I’m of two minds on Dick Clark’s appearance on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. First mind: Good for him, soldiering on after a stroke left his speech muddy and his body partially paralyzed. Just think, a generation ago he would have been put out to pasture and not allowed near a camera, lest he bum someone out. So rock on, Dick Clark.
Second mind: What the hell was he thinking? A veteran news broadcaster once told me he was effective only until his appearance and delivery became a fatal distraction from what he was saying. (Of course, as a man, this guaranteed him 25 more years on the job than the women in the newsroom.) Not that what Dick Clark has to say on New Year’s Eve is so mesmerizing, but still.
It was oddly appropriate for the weekend, though, which had the theme: Soldiering on. Alan was hard at work on yet another of the projects which have saved us thousands of dollars over the years (installing a garage door opener, this time), when he went down to the basement with a hacksaw and a piece of steel to perform some manly surgery on it. A minute later there was an extended clatter that suggested much more than the steel was falling.
Relax, he didn’t have a stroke. He just tripped on something in the work room, nearly recovered, tripped again and smashed face-first into the wall, splitting his lip and necessitating a trip to the emergency room Saturday night for five stitches. He came home with three no-nos until they come out — no beer from the bottle, no smiling and no kissing. So as midnight struck and the sound of gunfire resounded from the direction of Detroit, we leaned toward each other and Alan said through his stitched-up lip: “iss e, I ick Cark.”
I hope karma allows him this small joke without too much payback. The split lip seemed to be pay-forward, in a sense.
That gunfire — that is the sound of Detroit celebrating. Yes, it’s what you’d call tops in stupid. Alan had only been on the job a week when he came to work Jan. 2 to find a bullet hole in one of the department’s windows, a gouge in the wainscoting and other evidence that, duh, what goes up, etc. I let the dog out — trepidatiously — shortly after midnight and it sounded, no kidding, like high noon in the Green Zone. Some of it was fireworks, but one thing life here has taught me is the difference between the pop-pop-pop of fireworks and the pop-pop-pop of semiautomatic weaponry. And there was more gunfire than firecrackers.
The first house we looked at when we were house-hunting here was in the Park, the first street of the Pointes as you come north/east from Detroit. One of Alan’s colleagues lives there. She said they spend New Year’s Eve “on the floor.” How festive.
(If you click on that link above, you’ll see the city’s suggestion for an alternative activity: “Hugs, not Bullets.” It’s like they have meetings to think of the lamest possible alternative, to insure the original undesirable activity goes on forever.)
Ah, I didn’t sleep well last night, so I’m going back to bed to get a little more. In the meantime: The WashPost tells us what’s in and what’s out. Study up. There’ll probably be a quiz.