New Year’s Eve is the biggest night of the year for stand up comedy. Tonight there are over a dozen places you can go to have a fancy dinner and watch people tell jokes at you. I personally suggest this one –
It’s nice to be able to have a New Year’s gig close to home. When I was younger my options for New Year’s show’s were always in some far flung Iron Range town and while I do love going out and making with the jokey jokes, New Year’s is my favorite holiday and I enjoy spending it getting completely hammered with my loved ones. Here’s a little story about my drunkest New Year’s Eve ever.
About five years ago I took a New Year’s show in some town about 20 miles west of Saint Cloud. If a show is less than a two hour drive I don’t expect to stay in a hotel but this was New Year’s. I figured one would be ready for me. I called the guy who booked the show on my drive up and asked where I’d be staying. He told me that he didn’t get a hotel room since it was so close to the Twin Cities.
My heart sank. I figured that if I couldn’t get wasted with my friends on New Year’s at least I could get wasted. I said “but… it’s New Year’s. This is the biggest drinking night of the year!” The booker said “sorry, I’m an old guy. I don’t really think about that.” but I wasn’t an old guy and I did. I needed to figure out a plan B.
There was one show at 8PM. I was the opening act so I would be offstage by 8:30. I felt like a dick but asked the booker if I could just be paid out right after my set and leave so I could drive back to the cities and party with my friends. It was poor form but this was New Year's Eve! It's the only holiday that actually matters to a single guy in his mid 20's! I told my jokes, got off stage, collected my pay from the bartender, apologized profusely and ran to my car and drove back home, calling up friends to find out which parties I could hit.
I ended up at the Independent in Uptown. Not my favorite bar by any stretch of the imagination but it had friends and it had booze. After waiting in line (one of the reasons I don’t like that place) and paying a cover fee (hey look, another reason!) I finally found my friends at the bar at 11:15 PM and they were all drunk. I, on the other hand, was stone cold sober since I just drove from Saint Cloud. I decided to play catch up.
Here’s the problem with playing catch up. I drank at a much faster pace than everybody else trying to “catch up” to them and after “catching up” to them I quickly “ran right the fuck past” them and eventually “lapped” them. What was once the only sober guy at the party was now the drunkest.
This became clear pretty quick. All over the bar were giant helium balloons. I plucked one off a railing, bit a hole right by the tied-off end of the opening and sucked in a big lungful to do the always popular “hey look at how high my voice is” gag (party classic. Second only to the “lampshade hat” bit). After nearly draining all of the giant balloon one of my friends points out that all the balloons seem to be filled with glitter. A couple minutes later I cough into my hand and see a few flecks of mucous covered plastic glitter. I briefly contemplate going to the ER for my possible case of sparkly lung but decide to ride it out and keep drinking.
As the bar closes everybody pours out onto the street and I’m standing on the corner of Lake and Hennepin waiting for a friend to pull up with a car. I see a few people cross the street on a red light and scream out “HEY! THAT’S JAYWALKING! I AM PLACING YOU UNDER CITIZEN’S ARREST!” The criminals proceeded to keep walking without even acknowledging my authority. I turn to the police officer that’s standing right next to me and slur “Nobody respects the law anymore, man.” He just rolled his eyes and probably silently prayed that I didn’t take a swing at anybody so he wouldn’t have to haul my drunk ass in. I screamed “CITIZEN’S ARREST!” at a few more jaywalkers and eventually just started trying to place random innocents under citizen’s arrest. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I eventually pile into a car with my friends and we all end up at my friend Mitch’s apartment. As we spill out of the car into the alley I slip on some ice and fall right on my ass. I proclaim that I am placing myself under citizens arrest and then puke a bunch of glitter behind a dumpster.
The next morning we all went out for brunch, I had the worst hangover of my life and I haven’t played “catch up” since.
God bless us, everyone!