Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feature: 'New Year's Peeve' for Biscuit Magazine Issue 15

I really hate fireworks.

Read the article online here

Let’s try a little experiment. I want you to picture a New Year’s Eve memory. Just go with the first that comes to mind. While we’re sharing, here’s mine. It was 2009, at one to midnight on the last day of December. At that moment, I stopped throwing up on a stranger’s porch and was swept up in the romantic New Year’s Eve kiss I’d been hoping for. Whether that anecdote is somewhat sweet or wholly revolting depends on your point of view. What’s a given is New Year’s Eve ending in disappointing laced with regret wrapped in vomit. You’ll have a better take-home memory of ringing in 2012 if you save yourself the jacked up taxi fares and fall asleep at 10:30pm watching re-runs of Jersey Shore. ‘But, Anna’, you say, ‘I’ve never thrown up on my own shoes’. Fine, fancy pants. Here’s a few perfectly valid reasons to boycott the celebrations.


Someone in your party has convinced you it’s
crucial to arrive early to secure one of the
‘good spots’. You’ve been perched on a picnic
blanket for so long your bottom has gone
numb by the time the crowds stream in.
They stand on your blanket; they knock over
your drink. They make tutting noises at you
that say, “how selfish, taking up that much
space, oh my” until you’re so uncomfortable
you stand up. Right when the ‘big event’ is
about to begin, a loving father takes his child
onto his shoulders. The firework display
begins and you crane your neck but all you can
see is a faint glow emanating from behind this
kid’s head. There are no ‘good spots’. Your
only other viewing option is to rock up with
fifteen minutes to spare, weave through
sticky throngs of bodies, lose your friends
and go hoarse from screaming down the
phone. “Where? Where are you? Just text
me. TEXT ME. I’m by the tree. TREE!” You
find each other, tired and hungry, having missed
the whole shebang.
Do you want to bore adults and frighten
animals and small children? Get some
fireworks into your New Year’s plans.
Alternatively, hold a lighter to your eye line,
crack ice with your teeth and shout ‘boom’
for fifteen minutes.


Someone once declared the way you ring
in the New Year dictates the nature of
the twelve months ahead. Not only is that
the stupidest suggestion, but it’s one that’s
become extremely popular. Why do
we preen and plan for this one night of
debauchery above the other 364? It’s an
inner desperation to prove we’ve either had
an amazing, successful, positive-adjectiveladen
year, or that we at least have one coming
up. Add to that Hollywood’s insistence
on counting down to midnight in every
NYE scene, as glitter falls from the sky and
everyone at the event neatly partners up for
a smooch. You can’t top that. If you try, you’ll
just get a shard of plastic confetti in your eye
and the number of someone you’ll never call.

Many cultures celebrate the New Year by
making blessings and wishes for good fortune,
prosperity and health. There are offerings or
ceremonies to promote abundance in the
year ahead, prayers and salutations. Mexican
tradition is to eat a grape for each of twelve
chimes counting down to midnight, making
a wish upon each one. Spanish superstition
says it’s good luck to purchase a new pair of
red undies to wear on the night, and in
the Philippines you might throw coins and
wear polka dots to attract wealth. Modern
Australian tradition is to make a large monetary
offering to the beverage Gods, and wish upon
a taxi home. What we seem to forget is, by
drinking away all our loose change, there's
a 100 per cent chance we’ll be starting the
year off poorer.


You can’t wear these to any New Year’s
celebration except the one on your couch.
‘Nuff said.

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