Tag Archives: New Year’s

The New Polar Bear Plunge

The new year is just the around the corner, so naturally I was invited to join the Polar Bear Plunge.  For you landlubbers who are fortunate enough to be unaware of this torture, the plunge is an annual winter event where otherwise seemingly normal people jump into the frigid ocean waters. Then their brain cells freeze over so that next year, when someone says, “Hey! It’s twenty below!  Grab your swimsuit and take the plunge!”, they willingly go along. 

I politely declined the invitation to join in this year’s frigid festivities.  My idea of a plunge is jumping into a hot Jacuzzi or the tropical waters of the Caribbean. I also have no desire to emulate the polar bear.

No animal lives farther north than the polar bear.  They may look cute and cuddly, but polar bears are fierce animals who prowl the Arctic wilderness, searching for seals, their main prey.  They will then grab the seals right out of their breathing holes in the ice.  Yes, you know those adorable aquarium seals who perform tricks to amaze and entertain us?  The polar bears have another nickname for them:  Dinner.

Polar bears would be very amused by watching humans take the plunge.  For one thing, the bears have thick fur which is actually made out of clear, hollow tubes.  Each hollow hair can trap the sun’s infrared heat and keep the bear toasty warm and comfortable.  This fur is also oily and water-repellent. The bears can easily shake free of water and any ice that may form after swimming. 

So humans wearing Speedos and bikinis call themselves “polar bears” and go plunging into the icy waters.  And guess what?  They get wet and extremely cold.  Go figure.

Meanwhile, the real polar bears, like some sort of Arctic superheroes, are impervious to both the wet and the cold.  Maybe the name of the event should be changed to represent a timid animal who can actually get wet and cold.  The Puppy Plunge.

Or another idea would be to change the event altogether.  One positive aspect of the Polar Bear Plunge is that it is usually held to benefit charities.  Now all we need are generous people who want to do something brave in a warm climate to help others. 

Hang gliding in Costa Rica.  Snorkeling in the Coral Reef.  Bungee jumping in Cabo San Lucas.  The possibilities are endless, and there are plenty of options that could involve bravery without hypothermia.



New Year’s Eve in Times Circle



            (Cue kazoos, confetti, and embracing partygoers).

            One minute later…

            EXHAUSTED PARTYGOERS: (awkward silence) Well…Goodnight!

When it comes to holidays, New Year’s Eve gets the short end of the stick.  First of all, it has to follow Christmas, and who can compete with that?  While Christmas has a plethora of carols and fun songs, New Year’s has one, and nobody knows what it means. 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And days of Auld Lang Syne?

The Scots have a way of putting things that would even make Einstein scratch his head.  “Auld Lang Syne” was written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns, who wrote the famous song/poem, “My luve is like a red, red rose.”  Apparently he caused a lot of confusion with this misspelling, which eventually led to the invention of Luvs® diapers.  Not many people realize that other diaper brands also stemmed from his less popular poems, “I want to give thee kissees and huggies” and “My luve doth pampers me.”  But nothing compares to the confusion he caused by his New Year’s Eve song.

In addition to the song problem, the iconic image of New Year’s Eve is the dropping of the ball in Times Square. Isn’t “dropping the ball” supposed to be a bad thing?  Athletes who drop the ball are shamefully scorned, sometimes for life if it happens during the World Series or Super Bowl. Then there’s the reproving expression: You really dropped the ball on that one.  So why start a new year by “dropping the ball?”  Seems a bit ominous to me. 

And Times Square?  Being “square” is hardly a compliment.  Maybe we should find a more geometrically flattering location, like a nice circular rotary, or even The Pentagon.  Or do it at a stop sign; at least that’s an octagon. And to all of you who actually stand outside and freeze your biscuits to witness this momentous event in person, wouldn’t you rather do it in Hawaii? 

Where is the New Year’s cookie?  The New Year’s Tree?  I’m telling you, this holiday needs our help!  After much consideration, I have put together the following proposal to bring some glory to this unfortunate holiday. 


Christmas cookies          chips & dips          Double Stuff Oreos

Santa Claus                   Dick Clark            Chuck Norris

XMAS                            no abbreviation     NYE

morning                         midnight               brunch

decorated tree                dropping ball         hot fudge sundae

gifts                           kazoos & party hats   Navy Seal uniforms

numerous carols             Auld Lang Syne      Michael Jackson’s Thriller

warm living room            Times Square         Times Circle, Hawaii