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New year, new baby … no party

“I wonder how many people are waking up this morning feeling like doggie-doo,”

Husband-Head said smugly as he opened the refrigerator on New Year’s Day. “I actually feel pretty good.”

He punctuated his state-of-the-hangover address by swigging an entire thing of bottled water.



“Perhaps that would be because your happy New Year’s Eve butt passed out before midnight,” I said simply. “In fact, I can’t remember the last time we’ve rung in the new year.”

Typically, we just watch the New Year’s ball drop from Times Square in New York City, kiss each other and call it a night at 10 p.m.



But this year, we had actually made tentative plans with a bunch of friends to go into town and have dinner.

“My wife isn’t drinking so she can drive if we have too much to drink,” our friend Grady said.

His wife, Suzanne, wasn’t drinking because she was pregnant. … Very, very pregnant. …

I passed along this information while inviting my girlfriend Dale and her boyfriend to have dinner with all of us and assured her that it would be OK to party since we had a designated driver. “That sounds great!” she said enthusiastically. “What time should we go?”

But then she got silent for a moment.

“Ummm, you know, Suzanne looks VERY pregnant,” she said seriously. “In fact, she could blow at any time. What if she goes into labor that night and none of us is able to drive anywhere?”

That thought hadn’t occurred to me.

“Naahhh,” I pooh-poohed. “She’s not due until January 16th. Don’t be such an alarmist. She wouldn’t have the audacity to have a baby while we were trying to celebrate New Year’s Eve.”

“Honey, you don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies,” Dale warned, sounding like the black servant Prissy in the 1939 movie, “Gone With The Wind.”

But in the end, none of us ended up going anywhere.

“We’re all just getting old,” I sighed to Husband-Head. “None of us wants to go anywhere tonight.”

Husband-Head didn’t respond and just sat on the couch with the clicker, flipping through the channels.

“Here’s one,” he said enthusiastically. “You’ll probably like it.”

I dropped what I was doing in the kitchen and sat down on the couch. The show was entitled, “The Natural History of the Chicken.”

The beginning showed chickens walking around in a yard just acting like chickens and pecking at stuff on the ground. However, the next shot showed chickens being butchered and then torn apart into pieces.

The final piece included celery sticks and blue cheese dressing. …

“That’s disgusting!” I complained to Husband-Head as I watched the program. “I could so easily be a vegetarian!”

“Yeah, this is kind of festive,” Husband-Head agreed.

After making Husband-Head change the station, we finally landed on the NBC New Year’s Eve program, which I thought would be a lot more festive than the gross, disgusting chicken channel.

The only other programs on TV included “House Hunters,” in which people were trying to buy studio apartments in Barcelona, Spain, for about $500,000.

“We’re just really boring, aren’t we?” I asked Husband-Head. “It seems we used to do a lot more to ring in the new year when we were younger.”

Yes, and it usually included things such as Jägermeister and EverClear, which should be illegal. …

And while we may not be the party animals we used to be in the old days, at least we felt all right the next morning.

The phone rang early on New Year’s morning as if on cue.

“Guess what?” I asked Husband-Head with a smile. “We’ve got a new baby!”

Congratulations to Suzanne and Grady Hazelton and welcome to the world, Sophie Anne Hazelton!

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her website at http://www.heidirice. com. Her new book, “Skully Says Shut It! Life, Love and Laughter with Husband-Head” is available at the Post Independent or at her website.


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