New Year's Eve, like St. Patrick's Day, has evolved into an event with specific traditions and rituals. The amateurs pay inflated cover charges and get sloppy; we pack refrigerators, write some new rules, raid K-Mart's toy section, and get sloppy. Please don't spend New Year's Eve overdressed or paying covers or shouting over a bunch of bankers and the women who love them.
Dec. 31, 2002
Where: Apartment party at the home of Blog Perv Danielle, which was attended by approximately 400 people.
Who: Me; Flop; Danielle; the Watchman; a high school friend who had recently left the Marines; every spiky-haired fraternity alumnus from Long Island
Memorable Events: Attendees take refuge in Danielle's bedroom, therein avoiding frat hell. Flop and the Watchman engage in a heated argument about who is the bigger dictator when it comes to selecting bars. The night later ends at Raccoon Lodge on the Upper East Side.
Lessons learned: Massive parties are difficult; don't fight with Watchman.
Dec. 31, 2003
Where: South Pasadena, Calif., at the home of a college friend. The following day, Michigan plays USC in the Rose Bowl.
Who: Me; Flop and his then-girlfriend Chuggy; Evil Girl and her boyfriend; our host and his future fiancee; numerous other luminaries from college, high school and the workplace.
Memorable Events: Flop demolishes a sawhorse with a shovel; I take joyrides in a wheelchair and spray guests with a garden hose; a middle-aged guy crashes the party to tell us how much he loves the University of Michigan; some low-key romantic intrigue.
Lessons learned: Surprising props, creative destruction, and a crowd limited to friends are essential to a New Year's party.
Dec. 31, 2004
Where: The apartment of Flop's once-and-future roommate Brian.
Who: Me; Flop; Brian; HMQ2K5; other dignitaries.
Memorable Events: Flop and I spend $50 at K-Mart on silly string, plastic swords, balloons, and a tiara for the ladies. Shortly before midnight, we crown HMQ2K5, thus beginning a tradition of granting one lucky lady a royal title for the succeeding year. At around 2 a.m., Brian's then-roommate and I stand on the roof and shout greetings to pedestrians below.
Lessons learned: Every lady wants to be treated like royalty. Never underestimate silly string. When cheerfully greeted by strangers two floors up, some pedestrians feel honored and others grow angry.
Dec. 31, 2005
Where: My apartment.
Who: Me; Flop; Brian; HMQ2K5; Blog Perv Danielle and her boyfriend; various A-listers.
Memorable Events: Bulk purchase of toy guns that shoot ping-pong balls and rubber darts leads to q nightlong shootout. Blog Perv Danielle is crowned Queen of 2006, leading to abbreviation BPDHMQ2K6. A lime fight and the massive release of silly string requires surprisingly difficult, still-ongoing clean-up efforts. Scenes like this:
Lessons learned: Silly string and lime wedges can get behind your bookshelves, petrify, and stay there forever. Flop should have no contact with firearms. Girls like to have their names engraved on trophies.