New Year’s Eve – Your guide to drinking and delving.

Not that we need excuses to tip a few, but New Year’s Eve is usually on the festive end of the spectrum, so it’s an ideal time to get pickled. Naturally, everyone spends most of the time leading up to that first bubbly warning us about things we should avoid. Yes, we’re all aware that we shouldn’t drink and drive. Nor should we drink and purge–before midnight, at least. These go without saying. Nobody bothers to tell us things we should do. Well, allow me.

The first drink you order is critical. Find an attractive bartender, order a simple drink (something on the rocks, excluding peach schnapps), pay cash, and leave a 100% tip. This will set you up nicely for the rest of the evening when bar-blockers impede your path. Subsequent orders should be placed on a credit card, and the size of the final tip should depend upon the return on your initial investment.

Always carry a portable bar. Men, those inside pockets on your jackets are ideal for flasks and tiny bottles. Ladies, depending on the size of your purse, you could get an entire family inebriated. I recommend avoiding anything under 80-proof. You want the best bang for your unspent-at-the-bar buck. Clear liquids work best. I’d go with vodka, gin, rum, or tequila. Every time your beverage drops to 50%, hit the restroom stall and crack open one of those bad boys. Each trip saves you $10. That shit adds up.

Make sure you eat. My recent favorite is warm dates, stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon. If the host is unsophisticated, simply avoid anything with spinach and you should be fine. I’d avoid raw oysters and clams too, just in case you lose count of shots you’ve done, and wind up kneeling on a porcelain porch.

Hang around same-gender people who are older and less attractive as well as opposite-gender people who are lovely. This will give a wonderfully false impression, and make people wonder what’s so great about you. Curiosity opens many doors, seemingly closed by genetics.

Most importantly, you must position yourself very close to someone you’d like to kiss at midnight. It’s best if that someone is sans spouse, and a notch above your usual conquests. It’s a new year; you must have high ambition. If she’s cute and slightly teary-eyed while forcing a smile during the countdown, she’s an ideal target. She’s probably sad that she doesn’t have a special someone, and her friends are annoying the tinkle out of her with all the PDA with their new boos. Get close when the count is at ten, make eye contact at five, and lean in for a smooch at zero. Cover your nads with your left hand, just in case.

After the ball drops, you have an important decision to make. If you’re stuck driving, it’s best to leave at 12:01 or plan on sleeping in your car. If not, get your drunk on. Dancing will help the alcohol take effect sooner. Raise your hands up in the air, but check your armpits for sweat and deodorant stains before you do. This is also an ideal time for drug experimentation, especially if you have a hotel room. Begin rehearsing your first excuse of 2013, “I don’t recall anything except that I was quite drunk at the time.”

Happy New Year!

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Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.
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