"It's unpleasantly like being drunk."
"What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"
"You ask a glass of water."
-Ford Prefect to Arthur Dent (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
I was going to use the ubiquitous. "Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1999" quote by Prince, but I think the Hitchhikers one is so much more fitting.
Some people spent months, even years planning out New Years, 1999. The "Millennium". The end of the Century (sort of). The start of the Twenty-first Century. A momentous event nonetheless.
Most people feared the whole Y2K thing, terrorist attacks and the general mass hysteria that had been drummed into our heads for the last year. I feared sitting at home alone drinking a beer by myself when the ball dropped. It didn't really matter to me if the lights all went out, or if the world went to hell, I just wanted someone to share it all with. If not a woman, then at leat to be out with my friends.
My friends (Juan, Tony, Mikey and Drew) and I had been searching around for a while to find a place to go, a party, something, when we got word that two clubs we go to were having New Years Parties. Both clubs were charging $100 per ticket, both offered open bar until 3 am, a free buffet, party favors and free breakfast at 4 am. And they both had overnight permits to keep the party going until 7 am.
We weighed the options and finally decided on Chelsea Street. We knew the bartenders there, and liked the music Chelsea played better than the music at the other club. Also, Chelsea was only a few doors down from another club called Zacharys and the two clubs were teaming up for the night. One ticket got you into both clubs, which meant twice the people wandering in and out all night.
Originally, all five us were going to party in the new Millennium together, but Drew found out he had to work. So we were down to four.
Then, a week before the big night, Mikey got invited to a party at someone's house, and canceled. So we were down to three.
Juan had to work that night, but assured us that he would be out by 8 pm, and would have plenty of time to get to the club before Midnight.
In anticipation of a fun night, we went shopping. I bought a funky blue shiny shirt for the party (something I haven't done in a long time), Juan bought a new suit, and Tony bought a new shirt / tie combo thing at our urging. Tony has a habit of wearing Camoflague shorts and Rally T-shirts when we go out most nights, so we were nervous about what he would wear.
On the big night, Tony and I met in the parking lot at about 10 pm. We went into the party and started drinking and mingling. I had made Tony promise to actually drink a little more than usual that night, it being a special event and all, but it didn't really work.
Usually, Tony will nurse one beer for hours. Apparently, he got drunk once and didn't like the way it felt. Aww. Poor baby.
We each slipped the bartender some money as soon as we had staked out our spot. Even though it was open bar, it never hurts to tip anyway to ensure faster service and stiffer drinks. Besides, she knew us, and we didn't want to seem cheap. After that, whenever we would walk up to the bar, and even though it was five people deep, we got our drinks first. Remember, always tip your bartender!
In the time it took Tony to finish two beers, I had finished four Jack and Cokes. And since we had tipped early, my J&C's were heavy, and topped with Chambord, making them Cherry Jack and Cokes. Mmm.
At 11:30 Juan finally showed up. He had been stuck at work, and barely made it in time. Needless to say, he was pretty upset at having to stay at work so long, so he went straight for the bar. He ordered two Margaritas right off the bat and started getting 'faced.
(Posing with Tony)
The bartender knew he was with us, so she topped his drinks with Couvasier. He left a nice tip and wandered away double fisting these heavily alcohol laden drinks while he looked for me and Tony.
(The gang all together) (Kiss prints on my cheek)
We found each other, and in the next half hour, Juan must have finished off five of those heavy Margaritas with Couvasier floating on top. And that's a lot of alcohol for anyone to be drinking in such a short amount of time.
(Juan with his two drinks) (Juan still two-fisting it)
We sang along to Prince's "1999", toasted at Midnight, and continued to drink. Needless to say, Juan got pretty drunk, then he disappeared. When he came back a few minutes later, he wasn't wearing his suit jacket. We assumed he either checked it or dropped it off in his car.
(Molesting the locals)
Juan then proceeded to walk up to every cute girl in the place, whether she was with a man or not, pull the girl away, and kiss her on the lips. Then he would walk away and look for another girl to molest.
I just stood there with my jaw hanging open in shock that no one had kicked his ass. After he kissed one girl, he walked past me, looked at me with his heavy-lidded, drunk eyes, and said, "It's good to be black." That became his Mantra for the night. He would walk up to a girl, kiss her, get nasty looks from the man, mutter, "It's good to be black," then walk on to the next girl. I guess since Juan is black, the guys in the bar were afraid of him. If they only knew that he could barely even stand up.
At about 2:30 or so, Tony left. He had to pack up his stuff to head down to Fort Knox Kentucky for Officer's Training with the Army, so it was now down to two of us left.
Juan kept drinking like a fish, and I switched to water at about 3 am. I know how much I can handle before I pass out, and thankfully, with all the dancing that night, we did burn off some of the alcohol, but not enough for Juan.
I ate the free breakfast, and even tried to get Juan to have some, but he was practically passed out by then, and couldn't, or wouldn't eat it, no matter how I tried to caox him.
At 4 am we had to leave Chelsea and continue the party at Zacharys The party would continue there until morning. I guess they only paid for one over night permit.
Juan wasn't looking too good, but Zacharys was still serving their breakfast, so he finally ate a little food, and switched to water as well. He made it through half of his breakfast and then excused himself to hit the rest room. I guarded his breakfast plate from rabid busboys, hell bent on throwing away every plate in the place. I almost had to fight with some of them, assuring them that my friend was coming right back to finish it.
Twenty minutes later I started to worry about Juan. That's a long time to spend in a men's room.
I walked to the bathroom, abandoning his breakfast to the bus boys, and asked if anyone was passed out in the stall. The attendant and the other people in there all looked at me like I was crazy. But a guy in one of the stalls called out, "There's someone snoring in the stall next to me."
I walked over and banged on the door calling out Juan's name. He finally answered, and a minute later he emerged from the stall looking even worst than before.
I walked him to the sink and told him to wash his face. The attendant saw us and called out, "Hey, man, whatever you do, don't puke in the sink!"
Juan nodded his head and called back, "Don't worry, I won't."
Then Juan proceeded to puke his guts up in the sink. When he was done, he looked at the attnedant and said, "Sorry."
I dragged him out and found a couch for him to lay on and rest.
Two hours later they closed Zacharys and kicked us out. Juan was still in no condition to drive, and I was pretty tired, so we took a nap in the front seat of my car. And it was cold. Very cold. I didn't turn the car on, so we just slept there for about two hours freezing our butts off with no heat. Juan didn't have a jacket, so I gave him mine (well, one of mine, I wear two jackets in the winter, long story).
(Juan sleeping it off in my car)
At 8 am we woke up and I drove Juan back to his car in another part of the parking lot. He got out, thanked me for everything, walked to his car, turned around, walked back and held up his keys. The door key was snapped in half.
"Did you just break that?" I asked.
"No, that's how it was when I took it out of my pocket."
Great. He said he had another set in his house, so we took the 40 minute drive back to my house, and slept until 2 pm.
We woke up, had breakfast, then drove the 45 minute drive back to Juan's house in Brooklyn. He ransacked his house looking for another set of keys, but after an hour, gave up when he couldn't find any.
So we drove the nearly hour and a half drive back to Chelsea Street.
We tried flagging down a Cop, but that didn't work, and after more than two hours in the parking lot trying to come up with a plan, we went to a nearby store, bought some Duct tape and a sheet of plastic and walked back to his car.
We debated until almost 8 pm before I told him that there was only one way he was getting into the car that night. And that was through his "soon to be broken" window. He finally agreed.
I covered the window with Duct tape to minimize the spraying of glass all over the place, grabbed my crow bar, and got ready to swing.
Juan looked at me and asked, "Can you try and just break a small hole in the window so I can stick my hand in and open the lock?"
"Sure, I'll just hit it lightly towards the bottom." And then I smashed that window with all my might.
Small hole my ass, I shattered that bitch.
Afterwards we taped the plastic over the big hole where the window used to be, and Juan turned to me and asked, "Is this how you thought you'd be spending New Years Day?"
"Sure," I answered, "My New Years Resolution was to break more windows."
So our New Years festivities didn't end until almost 10 pm New Years day, Juan had to get the window fixed, he never found his suit jacket, and has men all over Long Island wanting to kick his ass.
Now that's a New Years to remember.
If you have any questions, E-Mail me. Spat@spat-nospam-cave.com