Happy New Year!

January 03, 2007

In a few days, the memory of my burning intestines will fade, and New Year's Day 2007 will be a happy memory of being curled in a chair, half asleep, half awake, watching football, and not passing a single thought through my head the entire day.

We did New Year's Eve at the Regal Beagle, where I drank as if I were still a young man. I didn't take many pictures to post, and a lot of the fun that I had either doesn't translate into a good story, or it's forgotten forever.

The night before that, we had hosted our friend Mary Ann, and (read this next part in a Mississippi accent) a guy who goes by name of Skeeter. They were down from Mrs. theskinnyonbenny's home town. Maryann (I don't know how she spells it, so I'll try different possibilities. One will be right.) had been down for a party once before, and we had run into her in a bar the weekend of Christmas. They were on their way to New Orleans for New Year's Eve, and agreed to stay Saturday night at our house for a taste of Baton Rouge.

  • At 11:00, we heard from Shelly and Boobsie, who were celebrating in New York City. Since it was already 2007 there, I asked the person on the phone to find out if they had hover cars in 2007 yet. As we all know by now, there is a disappointing lack of hover cars in 2007. What's taking them so long with that?
  • Before anyone got to the house, Blossom the Basset Hound got up on top of the table outside. She had time to eat an entire block of Havarti-pepper cheese, a bowl of crab dip, and two boxes of crackers. And she still terrorized the kids at the party, trying and sometimes succeeding in getting their food.
  • At midnight, I had a little bit of sense left, as I saw Joel and Sharples giving champagne bottles ferocious shake-ups for a good dousing. I was the only one under the Regal Beagle roof to process that information and know to get out from under there right away. I missed my midnight kiss, but I stayed dry also.
  • I drank a whole lot of a particularly delightful cocktail. The "car bomb" is a pint of Guinness, with a shot glass of Jameson's on top of Bailey's dropped in. (Apparently, the three Irish potables lead to the naming of the drink of a popular Irish pastime of the 1980s.) Consumed quickly, it tasted like a soft drink. I think I had three.
  • At some point, I realized that our friend Mary Ann had left her camera at our house from the previous night out. It occurred to me that I was obligated to a particular brand of mischief, and I only had to mention an ownerless camera for Sharples to understand right where I was going. Sharples's wife Amanda described the scene best as she came out of the bathroom right as we were completing our photo shoot. "Even if I hadn't come around the corner to see you re-fastening your pants, I could still here you in there saying, 'C'mon Benny. I gotta get a picture of my nuts. Take a good one of my nuts. Didya get 'em good?'" That all went along with my wild laughter. The pictures are even a little too gross for me to post here, but take my word for it, the one of me naked as a jaybird, fully frontal, and in a muscle-man pose is nothing short of the pinnacle of hilarity. By the way, if you know Mary Ann, don't tell her about this. It's only funny if she finds those pictures herself when she gets her camera back. Or better yet, if she just took the memory card to Wal-Mart to get them developed.
  • I don't remember much after about 2:30. I remember seeing one of the biggest party bruises that I've ever seen on someone's head, but that's not too funny. There was the guy who I didn't know who decided to walk home once he was tired and his ride was still good to go. If I understood correctly, he lives on Nicholson drive, which I would guess to be a minimum of a 4.5 mile walk. So it wouldn't be a big surprise if he ended up sleeping it off on the side of a street somewhere. Fortunately, it wasn't so cold that such a nap would be fatal.
  • At some point, someone noticed that the sky in the east was getting light. We walked around the corner, where Jim cooked us breakfast at his out-of-town next-door neighbor's house. I made it back home and got into bed around 7:30.

On New Year's Day, I got up at noon, and watched game after uneventful football game. I tried to get a nap later in the afternoon, but every time I would start to doze, something would happen to jar me awake. Mostly, the pets are to blame. At least Blossom was sick most of the morning after her gorging.

After all of the crappy day games, Oklahoma took a two-touchdown lead over Boise State, and I allowed myself to go to sleep. Of course you know that I completely missed the game of the year. I haven't even seen the highlights yet, although I've heard them described a hundred times. This week, you have to understand any allusion to the "hook and lateral" to be culturally conversant.

Last night's Orange Bowl was an okay game, but what really struck me was the honorary captains who came out for the coin toss. Easily the worst BCS game -- Louisville and Wake Forest -- ended up with Mohammad Ali and Arnold Palmer at midfield before the game. If you think about it, only Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan are also in the Ali/Palmer stratosphere of worldwide sports legends.

But instead of being inspiring, Ali's presence was just kind of sad. You've probably seen him shaking from Parkinson's and deprived of speech, but last night, they had to bring him to midfield in a golf cart. He didn't really even look like he knew what he was doing out there. It's not my nature to feel sorry for a guy who made a career of getting hit in the face and then ends up with a brain that doesn't work, but you can't see Ali without feeling kind of bad for the guy.

You know how A&E as a Biography episode queued up for anyone famous who dies? Ali just replaced Gerald Ford's video cassette at the top of that stack.