Things sure have changed since I was a young 'un.........
New Years Eves of old were made of magic.
Now I know I am showing my age but we used to go to the New Years Eve Ball at the McMurray Hall in the Grand Hotel (where the Bulawayo Centre now stands) and see the New Year in in fine style.
We would wine and dine in Olde Worlde elegance, a band would play all those silly songs like "Birdie" and "Out your Left Foot In, Put You Right Foot In" and that even sillier song where you all make a long line and Conga around the room hanging on to each others waists in glee.
We would wear long evening gowns, gloves even and the men would wear their dinner jackets and it was indeed a grand affair.
The band master would build up the evening by constantly giving us the time leading up to midnight when the Old Year was giving way to the New Year and then just before midnight we would all chant the New Year in.
Ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four... three...two...one and one gigantic shout of "HAPPY NEW YEAR" as the clock struck midnight.
We would then all join hands in one vast ring around the hall and sing Auld Lang Syne, we would cross our arms (right arm over left) and swoop in and out making a long happy wave singing at the tops of our voices.
Then once Auld Land Syne was over we would all kiss each other Happy New Year and toast the new Year in with bubbly......BUT ......Not so the New Years Eve of the modern age.......
Oh No...none of that........
For a start they...the modern age call it "New Years" for some strange reason and none of them have even heard of Auld Lang Syne and certainly do not know the words.
We took the offspring off to the Falls this year as has become the fashion, and just before the Midnight Hour we made our way into "Wildthings" where hundreds of the Little darlings were installed .
Having been subjected to the indignity of having one's wrist imprinted with an indelible ink stamp, and after fighting our way to the bar, we eventually adjusted our failing eyesight to the flashing lights and the smoky gloom.
There was music all right, it was so loud that we were sure out hearts were going to be put out of rhythm and we would have to be hospitalised to fibrillate them back into the correct beat.
Then there were the strobe lights which have a tendency to induce epilepsy, well it was such a freaky experience, ones hands and arms did not work in the usual way but seemed to jerk up and down in some sort of maniacal slow motion.
Even though we were in danger of a massive heart attack we could see at a glance that the modern way of dancing was nothing like the dancing we old timers were used to. The modern dance is a combination of throwing a dart and bouncing a ball and at the same time moving ones feet in a jerky ghoulish sort of macabre jig.
Jump jump, throw a dart , bounce a ball, jump jump, jiggle jiggle they all went in trancelike unison !!
At 12 midnight the witching hour and the start of the New Year came and went without notice, No One so much as blinked as the clock struck midnight, no one missed a beat, or a bump or a grind , they just jerked along to the same hideous beat that had been pumping out for what seemed like hours.
There was another couple of oldies there also searching for their offspring, so we joined hands with Neil and Jenny and sang Auld Lang Syne as best we could.
"Should old acquaintance be forgot.".....we caroled ....."and never brought to mind"......well that part was easy. In this modern day of SMS cell phone messaging no one could possibly be forgot, the cell phones were beeping off the hook as parents desperately tried to send New Years Greetings to the little Ravers.
For Auld Lang Syne my Friend, we warbled on undaunted" For Auld Lang Syne"....... people were now looking at us strangely ....."We'll tak a cup of kindness yet" (well it took us a lot of our hard earned Ferraris to "tak a cup of kindness" as we had to part with $800 for one beer and $500 for one glass of wine !!)
For Auld Lang Syne, For Auld Lang Syne.......we were in full voice now and could even be heard vaguely above the pounding disco beat, but still no one took any notice of the commencement of 2003.
The four of us, kissed each other Happy New Year in a sort of embarrassed way and then decided that discretion was the better part of valour and headed for the door, dancing like demoniacal puppets on strings as the strobe lights shepherded us out of the fracas and to the immense relief that we felt as we left that ghastly noise.
And so that was New Years 2003 !!!
Next year we are determined to drag the little darlings off and do the New Year thing the correct old fashioned way, just once more, so that they too can experience the magic of Auld Lang Syne.