Auld Land Rhyme

A New Year's poem for you and yours

'Twas the night before New YearsAnd all through the town,
Party guests talked too loudly
While slamming drinks down.

They were well dressed and happy,
Their fortunes aloft,
As all over the city
They gathered to quaff.

Though the Eve was still young
Most were smiley and tight,
Their hair slightly askew,
Their cheeks red, their eyes bright.

Tongues were loosening up
Legs were getting unsteady,
And social faux pas
Were occurring already.

They were not seasoned pros
At imbibing, you see,
And were destined to act

These folks weren't college kids
Or habitual boozers,
Band-guys or writers,
Dysfunctional losers,
But bankers and salesmen
And housewives and such,
Even-keeled types
Who don't party that much.

They'd been all bottled up
Since last winter's soiree,
And they knew they could sleep in
Quite late New Year's Day,
So they wanted to get
Just a little bit crazy,
To mingle and let
Inhibitions get hazy.

They just weren't prepared
For the main event, though,
Like armchair athletes
With no training, and so,
With the help of good whiskey,
And cold beer, and wine,
They were half in the bag
Well before it turned nine.

Mister V.P. got on
With his new C.E.O.,
Never minding the punch
He was itching to throw.

His laughter was forced
And his big smile fake —
He was thinking of money
That he didn't make.

Missus Smith left the shop-talk
To go wash her hands
And drew curious glances
When back from the can.

She saw someone pointing
And spun like a wheel
To see 4 feet of Charmin
Attached to her heel.

The doctor was sure
No one noticed his stare,
Which was glued to the dog groomer's
Svelte derriere.

But one who did see
Was his wife, from afar;
She moved in and suggested
He go start the car.

The young buck had five scotches
And toked a one-hitter,
But didn't get laid
And so soon was quite bitter.

He crashed in the coatroom
And caused quite a stir
When he woke up and yarked
On his cousin's wife's fur.

A nice girl hung out
In the mistletoe's range,
Hoping to be a bit bad
For a change.

Some dude took the hint,
Her lips pursed, and she sighed.

Then his girlfriend walked over
And blackened her eye.

The professor held court
By the Christmas tree's flash.

His speech was quite slurred,
And crumbs swung from his 'stache.

On his way to the cash bar
He stumbled and fell,
And shattered a glass table's top
All to hell.

And so on it went,
Getting worse, getting later,
Folks fighting out front,
People doing "the gator."
The host couple gave up
Long before the ball dropped,
Having set this in motion,
They'd ride till it stopped.

He just let the men argue
About what was said.

She just hid in the kitchen
Massaging her head.

Tomorrow they'd take
All the calls from their friends,
But they'll never headquarter
The shindig again.

Around 2 things wore down
But some stayed until 4,
When the last record played
And the dregs cleared the floor.

They woke up their spouses
Or pulled them away
While they angrily bitched
That they wanted to stay.

So the cabs filled the yard
As the throng loitered there;
Someone puked in the shrubs
While a friend held her hair.

A few morons drove home
Like they do every year;
They'll wake scared the next noon,
Wondering, "How'd I get here?"
New Year's Day will be spent
Watching TV in bed,
Nursing humiliation
And a hammer-filled head.

They'll survive it, of course,
Mend the bridges they burned
To char them 12 months' hence.

Maybe next time they'll learn.

So how do I celebrate
Each year's passing and birth,
If the partiers' follies
Make 10 times their worth?
Oh, you'll find me right in there,
Each hand 'round a beer —
It may be amateur night,
But I've been training all year.

Contact Music Critic Scott Harrell at 813-248-8888, ext. 109, or [email protected].

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