Party monsters

As we come upon one of our two great drinking holidays of the year (the other being St. Patrick’s), it’s common to hear people grumble about “amateur night,” that they won’t be doing anything for New Year’s because of all the “amateurs” who are out and about and must be avoided for unnamed reasons. Well, that’s all super and swell, but the one thing you can guess about those “party pros” who turn their noses up at the thought of clinking glasses with the lowly “amateurs”: a high percentage of them will be in bed by 10:30 on the night of the 31st.

There’s nothing wrong with finally getting bored of the ritual of getting brutally bombed to celebrate an annual and completely arbitrary milestone in our system of timekeeping, especially when that ritual regularly concluded with you waking up with odd-looking, crazy people in your bed.

But for those who are about to party hardy on New Year’s, I salute you. Because, let’s face it, if you’re out there in the streets of downtown Reno at midnight, swillin’ up a storm and whooping your head off at all the fireworks, you ain’t no amateur, pal, you are a stone-cold party MONSTER.

All of us graybeard veterans who laugh at those participating in “amateur night” have frequently backed out of New Year’s bashes because of the concern that we may drive straight into a DUI checkpoint at 2 a.m., which then naturally brings to mind the grim scenario of kicking off the new year in a gross old smelly evil drunk tank. That possibility is enough to keep us near the homestead for the night, and frankly, that’s not the strategy of a party monster, but more the strategy of the party fraidy-cat. Those of you who are actually STOKED about New Year’s, who are excited to get out there to your favorite bar and tie one on for auld lang syne, all checkpoints be damned, well, that kind of gung ho attitude strikes me as bold, carefree and definitely UN-amateur.

Those of us who now think an acceptable effort on New Year’s is to hang at Bob and Betty’s house until midnight, then grab the jackets and streak for home at 12:03 so we can be enjoying wild erotic spooning under the electric blanket at 12:25, we obviously have lost our tolerance for getting financially gouged so as to score the free party dunce cap and the free bottle of sparkling wine that’s better suited for cleaning truck batteries. You who delight in the honking zaniness of the classic party favor, well, I would assert that somebody who gets off on blowing that damn thing over and over until it’s shredded from too much furling and unfurling is the antithesis of “amateur.”

Just remember, party monsters, Nevada is now a point-oh-eight state. It’s safe to say that somewhere out there on the 31st, that two-tenths drop will mean a few more reckless souls will spend the night in the Parr Boulevard Hilton.