The Adventures of Coolie Coolstein: Episode 71
No one remembers whose idea it was – originally. But, before too long, on the day before New Year’s Eve, Coolie and his crew were hyped to the gills about watching the ball drop at midnight. Sure, Coolie has connections, and could have gotten access to the closest position with just a whoosh of energetic intervention by Mothership. But, you know our cool boy, he oh-so-earnestly wants to do things the regular way. He aspires to be one of the folks.
So, twenty-four hours before the big calendar flip, Mickey (armed with a full day’s supply of jellyfish), the illustrious Blue (decked out in some end-of-year shiny finery), and the savior usually known as Brownstein TTR (who had entered a special see all, feel all, know all trance of protection), accompanied a grinning and head-swiveling (there was lots to see) Coolie, as they became part of the huge but soon to be humongous crowd which was moving lemming-like toward 42nd and Broadway.
There were frequent pat-downs (which Blue pretended not to enjoy) and bag checks, and even an occasional flashlight down the throat and around the teeth check. After about five hours of slow inching, they arrived at their delineated space, replete with saw horses and tape and lots of juju eyeballs attached to uniformed and undercover cops.
Coolie was moved to say, “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? (are we) Caught in a landslide? No escape from reality?” And, naturally, first the other three caballero’s, then an ever-widening group of miscellaneous celebrants-to-be, added their voices and sang out the rest of the truest of National Anthems, Bohemian Rhapsody.
Ah, you say, a fortuitous beginning. Not so fast.
In hour three of standing in place (there were still sixteen hours to go before the ball drop) Mickey began to feel the effects of the jellyfish. He had to pee. Luckily, since there were no obvious porta potty’s in sight, Brownstein was able to do a flash incantation which briefly covered Mickey in a small virtual stall. He thanked her profusely.
At midnight, the other revelers were amazed to see not just fireworks, but something totally new. Small star-shaped aliens in a rainbow of colors who flew faster than explosives in arcing and zigging patterns across the sky. “Dreamy!” said Blue, and she spoke for almost everyone watching. There were several young children (or so it would seem) who had been schlepped along by well-intentioned (or so it would seem) parents. They wailed and screamed at that pitch that only very pissed-off children can achieve. It was very much like having knives inserted into every auditory nerve. Theirs was a tragic loss of faith in the universe, coupled with being short. Their misery became everyone’s misery.
But, it was New Year’s Eve, and all misery can be integrated in the service of the BIG CELEBRATION.
So, as they say in vilishvateki (the language and also the name of the homeworld of the tiny aliens), “Kombu, kombu, trici, wicki,” which loosely translates as “eat all your vegetables and keep your elbows off the table.” This, for the vili, is the most salutary and comforting thing to say.
And the world, as we know it, decided to continue for another year.