One day, all of sudden,
it becomes stiflingly hot and humid and we call that "summer". I'll
take summer any day. I don't mind sweating. It makes me feel like a
real man. Real men are always sweaty.
"I thought you were dead, Dick."
It was a ghastly sight.
The ghost pointed again and shouted above the din: "Do you recognize that young man?"
"I do" I said. "That's me. Handsome, young and stupid."
"You didn't think you were stupid then, did you? You thought you knew it all. Look! Look at yourself. You're having fun."
I looked where the ghost pointed and noticed that the noise had stopped. The band had taken a break. I looked around and found myself sitting on a bar stool drinking 101 proof rum, smoking a cigarette with my young arm around to lovely girls. I can only imagine what I was thinking. I wanted to walk up and slap myself, but the ghost stopped me.
"We are invisible. No one can hear you, see you or feel you." the ghost admonished.
"You sure look like Dick Clark" , I said again.
The ghost just rolled his dead eyes and pointed his bony finger at me.
It was nearly midnight at the bar and the patrons smoked and drank furiously as if they had to do it to get ready for the big hour. I watched the young version of myself sitting at the bar lighting another cigarette, drinking another drink and my arms were slipping down around the girls' waists. It sure looked like I was very inebriated - and those girls looked mighty alluring.
I have to remind myself that I'm old and decrepit. Those girls would have nothing to do with my shriveled old body now. Too bad. I might start liking New Year's Eve again. I look at the young version of myself and think, "what a cad".
Damn, I wish I had a time machine.
The ghost stood beside me and said: "Look at you! You're having fun. You're enjoying life. You're celebrating New Year's Eve with the rest of humanity. You're relaxed and alive! Look at yourself. Now, look at what you've become. No pie, no cookies, no cigarettes, no strong drinks, no high fructose corn syrup, no trans fats, no fun! You've become walking corpse - a cantankerous, old curmudgeon who's wasted his life and whose only desire is to live as a hermit. The world is having fun while you sit at home on New Year's Eve watching a stupid 'Twilight Zone' marathon."
"How pathetic is that?" he asked rhetorically.
I watched the younger version of myself chugging a beer chaser with my young, arms wrapped around two lovely, nubile, girls. I thought to myself: "How'd I get from here to 'The Twilight Zone'? Maybe the ghost, that looks remarkably like Dick Clark, is right. Maybe there's something to this New Year's Eve stuff."
I turned to the ghost and said: "Take me home. I can't stay here. Look at me! I'm ruining my lungs and my liver and I'm overwhelmed by lascivious thoughts! If those girls could see me now they'd run away from me faster than a Muslim from a pork chop." I cried, in anguish.
"You're only making me feel worse! You're a very evil ghost! Why do you torment me so?"
The ghost shook his Dick Clark head and muttered something I couldn't understand but it sounded like "wow those girls are hot".
When I awoke, the "Twilight Zone" marathon was over and "The Dog Whisperer" was on. Now, I know from experience that when "The Dog Whisperer" starts it never ends. I quickly flipped through the channels and stopped at the Weather Channel. They were showing the celebrating masses in cities all over Europe where the New Year had already begun. There were old wrinkled-up people my age in silly hats blowing silly horns jumping around - all cheering another New Year. Bah! Humbug!
Suddenly, my worst nightmare unfolded. Right before my weary eyes was "THE BALL". Something I have avoided for years and years. It was the same ball the ghost in my dream had dragged over my carpet. It was "THE BALL" my parents made me watch every New Year's Eve. I couldn't change the channel fast enough and I cursed The Weather Channel for showing Time Square and The Ball.
10:15PM - New Year's Eve.
Luckily for me, the "Twilight Zone" marathon is still on and I know I am safe even if I did make it until midnight, which I am fairly certain I will not. It is fine with me if I wake up at 5:00AM and discover the calendar has turned another year without my witnessing it. So what if it's a "new" year. What the heck was wrong with the old year. I was comfortable with it. Now I grow another year older, not a penny richer or an hour wiser. And now I'll have to find my way around in a new year just when the old year was starting to feel warm and fuzzy.
The next three weeks or so, I'll spend putting the wrong dates on checks and things, and each time I do I'll be reminded that it's a new year. I don't want to be reminded. That's why I don't want to watch "THE BALL" drop or go up or down or whatever it does on New Year's Eve. It's bad enough we're all another year older without having to be reminded of it every time I have to put the date on something.
I've lost my spirit of adventure these days. I'm not so keen on wondering what lies ahead. I no longer expect every turn in the road to bring something fun and good my way. I don't like twists and turns in my road anymore. I'd just as soon it stay nice and straight so I can see what lies ahead.
If you're one of those who finds great joy in welcoming in a New Year, I hope you're not offended. I will never understand your yearning to leap into that great unknown - especially if you're over forty. If you didn't like the old year what makes you think the new one's going to be any better. And if you did like the old one, why are you celebrating its ending?
I'll get used to the new year, I'm sure I will and Good Lord willing, I'll be writing about how nice and comfortable the old year was when the next New Year's Eve rolls around too.
I sure hope I don't have anymore dreams about Dick Clark coming to visit me as a ghost though. It was horrible. I can almost hear him counting down as the ball drops and saying "HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY!".
New Year's Eve? Bah Humbug!
Now, where are those two girls?
All content is