Contrary to what most people might think, based on my recurrent references to my - shall we say - "ambitious" consumption of alcoholic beverages, New Year's Eve has actually become one of my least favorite holidays. Primarily, it's the stress that gets me. All that emphasis on having the perfect moment at the perfect place with the perfect person at exactly the stroke of midnight is a bit lofty for my taste. Normally I end up just zipping up in front of the urinal at my local as the ball hits the bottom in Times Square, oblivious to the whole celebration and just treating it as another night out drinking.
This raises my second point about not liking New Year's Eve. As a person who DOES spend an exceptional amount of time in public houses, the novel bliss of an evening's anti-temperance is lost on a guy like me. Where's the extraordinary fun in doing something that I consider ordinary, especially with all those people around?
Which raises a third issue - stupid people. Most seasoned veterans generally regard New Year's Eve as "Rookie Night." All those teetotalers who sit at home and actually watch Survivor on a Thursday evening, or even worse, still recognize any of the cast members on Saturday Night Live, decide Dec. 31st is the night they want to come out and try that "bar scene" thing. Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying you're not cool unless you come out and get wasted every night, nor am I saying that people should not be open to experimenting with new social environments. I'm just saying that having such a large volume of inexperienced drinkers out on one night can be too much at times for the habitual (and I use that word lightly) bar patron.
The giggly girl who starts out by trying her first cosmopolitan at 10:05 usually ends up passed out on the toilet at 11:30. The muscle guy from the gym, who saw in the movies that scotch makes you more of a man, tries his first single-malt at 9:30 and is thrown out of the bar after punching the bouncer by 11:15. There's always that desperate-for-attention guy who sits at the bar and screams in the bartender's ear all night ordering drinks for people who walk up to the bar behind him - hoping they might include him in their conversation, but they don't. There's also the girl who decides to have a nervous breakdown and start crying in front of everybody because, well...gin just makes you do that.
You have the spilling of drinks by clumsy novices who figure they paid one price for all you can drink (most bars run an open bar cover on New Year's Eve), so why not just throw it all over the place. You also have the inevitable vomit that results from this lack of respect for alcohol, and all it takes is the funk from one upchuck to ruin everyone's evening in the entire bar.
So this year I decided to say "Screw Year's Eve" - I may as well just work and make some money off these people while I can, because they won't have their wallets out in a bar again until St. Patrick's Day!
And while I could use this space for a shameless, blatant plug for the establishment in which I tend bar, I will maintain my journalistic integrity and make it somewhat more cryptic. It's a bar that starts with "D" and ends with "uffy's", and is located somewhere in the vicinity of 3rd and Bloomfield in Hoboken. There's food, open bar, and party favors from 9-2 with a champagne toast at midnight, all for the low, low price of $65.
If you can figure out my tricky clues, stop by and make a night of it. I'll be the one with the mop in his hand and the scowl on his face, waiting to clean up after your sloppy drunk ass!!!
AND DON'T FORGET TO TIP YOUR BARTENDERS!!!
If you know how I can effectively waste $50 in the metro area, please write to:
"Hal Wastes His Wages"
c/o The Hudson Current
1400 Washington Street
Hoboken, New Jersey 07030