There’s nothing more inherently Irish than telling everyone you hate heading out for New Year’s Eve and then being the drunkest man in town that night. Barry weighs in, whatever good that does!
Me: Well, Barry? You all set for New Years? Are you heading out on the town?
Barry: Are you gone soft in the head? You have to be a special type of deluded to actually want to go out for New Year’s Eve. It’s one of the messiest nights going! Nothing but hardy lads and young wans absolutely slaughtered, making a show of themselves and making the night a chore for everyone else! You have to tell everybody that you’re sick of heading out on the busiest night of the year and that you’re looking for a house party or an intimate dinner with a loved one. Then you bump into the same eejits when you’re out and buy each other shots!
Me: You have it sussed. New Years can’t be that bad? You could be talking about any Saturday night in Cork to be fair.
Barry: You’re not wrong, but New Years is a different beast. There’s a strange tension in the air after the antics that have taken place between Stephen’s Day and the 30th. Everyone has been in a perpetual state of drunkness and nobody really knows what day it is. They’re told it’s New Year’s Eve and so they go out to celebrate. There might be fights in town and there might be peace in town. There’ll be shapes thrown but they’ll be half-shapes. More like shadow boxing, preparing for the big fight that may never come. We are all but specks of dust in this cosmic wind, carried along from new year to new year with no knowledge of our future. Powerless.
Me: Jaysus, Barry. Are you ok?
Barry: Ah, I get pensive at the turn of the year is all. Wondering if I’m after wasting another year away doing feck all but then I see Pauric Joyce down the pub and I feel better again. That prick says every year that he’s not going out for New Years because ‘it sets a bad precedent for the following few months’. Down then conducting verses of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ on top of the bar. Sure he was barred twice in the last three years for making indentations in the corner of the bar. He’s not a light fella as you know.
Anyways, it’s just the falsities and niceties and the resolutions that nobody keeps. Why can’t people just admit that they’re going to smoke some cigarettes and drink in January and consume the exact same amount of meat as they did last year?
Me: It’s just a way of people feeling good about themselves and about their plans for the new year.
Barry: Ah, away with that now. People shouldn’t be forced to give up anything. Take up reading more and exercising more and the rest will follow. Don’t punish yourself before the year has already started!
Me: Any resolutions yourself, Bar?
Barry: Allow myself to be guilt-free when I avoid amadáns in the street that do be asking me personal questions.
Me: Happy New Year.
Barry: Many happy returns.