Empty bottles covered the New York City apartment’s floor. Half-eaten chicken wings tempted a gray tiger-striped tabby cat who stalked them on the kitchen counter. It was a battlefield from the New Year’s birth, littered with festive casualties. In the corner, a body twitched on the floor. Shallow breaths led to a snort, a gasp and then a moan.
“Oh my freakin’ head.”
Chris Wright moaned in pain. 2012 left with a bang. Now the New Year entered with a whimper.
“Good evening, sweetheart.”
Chris opened a bloodshot eye, and tried not to vomit from the spins. What he saw surprised shocked him sober.
There, in one of his dress shirts, was a tall brunette woman he had never seen before.
“Who are you?” Chris asked meekly.
“Your wife, silly. Happy 2020.”
Both of Chris Wright’s eyes shot open wide.
11:59 p.m. New Year’s Eve, 2012:
It was the party of the year. Chris Wright, a life-long bachelor and advertising executive, was known for his hearty laughter and his wild New Year’s Eve parties. The small Manhattan apartment was packed to the walls with clients, friends and total strangers. On a chair, Chris stood acting like a conductor directing his finest symphony. Alcohol flowed, food was consumed and 2012 was getting a raucous sendoff.
“HERE’S TO THE BEST YEAR EVER!”
The crowd cheered.
The amateurs were in Times Square. The professionals were at Chris Wright’s party.
An ad executive named Franklin came up to Chris and put his arm around him. “So, what are your resolutions?”
Chris laughed at his best friend. He held up his glass of Champagne and loudly proclaimed, “Resolutions are for amateurs!”
Franklin hugged his friend and both laughed. “Here’s to a great 2013!”
“Amen brother, Amen brother.”
It was the first year without Dick Clark but the 60-inch TV showed the image of the ball beginning to drop. ”Hey Chris, you going to resolve to get married?” a blonde with a napkin of a dress yelled.
Chris turned red and said, “Sure. For you — I resolve to get married…”
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Chris took one more sip of his drink and his world began to blur. Voices slowed and pictures on the wall began to drip like a Dali painting.
And then his world went black.
New Year’s Day
“Did you say 2020?” Chris Wright felt fear run through his veins as he rubbed his eyes.
“The brunette, his apparent wife, kneeled over him and rubbed his cheek. ”Yes silly. Happy New Year. Did you have fun last night? What a wild evening!”
“Not to be rude, but what is your name?”
His wife stood up and adjusted her shirt to protect her modesty. “Poor baby. His hangover has left him with amnesia. Now get up. We have to go to mom’s and pick up the kids.”
Chris Wright’s head began to spin again — but this time not from the alcohol.
He grasped around for his cellphone. He grabbed it in his hand and tried to focus on it: It was smaller and different looking. He clicked it on and saw the date: January 1, 2020.
What the heck had happened to him? He was lying on the floor with the spins. The world’s last bachelor now was now married with kids. And now, seven years of his life was missing. Talk about “Should Old Acquaintance be forgot.”
“What is my job?” Chris asked his mystery wife.
“Boy, you need to resolve to stop drinking. You are the Vice President of Drury, Gavin and Wright. It’s one of the city’s largest new ad agencies.”
“What happened to my old firm?”
“You were fired after a particularly wild New Year’s party. That’s the one where I met you — since you can’t remember anything. It was love at first sight.”
Chris rubbed his temples. This was getting weirder by the moment. ”Whose damn cat is that?”
“That’s Mr. Jinx. He was mine when we met. Now he is our fur baby.”
Chris had hated cats since he was a child. Not only was he married with kids, he now owned a cat. Even the Mayans couldn’t have predicted this crap.
“Now come on sleepy head. Let’s go get you cleaned up. The boys are waiting.”
Chris peeled himself off the wood floor and looked out at the dark city. There were no flying cars like the Jetsons at least. ”I can’t believe I can’t remember the last seven years.”
His wife kissed his cheek again and led him to the bedroom. “Shower time.” She opened the door and Chris was surprised once again…
“HAPPY NEW YEAR!”
It was the crowd from the party the 2012 party!
Laughter filled the room. ”GOTCHA!” Franklin weaved through the crowd laughing. ”We got you. And we got it all on camera.” Laughter filled the room.
Allen Funt from Candid Camera would have been proud.
And early on that New Year’s morning, Chris Wright resolved to quit drinking. Then he asked his “wife” out on the date. By the next New Year’s Eve, they married as the ball dropped over Times Square. And yes, they did end up having two boys and a fur baby.
Out with the old and in with the new. Thanks to a New Year’s Eve prank, Chris Wright’s most unlikely resolution came true.