While watching the last moments of '08 slip by
Tossing back cocktails, forlorn and cockeyed.
At the stroke of twelve, hugging all with delight
Men in tuxedos, and leggy ladies in dresses skintight.
We find our way home, somewhat assembled quasi,
After self-medicating from our host's ample supply.
We crawl under the sheets, to avoid the daylight,
Recollecting the night's actions with bleary hindsight.
But by making resolutions while a barfly,
We're bound to set standards so high we can't try.
So in future, make decisions in sober daylight.
Instead of dim-witted they'll be dynamite.
Expectations get lowered, trousers get lowered, interest rates have been lowered, with meds our blood pressure and anxiety levels get lowered, the drinking age in some states has been lowered, and our pensions and 401(k)s have also been lowered.
But on New Year's Eve like clockwork millions of people still insist on freezing in lowered temperatures huddled in massive crowds in New York City's Times Square as they watch in amazement as the gigantic crystal ball too is lowered.
But it's not just in the hustle and bustle of big cities that things get lowered in celebration of the new year. Take for instance Bethlehem, Pennsylvania's 25-pound fiberglass illuminated Peep; or Easton, Maryland's grotesquely enormous imitation of a steamed red crab; or Lebanon, Pennsylvania's seven-and-a-half-foot "fit-to-be-eaten" bologna; or Mount Olive, North Carolina's three-foot tall shimmering pickle; or New Orleans' papier-mâché gumbo pot; or Plymouth, Wisconsin's super huge, yet thankfully artificial, hunk-o-cheese; or Port Clinton, Ohio's 20-foot 600-pound fiberglass walleye; or Raleigh, North Carolina's 1,250-pound copper acorn; and let's not forget Key West, Florida's local Drag Queen in her glittering six-foot tall, red, high-heeled shoe. Everywhere, it seems, things get lowered to ring in the New Year.
Descending "stuff" aside, many people look to the new year as an uplifting fresh start. But for most of us, what it really becomes is a fresh start to old habits. (You know how it goes in one year and out the other?) This year, instead of New Year's Eve being a fresh start to last year's bad habits, how about it becoming a fresh start to freshness?
As many of you already know New Year's Eve or not baking soda sparkles like a freshly fallen first snow. (Somewhat appropriate considering that here in the eastern portion of the United States, it's winter.) White, powdery and soft to the touch, odorless and inert upon inspection, baking soda most commonly loiters in the fridge behind leftovers, lunchmeat and lettuce. Not just great as a refrigerator deodorizer, it's remarkably useful when sprinkled, scattered, spread, strewn, or kept in your closet, kitty litter, crisper or carport. (And you're probably wondering to yourself "Hmmm? What's this got to do with New Year's Eve?")
On New Year's Eve, while the rest of the world is lowering wedges of cheese, copper acorns, blackened gumbo pots, illuminated Peeps, shimmering pickles, steaming crabs, supersized bolognas, walleyes and yes even Drag Queens, many of us blindly lower our standards...especially while inebriated, and belly up to the all-you-can-eat buffets oblivious to the affordable booze and cheap chow that we're consuming.
So in the first days of the new year when you're feeling anything but fresh after all that holiday partying baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) works great for that "morning after" bellyache. Just mix one quarter teaspoon of baking soda into a quarter cup of water in your choice of a freshly rinsed highball, lowball, wineglass, champagne flute, martini glass, shot glass, brandy snifter, or beer mug. Give it a swirl, take a deep breath, toss back the swig, wait for that inevitable refreshing belch, and greet the spanking-new year with a smile.
By the way, every December 30 is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day.
Happy New Year! (And yes...I really did write the poem.)
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