I caught up with a group of old workmates just before Christmas and couldn’t believe my eyes.
In the 12 months since our last festive fizz, they’d all shrunk – and by a sizeable amount.
“I’ve lost 16 kilos,” cried one gleefully.
“Ten!” said another.
“More than 20,” said a third.
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Bing Crosby – or maybe it was Bob Hope, or perhaps even Jimmy Stewart – on New York’s Fifth Avenue, stumbling in falling snow outside a department store, weighed down by big boxes of bow-wrapped Christmas presents. It’s an image imprinted in my mind, the quintessential picture of New York.
But this year it didn’t snow in New York. And this year, Christmas didn’t come, except for those who celebrated it like members of a shameful secret society.
I’d heard vaguely about this “War on Christmas” in America, where people don’t say “Merry Christmas” but instead say “Happy Holidays”. I didn’t really believe it, because so much of the culture and imagery of Christmas is American.
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If everything went to plan last night, my eyes are feeling a little sensitive to sunlight this morning. If everything went to plan last night, my New Year’s BBQ sangas were successfully digested.
And if everything went to plan last night, what Amy Crutchfield yesterday dubbed the most underrated and overrated night of the year, hopefully you rated the way you brought in the New Year. Whether it involved going to a BBQ like me, or staying home with a glass of pinot, or getting as far away from the crowds as possible or just having a nice night in bed.
Tell us about it. And while you’re at it, tell us what your some of your aspirations are the year ahead. Let’s hope it’s a good one for all of us.
And hey, what’s your best hangover cure? A piece of vegemite toast and a small glass of OJ have always got me back on my feet but as for the rolling waves of nausea… Any suggestions, Punchers? Anyone? *cough*
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New Year’s Eve, it’s such a tempestuous event. Loved so passionately by many, hated by perhaps as many others. And indeed basically ignored by a fair portion too.
Underlying our conflicted emotions about NYE is the fact that it is the calendar equivalent of a cock-tease. The night that can promise so much and deliver so little.
Although I am not immune to it, I am still amused by the pressure the event seems to engender in many of us to be doing at least something, and if young and frisky to be doing something seriously cool, or at least something as good as all your friends, but preferably better.
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Is the end nigh?
After all, 100,000 fish have washed up dead in Arkansas; 5,000 red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky on New Year’s Eve in the community of Beebe, northeast of Little Rock; 500 dead birds were discovered in Louisiana; 100 jackdaw birds were found lying dead in the street in Sweden; several hundred birds found dead in Kentucky; 100s of dead snapper wash up on a beach in New Zealand; 40,000 dead crabs wash up on the beach in the UK; an estimated 200 fish wash up on the shores in Maryland; 100 tonnes of sardines are found on beaches in Brazil.
Finally, in possibly the strangest turn of events of recent times, North Korean state television broadcast the first ever Western movie to be shown in the dictatorial state- and chose Bend It Like Beckham.
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What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Do you even subscribe to that sort of thing?
Mine was to stop drinking so much but I broke that within 24 hours. Must be some kind of record. So, in honour of all those ruined resolutions, here are some suggestions for 2011.
1. NSW Premier Kristina Keneally: Stop lying, or your nose will grow long like Pinocchio’s. If you can’t stop lying, at least attend some of the ethics classes you’re bringing into NSW classrooms. You could learn a thing or two.
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It’s that time of the year again when people begin pieces with “it’s that time of the year again” and tweak the end bit slightly to sound cool and “alternative”.
I refer, of course, to the awkward period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Hands grip wobbling bellies in the aftermath of a national pudding massacre as their owners ponder how they will lose the extra baggage before the all-important New Year’s party.
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As tumbleweeds roll through the corridors of power, federal pollies are working feverishly on their New Year’s resolutions.
If you think they’re all about weight loss or giving up the grog – think again.
Last night, The Punch received a confidential email from a G. Grech containing tantalising details about our dear leaders’ resolutions for 2010. Here’s a small sample.
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