By Chris Gay
As we bid adieu to another year, it falls to us writers/ humorists to throw something out there to elicit a laugh. After all, we don’t make anything useful, such as digital toaster ovens, so we might as well toss some words together for your amusement.
At any rate, here we are. Once again, the earth has completed its annual 365 day journey around the sun. The unspoken truth is however, that it does this every day. For instance on December 4th, it had been a year since the prior December 4th. But no one cares about that. (Except, of course, those who were born on December 4th. But it’s not very likely that that’s you.)
So now we all look back and take inventory of what went wrong, what went right, and how we might change things for the better. Also, we buy gym memberships that will be used less than an avocado juicer purchased while watching a 3 a.m. infomercial.
This is the time of year in which we make numerous promises to ourselves that have zero chance of being fulfilled. That’s okay, though. No one fulfills them. If it makes you feel better we all go through the motions. However if it helps, just set the bar very low. For instance, I’ve never smoked in my life. So I resolve not to smoke. Simple. But since I love junk food, I tend to avoid making those kind of unreasonable resolutions.
I also resolve not to listen to rap music or heavy metal, cliff dive off the Rock of Gibraltar, snorkel down to the Titanic’s wreck, or drive 580 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats. See? It’s easy-that’s if you know how to play the game.
Chinese Take-Out Food
On those New Year‘s Eves in which you find yourself either divorced or too lazy and/or uninspired to go out, Chinese take-out food is essential. Nothing goes better with a DVD, followed by whatever hack hairdo is hosting ‘Dick Clark‘s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve’, than a sea of sweet and sour chicken. Plus, while you’re waiting for your order, you can usually help yourself to a generously provided, free Styrofoam cup of tea, which completely wipes out any calories you’re about to consume. *
Live TV Specials
If you do stay home this New Year’s Eve, there’s likely to be a slew of year-end specials featuring untalented singers that, if you’re in your 30’s or 40’s, you’ve never heard of. Or if you have, you could not care less about. (Though a few of the divas may be hot enough to justify some cursory viewing.)
Your best bet is to either throw in a DVD or watch whatever’s still taking up space on your DVR. Then around 11:50 p.m., switch over to watch the countdown. Though many stations will show it, who is kidding who? You’re going to go back to the network you grew up watching this Times Square spectacle occur on, ABC, with or without Dick Clark. (RIP) If you don’t remember doing that, you’re probably not reading this blog, anyway.
At some point during the evening, you’re likely to reminisce on long ago promises made to yourself to attend in person the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve. Don’t screw with yourself. If you were born during Reagan’s first term or earlier, it’s just not happening. Who needs all of that hassle, anyway? Especially if you live in, like, Iowa.
Some of you may wish to celebrate the Earth’s most recent revolution with a bit ‘o the bubbly. If so, more power to you. I’m a vodka man myself. If you’re home, or out with a group that includes a designated driver, whatever floats your boat. In point of fact it’s water that floats my boat; but there’s much less fun in consuming H2O.
When you awaken late morning (or more likely early afternoon) the new tradition is to watch the National Hockey League’s signature game, the outdoor Winter Classic. Or you can catch one of the TBS showings of 24 Hours of a Christmas Story. No, wait. Scratch that. I got my holidays mixed up. Give me a break; as I edit this it’s after 4 a.m. And also, May.
Technically, I’m an Agnostic Catholic. But I did attend Catholic school, and (blatant plug alert) wrote a theological, paranormal thriller novel. (Please see the even more blatant reference in my Author Biography.) So I’m fully authorized to delve into this topic with sarcasm.
You may not realize it, but our system of measuring contemporary time begins with the birth of Jesus Christ. It goes: B.C. = Before Christ, A.D. = Anno Domino, A.C. = Air Conditioning.
Having never taken Latin, I can only assume that the middle one translates to After Domino’s, & references how my early Christian brethren and sister-en ordered their more recent pizzas.
Anyway, what we’re actually celebrating each January is the number of years that have passed since Jesus’s birth. The only issue there is that He was almost certainly born in the spring. But that’s okay. Like all good writing, it got cleaned up during the editing process.
Plus it’s more convenient this way. Since Earth is over 4 billion years old, if we counted from the actual beginning of time imagine how long it’d take to write out personal checks. Not to mention the looks you’d get in the express line at the supermarket. I guess it will become an issue for those people living here in 8 Billion A.D., but who cares? That’ll be their problem.
Just go with it. Enjoy the day, be responsible, and be safe. And if you sleep through it all, that’s okay. Super Bowl Sunday is only five weeks away.
* I’m not even close to a doctor, so there is a slight chance that my statement is wholly and completely inaccurate
What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.
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As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.
Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.
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Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. For 7 years he wrote and broadcast a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and has written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance, Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, (an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective with a spectacular twist) and four humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm & Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota. He’s written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.
Hope Springs (Barfly)