We need to talk about that awkward lull that comes approximately two minutes and 45 seconds after the clock ticks over to midnight on New Year’s Eve.
It goes from everyone jumping up and down celebrating the, er, inevitable continuity of time, straight into an enormous display of fireworks.
Now I’m going to say something. And you might not like it.
Fireworks are boring AF.
Watching fireworks is akin to having an acquaintance say, "Have you seen this great video on YouTube?" and then making you watch the entire nine minutes as they look over your shoulder - waiting for your reaction.
Or going sightseeing with your mum, and having to think of eight ways to say "ah wow look at this view" in order to justify the hour long trek that preceded it.
I'm not a fan of views. I'm not a fan of watching YouTube videos without my consent. And I'm certainly not a fan of man-made lights going off in the sky for 12 minutes.
But alas - there is an awkward conspiracy where we all have to stand around and communally watch things explode while we fantasise about when it's socially appropriate to leave and catch the train.
Now, 12 minutes is a long time. There's a lot of filler small talk that needs to take place within this period - and we can't be going in unprepared, or we'll end up saying something weird. Here are five really cool and creative observations to make while we watch colourful things get shot up at the sky.
1. "Oh - wow. Look at all the colours!"
This one is fairly default, but for a brief moment it will sound as though you're really enjoying the display. Throw in some "Ah, they're so pretty," and "Wowie!" for extra effect.
If things get really dire, you can always start naming the colours. "Oh yes, red. And that one is blue! Oh and purple..."
2. "I wonder how they do it..." (No you don't).
Given that a) no one cares and b) no one really knows, this conversation is guaranteed to kill a few minutes. It will consist of a few people just throwing around some random guesses, until the weird guy in the corner just Googles it and reads out the answer. Note: The answer will be boring.
3. "Haha I swear these fireworks have gone on for longer than last year haha."
But it will feel like it.
And just when you think they're over...BOOM. There will be another one.
4. "My dog doesn't like fireworks, they make him quite anxious. I wonder how he's going..."
Dogs don't like fireworks, because they are smarter and superior to humans in every conceiveable way.
Chances are the person you're speaking to also has a pet, who also despises fireworks. It really is a wonderful conversation starter.
5. Drop some facts. Everyone loves facts.
If in doubt, always drop some facts. Here are some of my favourites:
- 90% of all firework production takes place in China.
- The first recorded fireworks in England were at the wedding of King Henry VII in 1486.
- The hardest firework colour to create is blue.
- In 1996, Hong Kong celebrated the New Year with 22 HOURS WORTH of fireworks. That is my actual nightmare.
Anyway, turns out that even facts about fireworks are boring.
So good luck tonight. May you impress all your friends with your creative AND cool observations about goddamn fireworks.