The Horror of Hogmanay – Why The Night I Used To Look Forward To All Year Now Fills Me With Dread
I didn’t go out last night. Nothing unusual in that. I don’t go out most nights. But last night – as I’m sure you’re all aware- was New Year’s Eve. Not so very long ago, a team of wild horses couldn’t have dragged me in the direction of my sofa on Hogmanay night. Sick or injured, unemployed or due at work the following morning, I would be out on the town.
I say not so very long ago but I really mean “not so very long ago in my head”. I am of that age where I think that 1990 wasn’t all that long ago. The sort of bloke who was shocked when they re-made Total Recall because, to his thinking, the one starring Sharon Stone and Arnold Schwarzenegger only came out a week last Tuesday.
So, not so very long ago (in my head) I loved going out on New Year’s Eve. I loved the drinking and the noise and the gaggles of scantily clad girls skittering around on their unfeasibly high heels. I loved the fact that there’d always be an entertaining fight to watch. Or, if you were lucky and the amount of booze you’d taken on board had made you feel “tasty” enough, a fight to get involved in yourself. If you got really lucky, of course, there’d be a fight between two of the aforementioned scantily clad ladies. A bewitching flurry of hair pulling, smeared lipstick and flashing knickers. If they happened to be wearing knickers.
When I was in my twenties – which as we have already established was around about a week last Tuesday- I loved all that stuff. Though don’t get me wrong. I haven’t developed an aversion to scantily clad young ladies. It’s just I now prefer to view them in the summer while I sit on the steps of the town library, drinking in the sunshine and eating a sandwich.
I no longer relish the scantily clad ladies lurching at me with amorous intent, reeking of Pernod, puke and cheap perfume. Though I would still watch a catfight if there was one going on.
I no longer wade into bar room brawls. Though this is mildly ironic because I practice lots of martial arts nowadays and as a consequence am considerably better at fighting than I was when I was in my twenties.
I do still get drunk though. I got drunk last night, but I did this on my sofa sitting next to my missus, Hayley. We watched the 1938 version of Robin Hood. The one starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. Then we played a game which tested Hayley’s theory that a crucial plot twist always turns up exactly one hour into any film, no matter how long the film is.
Turned out to be a pretty good theory as it happens. Doesn’t work on Stanley Kubrick movies though. They always sort of come in two parts and therefore have a bit of a distorted story arc.
Then we went to bed, having had a far more entertaining evening than we would have done if we’d gone out on the town. I didn’t go out last night, and you know what? I’m really very comfortable with that fact.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2015