How I finished 2001 off with a bang.
The guys upstairs had been playing the music loud for a few hours now (something Marilyn Mansonish I didn't recognize) and although Mr Stompy was home Mr Sweary seemed to be out for the evening. Mr Stompy had a couple of friends over for some inebriation and at one point the friends were both out on the back verandah yelling into their mobile phones because Mr Stompy's music was too loud. Soon after that Mr Idiot complained loudly about the cab company phone being engaged (at 10:40pm on New Year's Eve) and how he had failed to hail one in the street after five minutes of standing on the road shoulder. Then I left.
Having discovered most and sundry had other circle plans for the evening I had decided to stroll into town for the jazz festival and to watch the fireworks. So I did. The jazz was jazzy, James Morrison was in town for the event and he was blaring away rather well in between the lyrics. Ella (not Fitzgerald) did a fine job advising us it's summertime and the livin' is easy. Ella could have kept everyone aware that the fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high without a microphone, so while she sang Linda Cardellini and I played a bit of spot the phone call. Is there some new fad where people attend concerts so they can crouch over with their back to the stage and their hands over their ears trying to ignore the performance?
Other highlights included:
Katie Underwood asked me to get her a beer because she had been refused service at the bar.
An unidentified man tried to climb the freestanding metre high picket fence (easily lifted out of the way or even walked around) and succeeded in cracking a rib and scaring the children.
Ellen Degeneres apologised for her girlfriend's behaviour when she threatened to poke my eyes out with the heel of her sensible shoes (ouch!) if I tried to rape her. Fair enough, and special mention for the non-sequitur, Ellen and I had been talking about the Quit Smoking billboard.
Watching some guy drop a pencil down Britney Spears' natal cleft. He didn't really, he'd left his pencil at home. But he certainly spent a long time lining up the shot.
The count down caught many people by surprise, but if you're really concerned that you shouted "Happy New Year" two minutes early you can always hop on a plane to Los Angeles and have another go. Then the fireworks went off. It took me a while to realize that the big pause between the pairs of starbursts was meant to represent 2002. (At least I hope it was meant to.) Fortunately it got busier shortly and by the end of it there were huge flurries of dazzling lights arrayed across the heavens. Fireworks are pretty, and they go bang.