Rick's Space: Except go to the bathroom

‘You Can Do Whatever You Feel’




After singing “YMCA” with the Village People and millions of other people hanging in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, I knew it was time to take stock of myself.

First of all, I know all the words to the song. No, I can’t make my arms into the requisite shapes of the letters in time with the music. I noticed forlornly most of the other million people could. That places me at the high end of the Spaz population, but I already knew that.

Of course, I wasn’t physically there. I was watching TV. I have gone to Times Square on this date exactly zero times in all my life, and I know for a fact most New Yorkers have the same track record. A buddy of mine once told me the only locals who go to see the ball drop are pick-pocketers, prostitutes, and people who work there.

One of my favorite moments occurs around 11:30 when Ryan Seacrest (or somebody) informs you most of the people up front near the Big Ball haven’t gone to the bathroom in nine hours and that there are no porta-potties anywhere near the stage.

This has always puzzled me. If the city is going to solicit people from all over the world to come and watch the ball drop, shouldn’t portable toilets be installed at various locations along the way? Wouldn’t this once in a lifetime experience be augmented by a couple trips into a portable toilet used by thousands of drunks who realized too late they can’t stomach all the ethnic food available in that neighborhood?

Consider that if you are standing in a Porto Potty in Manhattan on New Year’s Eve you may well be at the very bottom of life’s barrel. Then again, if you catch yourself dancing around to a Village People tune, there are probably more pertinent things you should be doing.

I never heard of most of the other entertainers on the bill. I know who Sheryl Crow is. I know who Keith Urban is. He is like, the very best air guitarist in the history of Air Guitar yet he actually plays guitar. Let’s face it; it was all downhill after Dick Clark.

Speaking of the Village People, we now have to be very careful how we refer to them. The Gentleman Who Does a Very Respectful Imitation of a Native American Who Has Meant So Much to This Great Country of Ours is still there. So is the guy we called the Marlboro Man, but after that company got sued because a half trillion of us developed lung cancer, they made that off limits and we started calling him a Cowboy. I’m not sure there are any members of the LQBTQIA community in the group any more, but there isn’t a single Midwestern Episcopalian.

Let’s tell it like it is: They were supposed to be gay and now they are just happy.

Worried about terrorist threats? The police chief told us he had sniper teams on every rooftop and that there were armed drones all over midtown. I’ve seen my buddies fly their drones into the sides of buildings and there is a legendary story about the local newspaper editor who kamikazied his drone into Sagg Pond.

Here is the saddest thing: I couldn’t make it until midnight. For the first time in decades, I did not see the ball drop.

I mean, I had a plan. I was going to watch in bed while reading “American Predator,” a pithy little crime thriller about a real-life serial killer. I find good literature like this puts me in a good place mentally and allows me wholesome thoughts while sleeping. Sometimes I even make a list of my 10 least favorite people. It’s all in good fun, of course. Kind of.

Next thing we knew, it was morning.

“I’m sorry you missed the Big Ball,” Karen said. “Let’s put going to Times Square on our bucket list.”

Yes. Right under “Learn YMCA dance.”

rmurphy@indyeastend.com