No, not this one; this would be NYE 1987/1988.
This being my first New Year's after going off to MilCol, so I had been away from home for 5 months, confined in an utterly alien environment. Going from a redneck northern British Columbian logging/mining town to a French Canadian military college is a bit of a culture shock, and I was more than a little weirded out about being back home amongst my old friends during the XMas leave period.
My best friend, picking up on this, decided that what we needed to do to loosen me up was to crash the triple-A hockey team's New Year's party. So he, me, and his girlfriend piled into his truck and showed up unannounced.
A word about hockey and northern BC: hockey was to my hometown what high school football is to rural Missouri. These guys were the closest thing we had to home-town rock stars. And they weren't known for their finesse and fair play either; if they couldn't win on the ice, they'd win in the parking lot after the game. More than a few teams flat out refused to play their (our) home games, because one way or another, they'd end up beaten bloody.
So this party was stuffed wall to wall with a couple of dozen professional thugs and their posses and assorted hangers-on. I knew none of these guys. I had a passing familiarity with a few of the wannabes that hung out with them, but this was not friendly territory. About the only thing I had going for me was my minor celebrity about "going off to fighter pilot school in Quebec", as reported in the local paper shortly before my departure 5 months earlier. No, I didn't tell them that; a cub reporter got my story mixed up and that was what was published.
My best friend, I should mention, was an animal. His favourite form or recreation was to get liquored up at one of the endless firepit parties, go find the biggest, nastiest guy on site, and pick a fight with him - and being the psycho he was, he'd win more often than not. I got into a ton of fights acting as his second, when I'd wind up squared off with his target's second.
I hadn't realized we were crashing the hockey team party; he told me we were crashing a party, but had been circumspect with the details. So when I realized where we were, I put my back to a wall, kept the entrance in sight, and nursed the hell out of the beer I was holding, 'cause I knew this would not end well.
I had *no* idea.
Sure enough, within the hour my friend took a swing at someone, but there he left the script: he missed, putting his fist through a plate glass window, and slicing all hell out of his arm in the process. I just happened to be standing near him when he did it, so I managed to clamp down on his wound with one hand, grab the scruff of his neck with the other, and propel him out the front door.
We passed his girlfriend as we were leaving, and that's when all hell broke loose. She saw the blood, and she started SCREAMING; a high, piercing, keening wail that never seemed to stop. She got the attention of the whole house, and word was passing quickly that my friend had swung on so-and-so. The hornets had been kicked, and time was short.
We were parked at the end of the walkway, a path plowed through the 5 foot snow drifts over the front lawn. I bulldozed my bleeding friend down the path, bodily threw him into the bed of his pickup, and clamped his free hand down on his wound.
Back to the house to grab the still screaming (!) girlfriend. I carry her down the path and put her in the front seat. We are parked passenger-side towards the house, with the tailgate nearest the path, so I have to go by the path exit as I make my way to the driver's side of the truck. Drunken and angry hockey players are spilling out of the house and I am not going to make it around the truck before they reach the end of the path.
Luckily, the depth of the snow is keeping them single-file, and the guy leading the charge is a little guy, maybe five foot four. So I block the exit of the path, raise my hands in a nonthreatening display, and yell about how we're leaving and it's all good.
And the little guy punches me in the chest.
I'm so full of adrenaline that I don't even feel it. Instead, I look down on him (I'm 6'1") and say "You have GOT to be kidding me."
He hits me again.
OK, I can play rough too - and I'm not hammered. I crack him hard on the nose, a straight jab, and he drops like a sack of potatoes, right over backwards. The guy behind him tries to catch him, loses his footing, and he goes over too. It's like a bad movie; the first few guys in line go over like dominoes, and Mrs DG not having raised any idiots, I scurry around the truck and get the hell out of there.
The girlfriend is STILL screaming, and doesn't stop until we reach the hospital.
We slide into the emergency room parking lot, and I roll my best friend out of the bed of the truck. He is oddly lethargic and pliant, but I really don't mind. I grab his wound again (the back of the truck is covered in blood) and I start steering him towards the door.
And then he hits me. Hard.
For whatever reason, he has decided that the fight isn't over, and he wants to go back to the party and finish the job - oblivious to the fact that he is bleeding to death. I am preventing that, so obviously, I am the enemy. The lethargy is gone, he is back in full-bore psycho mode, and he is of no mind to see any doctors.
I don't have *TIME* for this shit - so I tackle him, and wind up sitting on his chest with one hand clamped down on his wound and the other hand trying to fend off the blows from his free hand.
Sometime around this point, 1988 arrives.
I finally manage to convince him that I *am* still his friend and he *is* bleeding out and he *does* need to see a doctor *right now* - and then he goes all pliable again, so I am finally able to get him into the hospital.
I tell the doc what has happened, warn him that he might go nuts again so feel free to restrain the stupid sonofabitch, and then introduce the doc to the girlfriend as the nearest thing to next of kin.
And then I drive his truck home. I'm tired, battered, and pissed off, and I am SOAKED in my best friend's blood. I need a shower; those two can spend the night in hospital.
I underestimate the effect my arrival home will have; my mother freaks out when she sees me.
"You're drenched in blood! What happened to you?!"
"S'OK Ma. It's not mine. I'm grabbing a shower."
So that's the standard. Some New Year's Eves are better than others, but any one that doesn't end with me washing a friend's blood off myself ranks as a good one.
That makes New Year's 2007 a good one, I guess.