Back when the Couch Potato was living the dream as a young, care-free high school student, Dick Clark was getting up there in years, but still rockin' it out on New Year's Eve.
"Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" was the gold standard for TV viewing on the biggest party night of the year, while also providing the inspiration for the Couch Potato's own annual party, "New Year's Freakin', Rockin' Eve."
It was supposed to just be "New Years Rockin' Eve," but the 'freakin' was added to my pirated title by my buddy Dennis who thought it was hilarious enough to make and bring a sign with the slogan on it each of the first three years.
The first three parties were pretty boring and non-alcoholic affairs, held in my parent's basement, with the first being set against the backdrop of a potential Y2K meltdown.
The Y2K crisis came and went, but "New Year's Freakin', Rockin' Eve" lasted on into my college years, before all of my friends turned 21 and put a halt to the celebrations, at least in terms of them happening in my parent's basement.
By 2006, Mrs. Couch Potato had happily said 'I do' and we moved into our little apartment. After a two-year party hosting hiatus, we decided to resurrect the "New Year's Freakin', Rockin' Eve" and have been hosting ever since.
So here's some of the highlights (and lowlights) from the last seven years of parties:
Year 1 - My aforementioned friend Dennis, who now lives in Japan, knocked over my DVD stack, spent an hour trying to put them back in alphabetical order, dumped thousands of pieces of confetti all over our apartment, sang Huey Lewis songs on a portable karaoke and then proceeded to run the sweeper and try to do dishes at 6 o'clock in the morning as everyone slept (or at least tried to).
Year 2 - We were now moved into a new house that Mrs. Couch Potato had meticulously decorated. A conversation of strength and toughness somehow arose, so my friend Eggy (his head is shaped like an egg) and I wrestled in our living room. He's a personal trainer and I'm a lazy bum, but I pinned him. He claims it was due to him wearing socks and me wearing shoes, but we all know the truth.
Year 4 - An uneventful year 3 led to some fireworks in year 4. My friend RJ brought a surprise guest who was a college friend of ours from Slippery Rock. That was great, but the surprise guest brought his own surprise guest (which none of us knew). He turned out to be a lot of fun, but we all stuck our collective feet in our mouths as we gossiped about a non-invited friend who recently had been divorced. The double surprise guest meekly said, "I just got divorced, too." Whoops.
Year 5 - My friend Z-bird broke out his new stand-up routine, which was met with a less-than-positive response, including plenty of groans. About one-half of the 5 minute set focused on his theory that traffic lights mimicked human characteristics. Red lights were mean people, green lights were laid back people and yellow lights were high strung people. It was even worse than it sounds. His one high note was a Chewbacca impression, who was upset at the recent hike in gas prices while trying to fill up the Starship Enterprise.
Year 6 - This was the first party in our brand new home. I was sick, nothing happened and everyone wondered how we got so old. Good times!
Year 7 - Last year picked up a little bit. Z-bird's stand-up routine reached new heights (it was actually funny), Eggy got pummeled in a political debate and RJ ran the remote control to perfection. It wasn't the high point of the party life, but we had fun.
Year 8 - I'll let you know how it went last night sometime soon!
Through all of the years, the site, the people and atmosphere were constantly evolving. However, the one thing that was always the same was Dick Clark running the show in the background of it all.
Clark is now gone, but his show and "New Year's Freakin', Rockin' Eve" live on, and hopefully always will.