The ball has dropped (peculiar practice), the fireworks have fired, the kisses have been exchanged (though none by me aw, poor Ryan I know) and 2006 has arrived. I trust that everyone had a wonderful time and did just enough naughty things to make the night exciting, but not quite enough to make the evening too exciting.
As for me, I managed to do just enough naughty things to make the evening mildly interesting and then had it turn, inexplicably, far too exciting, to rather mar my start to MMVI. Myself and a friend had been to a party, where some mirth and merriment were partaken of, and had begun to walk home down High Street. The way was long and, needless to say, one or two pit stops were necessary along the route to, um, fortify ourselves against the winter weather and sobriety. Eventually, we had passed the last of the (open) drinking establishments on our route and started the walk home in earnest.
As we were walking down the pavement (sidewalk, for you Americans) some people in a car shouted at us as they were trying to get in to the drive through lane of Wendy's. I don't fully remember, but I imagine we shouted back that we were just walking down the sidewalk. Anyhow, we walked on and in a hundred yards or so had forgotten about it and were continuing our way down the street. It was at about this point that it all went a bit pear shaped. Somebody shouted something and I turned around just in time to get punched in the face which wasn't terribly fun. At this point in the story I would love to expound upon the great fight that I put up and how you should see the other guy and all that, but that would all be bollocks. The truth of the matter is by the time I realised some complete stranger was attacking me, he'd already hit me once or twice more and then he'd run away down the street. I'd like to put my lack of resistance purely down to intoxication, but I imagine a large part was just due to the fact that I'm pretty shit at fighting a quality I've obtained from years of not being in fights, I hasten to add.
Whereas I only ended up with slightly bruised pride and a mascara-esque looking shading above my left eye, my friend fared rather worse. A combination of the sucker punch and his head's ensuing collision with the ground left him unconscious for a short time. And although he got up and walked home okay (well okay-ish) his head hurt so much that yesterday he went to the hospital, where they detained him overnight due to some internal bleeding. Hopefully the folks at the hospital are just being over-cautious, as you'd like them to be in the case of head injuries, and maybe tomorrow he'll be able to be released back in to the world (or should that be wild?).
All in all it is a pretty shitty, and now somewhat serious and sombre way to start the New Year. I trust you all had more fun and less excitement.
(Oh and by the way, I did get to Trader Joe's, but only on New Year's Eve, after I'd cleaned all the broken glass from the back of the car. The highlight of the trip was a severely disabled man with a Stephen Hawking-like electronic speech device repeatedly saying, "You're the one with the pissy face". I have no idea of the context, but it made me smile. All of which is somewhat incongruous with head injuries and hospitals)