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Death Row Or Times Square For New Year's Eve?

It’s been nearly a decade since the excommunication, but I still distinctly remember the thrill of going to Catholic mass on Christmas Eve as a child. The palpable joy of the holiday season; the festive lighting and decorations; the gigantic crowd of people standing in one, confined space for an extended period of time; the mediocre music; a charismatic sexual predator stealing the Spotlight and hosting the event, etc…In my head it was almost perfect. But I couldn’t help but think, “If only this was just ten times longer, ten thousand times more packed with people, and took place outside in the freezing cold instead.” As a young boy, I would've done anything to experience something like that. 

Well, my fantasy turned into reality last winter when I went to Times Square (yes, that Times Square) to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve for the first time. Jealous? Ha. Don’t worry — it costs zero dollars to attend and there’s no tickets required. Bazinga! Nevermind the fact that you have to virtually camp out overnight and get there by the early hours of the morning in order to even get a chance to catch a blurred glimpse of the underwhelming stage, it’s still the the most iconic party in the world. And the payoff of getting to watch an oversized sphere descend from a flagpole for sixty seconds is well worth any prolonged "misery" or "torture" you might experience. If that’s not enough of an incentive, then here’s a few more reasons why you’d be a fool to not make the trek to Midtown Manhattan on December 31st. 

It’s a once in a lifetime experience

In the same sense that passing your first kidney stone or slowly suffering from a rare neuromuscular disorder in which all of your tissues gradually ossify and render your body completely paralyzed until you ultimately die are “once in a lifetime experiences,” seeing the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve is truly something that you’ll only do once.

The people

Ah, the sheer amount of people. A million of them to be precise. Yes, a literal million — 50 sold out crowds at Madison Square Garden worth of people —  all in one of the most recognizable and congested tourist hot spots in the entire world. Can it get much better than that? Like a million staphylococcus bacteria gathering on a contaminated skin patch of an unhygienic college wrestler, a million tourists will flock to Times Square for the unique chance to watch 2019 arbitrarily turn into 2020. But instead of oozing pus like a MRSA boil, each attendee will get the unique opportunity to involuntarily discharge piss out of their puss/penis because there’s no bathrooms or toilets on the premises. If you’re a claustrophile with a urine fetish like me, you’ll be in fucking heaven. 

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I often fantasize about being in that jam-packed Times Square crowd, eagerly waiting for the ball to drop like a self conscious 7th grader, when an emergency situation/terrorist attack prompts everyone to panic and evacuate abruptly, thus causing the dense crowd to completely lose control of their own bodies and unwillingly move by the laws of fluid dynamics, until the people at the front reach a choke point and everyone eventually piles up on top of each other and painfully dies of compressive asphyxiation. Mnnnnng.

It’s extremely safe

Since there’s hundreds of police officers patrolling the entire brigaded area to make sure people don’t try to break the law or sit down to rest their legs for a couple seconds, the chances of you getting murdered by someone who’s not a police officer are extremely slim.

The childlike thrills

Let's be honest. The main reason why most adults go to Times Square for NYE is because they get the rare opportunity to feel and act like a little kid again. The nostalgic bliss of peeing your pants, not being fed for twelve hours straight, and having virtually no freedom. The excitement of bundling up in several layers of clothing on snow days, minus the snow day and forthcoming pleasure of sled riding/playing in the snow/having any semblance of fun. The anxiety of feeling like a bad little boy or girl because you’re staying up past midnight, and the subsequent relief of remembering you’re a grown adult who’s not only allowed to stay up extremely late but forced to do so in order to successfully take NJ/NY transit or a $500 Uber back to your home or hotel.

I remember going to my local Barnes & Noble for the midnight release party of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as a fresh-faced eighth grader. I was dressed up as The Sorting Hat and my costume-clad crush was a spiting image of Hermione, if Emma Watson had severe acne, scoliosis, and an overbite. While I was waiting in a line amongst a sea of spell-shouting wizard virgins, I remember thinking to myself, “there’s no way it can get any better than this.” I was wrong. Very wrong. 

As someone who's vehemently against capital punishment and the intolerable denial of civil liberties, I can't help but think that people on death row should at least get to experience a fun-filled, once in a lifetime event like Times Square on NYE before they die. I don't know, maybe I just have too big of a heart.