By Tom Myers
If you believe that I am just a regular man about the town on New Year’s Eve, sitting in an elegant club in a major city, sipping champagne at the drop of midnight while having a woman on each arm laughing at everything I say, then I’m sorry to disappoint. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not for lack of trying. I am paranoid about partygoers who don’t know the first rule of partying, which is you have to be responsible enough to bring along a designated driver, someone whose idea of a good time is not to wind up in an emergency room. This past New Year’s weekend was met with the possibility of – you guessed it – frozen precipitation. This weather would have made driving so perilous that the drivers who aren’t driving slow and swerving around the road due to intoxication are driving slow and swerving around the road due to icy conditions. It’s very hard to tell the difference between the two.
I spent this past New Year’s Eve at my sister’s place in Towson, as I have done the past few new years. Why my sister’s place in Towson and not some happening shindig, you ask? Driving from Fallston, I take a series of back roads to get there. These are back roads that nobody else knows about, so I am not going to tell you which they are. If I do tell you which roads they are, then everybody will be using them. Then I will have to find other roads. These are my roads and to me, they are so secure that no one else is allowed to use them at least not when I’m on them because I’m avoiding people who don’t know how to drive under the influence of either alcohol or freezing rain.
The thing that worries me about celebrating with the general public on New Year’s Eve is not so much the threat of the mixture of rain and ice, but the abundance of – you guessed it – alcohol. I do enjoy the occasional drink. I am not as heavy a drinker as I used to be, but then again I’m not a prude when it comes to alcohol. You know these prudes, the same people who say, “Mister, I don’t drink alcohol because my body is a temple.” Well, sir, your body may be a temple, but I think of my body as a church and every once in a while, it’s time for Communion.
Thanks to New Year’s, there are people on this planet who start and end their year completely blotto. Having performed at over a hundred comedy clubs, bars, restaurants, Knights of Columbus halls, moose lodges and fire halls, I have enough experience in dealing with these people. These are habitual drinkers. For the most part, they are controlled and they know their limit when it comes to alcohol consumption and their limits. Okay, I take part of that back. They at least pretend to know their limit. The smart ones have the foresight to purchase or rent their home near the venue where they usually pull up a bar stool or they know someone who lives near their favorite watering hole to be able to hand their keys to the bartender and stumble their way home. The thing that worries me the most is the people who only go out and party only on nights like New Year’s Eve. In my mind, they only not know how to party, they don’t even care!
It wouldn’t be so bad if these amateur partiers were limited to coming out only on New Year’s Eve, but unfortunately they come out often. Their presence can be felt whenever anyone steps into a bar to grab a drink to figure out how to deal with their home life or their job, only to have their concentration interrupted because Becky and her friends are going out to celebrate her 30th birthday. I hate to break it to you, Becky and Company, but when you are being generally disruptive in such a fashion that you believe all the attention has to be on your group, then you are the reason people get into bar fights.
My generation is on the verge of doing many great things. Previous generations have ended slavery, given men and women the right to vote and fought off tyrannical regimes threatening to take over Europe and Asia. My generation has the ability to expand on the accomplishments of those from the past, but I already know that we have blown it. We laid the groundwork for being the next great generation and then blew it the moment someone invented the Jagerbomb. For those who have no idea what this, the Jagerbomb is a mixture of Jagermeister, an alcoholic beverage, and Red Bull, an energy drink. Bathtub gin and moonshine have nothing on this one. It may not be a love potion, but the Jagerbomb can cause both the liver and heart to spontaneously combust at the same time. It would probably be a healthier alternative if you took a funnel, shoved it up your ass and open a beer tap directly over the funnel. My opinion of the Jagerbomb is that it is one of the worst tasting drinks I have ever had in my life. The first time I tasted one, I immediately wished that I had been there when it was invented. Someone should have done anything to prevent its existence.
My generation will also go down in history for as the generation who invented a game known as Beer Pong. What is the object of this game? The object is to get your opponent on the other side of a card table to consumer more beers than you by throwing a ping pong ball into a cup of beer. If you get the ping pong ball into the cup of beer, the opposing player must consume the entire contents of the cup. If you throw the ball and miss, then you have to do a shot of God knows what – a Jagerbomb, probably. The thing that gets me is that the ping pong ball, having bounced around the floor as they do, is cleaned off when it is dunked in a cup of water, which doesn’t exactly stay clean over the course of the evening’s festivities. I find it strange that women will have no qualms about drinking a cup of beer that had a ping pong ball washed with dirty water floating in it, but turn me down when I ask them out on a date. What does a dirty ping pong ball have that I don’t have? I’m sure I have a better personality than the ping pong ball. I’m sure the ping pong ball does not possess the sense of humor that I have. The only thing that I might have in common with a ping pong ball is that since it bounces around a bar floor, it has an equal chance as I do of contracting herpes.
I once had the pleasure of doing comedy in Westminster, Maryland, where it was a few opening comics, me headlining and then a beer pong tournament commencing once the comedy show was over. I have performed for audiences of varying degrees from appreciative to indifferent. People impatient to get a beer pong game started are animals of such a different breed that they don’t even register on my audience appreciation scale. Let’s just say, I didn’t have the women fawning all over me after the show. I suppose the ping pong ball was in a better mood that night anyway.
So, if you’re reading this, I’m glad you survived yet another night drinking in the New Year. If you opted to mix Red Bull with an alcoholic beverage and/or play Beer Pong, I’m glad you left me alone to observe this holiday in peace and quiet.