Travel hell, bar fires and the one-millionth hook-up

by Lindsay Nelson

A fresh new year is headed our way in a few days, leaving us to ponder the past 362 days and their meaning. So much has changed since the clock struck midnight into 2006, hasn’t it? I mean, how do we make sense of such earth-shattering events as the El Rancho fire, the breakup of Britney Spears and K-Fed, or the rally that never was? It’s a trying time for mankind, and all of us, in our own ways, are reeling from the blow.

Now that all the frantic shopping and wrapping and cooking is over, does it all seem a bit overdone? The scene at Denver International Airport during the days preceding Christmas offered a sharp dose of perspective, indeed. Sleeping on the granite floor of DIA for three nights in a row sure makes Grandma’s trundle bed seem inviting. The seven-layer mayonnaise salad isn’t so bad, either, when all you have to eat is 50-calorie packs of airline pretzels and the fruitcake you were going to give Uncle Frank. It’s the perfect set-up for a cheesy family parable about the true meaning of Christmas, but it really did make all the hassles of a normal air-travel day seem manageable by comparison. I was glad to hear that no one started a riot over the last sub at Quizno’s.

What better way to erase the trauma of 2006 than by drinking mass quantities? The best New Year’s Eve parties involve lots of food, preferably fat and carbs, plenty of cold alcoholic beverages and at least two attractive members of the desired sex to make eyes at when the ball drops. No guarantees on that last bit, and there seems to be dearth of publicly hosted parties around town this coming Sunday night, usually the liveliest of the year. Everyone must be holding out for pirate Snowdown.

Feeling elegant but hate couples dancing? Hit the Abbey, where DJ El Beau will usher in the new year with organic house beats. The Lost Dog seems to be offering free food and some good drink specials, with another local DJ at the turntables. Should you happen to be traveling to Silverton, Aftergrass will play a New Year’s Eve show at the Pride of the West. Over in Mancos, The Chills will produce rock and country music sounds in the Columbine Bar on New Year’s Eve. But the point is, every place open past 10 this Sunday is a party. Better start brushing up on “Auld Lang Syne” now. A guid-willie waught anyone?

In an effort to distract us from the post-Christmas depression and the embarrassing state of our thighs, let’s take a look at the year ahead. Because it’s boring and lazy to crank out the tired “year-end retrospective” like our friends at the daily rag do, allow me a few Underground predictions:

• January: City spends $50,000 to make “fake” snow on Chapman Hill. By Jan. 21, average daytime temperatures will reach the mid-40s. Snow inexplicably melts.

• February: Civil suit against Orio’s Roadhouse ends in an out-of-court settlement, in which the owners are required to provide hermetically sealed bubbles for all smoking patrons to wear while lighting up in the bar. Autographed photo of Mark Larson hung on the wall above the urinal.

• March: Durango Lesbian Alliance hosts the first annual Gay Bash. It’s a smashing success. Maybe next year they’ll let the boys play, too.

• April: Two Parsons cronies are elected to the Durango City Council. Might as well leave town now.

• April: Two Parsons cronies are elected to the Durango City Council. Might as well leave town now.

• May: Hooters really does come to town. Indignant LTEs reach record volume.

• June: Construction of the new library on Park Avenue is halted indefinitely due to the interminable whining of four residents about the demolition, building noise and plumber’s crack diminishing their quality of life. Future library relocated to a field in Red Mesa.

• July: The 1,649 housing units DMR plans to build on its property 25 miles from town finally noticed by county commissioners, who realize too late that they missed their chance to stop it. Oops, my bad. What about that oil well?

• August: Developers announce plans to renovate the burnt-out Central Hotel, making possible the dream of home ownership for dozens of disadvantaged six-figure households.

• September: The one-millionth drunken hookup is born at Scoot ‘n Blues.

• October: Durango City Council passes ordinance outlawing “faggy” costumes for Halloween, in response to last year’s cross-dressing, Marie Antoinette incident.

• November: Area vegans work to raise awareness of the ongoing slaughterment of innocent Thanksgiving mince. “Mincemeat is murder!”

• December: One self-righteous yuppie who never shops at Wal-Mart shops at Wal-Mart and discovers that all the other self-righteous yuppies shop there, too. Minds are blown.

And so it will go.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?