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;"Boy George, I think I've got it!" I lipstick-slur into my cell phone. "Let's go out a few days early and pretend it's New Year's Eve."


;"Ooh, Marilyn," Taylor chaps back. "Even better, we should go up to people and issue them their New Year's resolutions early. Like you. You could probably do something about that hair. That wouldn't be too hard, would it?"


;And you? Your face.


;We're stuck in that crusty taint connecting Christmas to a ball drop, dripping with the afterbirth of the baby Jesus himself, and the consequent emotional atrophy has rendered us equal parts eventless and guileless. But instead of acknowledging that with a turkey leg, a beer and that warm feeling of staring blankly just to the left of the latest recap marathon filling up the flat-screen, we're feigning ABBA excitement and popping stunt corks into an imaginary fireworks display. It's New Year's Eve! Anything is possible!


;"I forgot to rinse off all the soap this morning," Taylor suds in my car while we dance to an inaudible beat. "And when I was at the gym, sweating on the stationary bike, my butt started foaming."


;Anything. Possible.

;;The plan is to travel the well-trodden downtown cultural descent of Orange Avenue, popping into sundry social pods to locate a signature representative, fart and issue them a hasty criticism disguised as a holiday favor. Taylor's presently working up his flatulence at Planet Pizza in the direction of my digestive disgust, and it doesn't seem to be working out. Some hormonal interference has momentarily redirected our game into something far less funny.


;"Yes, yes, maybe, yes and if I'm drunk," I mouthfart.


;Basically, we're just pulling our bumpers up to the peripheries of group conversations and saying "yes" out loud to the person for whom we'd most likely swallow. It's a more proactive version of our long-played boyfriend game, and it's giving us both the most socially annoying giggles ever. We may have fun yet.

;;At Bar-B-Q Bar, a certain "yes" slouches alone over a beer. He's wearing a KMFDM sweatshirt and exhibits all of the implied misery trappings therein, which almost makes him a "no." Multiple piercings of the eyelid and a geometric facial hair conundrum seal the deal to a reflexively blinking "no way."


;"Nope," Taylor blinks, passing gas. "So what's your New Year's resolution?"


;"Not to have any New Year's resolutions," he techno-thumps, before listlessly spiraling into some monologue that careens through Ministry and ends with "Revolting Cocks." Eww.

;;"The lazy eye doesn't match the grooming. Confusing," Taylor plucks as we head back to Eye Spy.

;;For a few moments we're swept into one of those old-friend holiday hugarounds involving a couple of she-lawyers, a salesperson and a lawyer's sister — all girls, blech — but purpose is regained when Taylor spots a burly "yes" barback behind the bearded bartender.

;;"Do you know the best place for me to take a dump?" he flirts with the 'tender, throwing a face that almost implies he's already defecating. "And that little fat barback of yours sure is cute. Yes."


;"It's his first night, and all the girls say that," the bartender plays along.


;Just then, "Bigmouth Strikes Again" Smiths onto the sound system, and Taylor's fishlipping his whole face in an effort to prove his mouth is the biggest. "His resolution should be to get with me," etc.

;;We cross the hipness equator that is Central Avenue and end up troubling a couple of newer holes, Vintage and the Pour, in search of obvious targets, but find ourselves overwhelmed by a distinct sense of Dukakis drudgery; the sleek, shiny feeling of manufactured late-'80s ceiling-dancing warehouse pop is wrapping its horizontally striped Lycra around big girls now. Who knew?


;"They're called muffin tops," Taylor did. "Because, with the bulging midsection flopping over the stretch denim, that's just what they look like."


;So we both resolve to eat fewer muffins, and we pop out just before Huey Lewis can sing "Hip to Be Square" to the ecstatic pleasure of precisely no one, but not quick enough to miss brushing by a cute guy who actually utters the phrase, "lung oysters," thus becoming not a cute guy anymore. No.

;;A stranger version of the same scene is playing out over at Back Booth's Crush eyeroll, this time with ironic 19-year-olds who were barely born in 1988. Stacey Q's "Two of Hearts" and Phil Collins' "You Can't Hurry Love" are met with geometric Molly-Ringwald dance-offs between baby-fat girls in horizontal stripes and twiggy girls in polka dots. It's too loud to encounter anybody, really, and it all seems harmless enough, until I realize, perhaps for the first time — me, watching a Lycra girl flail around to "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" — that I'm officially old enough to be her dad (if I were blue-collar and, well, like that). It's enough for me, regardless, and we start to make our way out the door to the tune of "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car."

;;"Tell me you're working on your novel. You are working on your novel, aren't you?" an old acquaintance named Jay pops into the picture, presumably stealing my own game and turning it back on me. I make the resolutions around here. And no.

;;Back on Orange, we run through Independent Bar just long enough to realize that we're not goth anymore and that we might run into KMFDM guy on a Ministry bender. And on the way out, just when it seems like it's all been for naught (or, more specifically, for feeling old), a vision of doom creeps her head out of the I-Bar entrance in a full-on nun's habit, face painted gray.


;"I'll tell you her resolution," Taylor farts. "She needs to kick that habit."


We all do. Resolved.


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