Once Upon A New Year’s

Once upon a New Year’s (Reagan was President) I led a calisthenics class in a frightful powder-puff gym where the management were always getting after me about my retro music, Henry Mancini and the Tijuana Brass (yes), though the gym members were down with it, or as one of them said, “I’ve learned everything I ever want to know about the boogaloo.”

“Go out and have a fabulous New Year, drink some Moet, get crazy,” I think I said. Or something like that.

Before my shift was over a handful of the ladies were back with a split of Moet & Chandon from the snotty wine and cheese shop up the street, where I had also, for my sins, once worked, not that any of them knew that. God love ’em.

That split of champagne stayed with me through two house moves and a marriage and a couple of rebounds. I did drink it eventually.

Don’t wait so long for yours. If it’s in your hands, frickin’ drink it, whatever form it takes. And don’t be bashful if you like the Tijuana Brass, or the boogaloo. Whatever that is.


11 thoughts on “Once Upon A New Year’s

    • I never stop being cynical, but I was so touched by those ladies going to that trouble; I wish I’d drunk the champagne while I still had a chance to tell them it was enjoyed, instead of waiting till long after the owners of the gym closed it abruptly and skipped town (after which of course I never saw any of them again). That happened a lot in those days.

    • As I got older I developed a passionate loathing for most Latin music. Partly because of neighbors in a duplex who thought it was their right to blast it at midnight because “this is our culture” (oy), partly because it seems happy in a mean way — do you know what I mean? the shallow happiness of people who enjoy being pushy and stupid and annoying people and creating commotion for no good reason? But I still keep some of those old mariachi-type TJB discs in my car stereo.

  1. Me too. When I was ten the music teacher took us young musicians and made a TjB cover band. I can still see my mom’s picture of us on stage, all sombreros and music stands.

    • That must have been much more fun than the over-scripted Dixieland band medley that my high school band was made to perform. At one point the music as written required the ensemble to shout “Oh, play it, (insert trumpeter’s name here)!” Already cynical about such fatuous crap, the ensemble shouted a verb that was distinctly not “play”. The band director, a fastidious, easily rattled bachelor, had to go lie down in the office.

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