The Captain and da Neil
This year, however, there were only two characters. Representing, well, any and every aspect of the annual transition from December to January, the one, the only, Captain New Year.
Yes, the Good Captain himself. He looks a tad familiar, no? Yes, after investing in a custom gold body suit for his halloween costume, he couldn't just let it get one use, could he?
I think not.
Which brings us to (in a stupefyingly unabrupt transition) to the Neil Diamond concert, where the other character of the New Year bequeathed himself to our world: Hell, I had someone else in mind, but let's just make it Neil himself, timeless representative of years past and yet to come.
I accompanied Captain New Year to the concert (about a week before New Years Eve), and although he did not have the gold suit, he's still a dreadlocked dude who happened to be wearing a leisure suit. Neil's crowd, while containing all types, tended toward the elderly - It's one of the first times I was asked to sit down at a concert. Actually aggressively grabbed by the fucker behind me, who tried to play it off like someone behind him asked him to do it for him, but I knew better. But that's beside the point.
So about three quarters through the show (which was utterly and epicly amazing), the band slows it down, and Neil starts talking. He talks about love, life, and hints briefly at the meaning of it all. And then he says the following; "I want each of you to turn to the person to your right, put your arm around them, and tell them 'I love you.'"
I hear this, and I think it's just fucking lovely - the captain is to my right, and he already knows I love him (but not in that way, geesh, you guys) - but even if he weren't, I'd be down all the same - spreading love and harmony between people is always fucking great, especially in the loving environment provided by The Neil. But to The Captain's right.... is crotchety old ex-marine looking guy, who has sat the entire concert with his arms crossed, and looked generally pissed, with an expression of "I'm only here to get the wife off my back and I would sooner kill everyone here than admit any of this shit (i.e. emotions, appreciation of art/music) has any value at all."
So The Captain, in his white leisure suit, throws his arm around the crotchety dude, looks him in the eye, and tells him.. "I love you, man."
And the fucker's response?
"Do you want to fucking live?"
I think, though, that he had something else on his mind. What he really wanted to say was..
"Lower the groin shield, Captain!"