College World

VOL. 104 Number 13
January 19, 1989

by Allen Lee Haff ‘92

Glasses were raised, a toast was made. Inhabitants of the crowded room silenced themselves just long enough to slurp down the remnants of their handheld beverage.

Screams of excitement rang out, friendly smiles exchanged, drinks were replenished. I couldn’t help noticing that the smiles were increasing in friendliness with every drink. A member of the gathering (who’s slurred voice revealed his high seniority of the evening) shouted something about success in ’89. Glasses were raised, the ritual repeated.

I refrained this round, wondering. Were these people really happy about the beginning of a new year? If so, then why are zillions of people around the world all drinking themselves into a stupor this night?

It was fear. That had to be it. The year 1988 hadn’t been a perfect one to many. I lowered my mug, remembering flesh-eating earthquakes in Armenia.

What about the incineration of six clueless fire-fighters? I’ve heard people refer to the fireman as America’s last real hero. Not a very good year for heroes I suppose.

Last year wasn’t a successful year to most farmers, either. The drought in the states might

not have killed anyone, but it sure put the hurt on a lot of agriculturists.

More lives lost in Lockerbie. Some Iranian terrorist organization has already claimed responsibility for that one. Reminds me of that incident earlier in the year when our boys blew that Iranian passenger plane out of the air. Except that they were sneakier.

Dozens of other calamities crossed my mind. Anything from highway shootings to the death of Roy Orbison. I needed a drink.

Suddenly, I realized that 1989 was something I should be worried about or at least  concerned. Afraid of, on the other hand, not really.

As I consumed the much needed intoxicant, I relaxed. After all, even if the new year turns out worse than the last (which is highly unlikely), at least the world would be conditioned for it, thanks to 1988!