What Drinkers at Barça and Havana Regret
In an informal survey of bar-goers vigorously celebrating the holiday season, the majority professed to have no regrets about the past year whatsoever. Those in attendance at The Stranger's holiday festivities at Barça tended, predictably, to have more regrets and to be far more long-winded about them than average humans. (And when they lacked regrets, they regrettably tended to express this in French, with gaiety: "Je ne regrette rien!") The very first respondent provided by far the best story of the evening, an initially guilt-ridden confession involving the slashing of tires, maybe in Pioneer Square and maybe with a bowie knife. However, as this ostensible regretter warmed to her topic ("If you have a big-enough knife, it goes straight through the tube; it sounds almost like a shotgun, BANG!"), it emerged that this criminal act was, in the end, therapeutic, and compunction dissolved ("I was like, I'm not mad anymore. It was very, very satisfying").
Elsewhere at Barça, regrets included "not having sex with the former intern, and also not eating more raised doughnuts"; "not sleeping with [a member of a prominent local band]"; "having no guilt, which makes me a sociopath, doesn't it?"; "not growing a mustache"; "having two sex dreams about Charles [Mudede]..., It's super disturbing"; "that I went to South Dakota—or just South Dakota, period"; and "making out with my friend's wife—but I only kind of regret it." A Stranger staffer occupied with melting a candy cane over a candle and licking it regretted gaining weight, while another in midconsumption of a "festive" brownie regretted it already, predicting (accurately) that it would cause zombification and a truncated evening. One person, grandly, sadly regretted most if not all of 2006.
A block away at Havana's Christmas party, such self-flagellation was notably absent. The general public, it seems, is living the unexamined life to the hilt. Ought-six was for most a "GREAT year," in which they did nothing stupid, nothing embarrassing, nothing morally questionable much less entirely wrong. Prompting—maybe you vomited somewhere inappropriate or fell down some stairs?—had little effect. Santa, slumped in a low chair enjoying a High Life, reported that it was "all good" and merely required a hug to make the waning year utterly complete. Nearby, refreshingly, someone admitted, "I don't really remember 2006." Minor run-ins with the law were the source of a number of very dull regrets—getting a seat-belt ticket, etc. One person wished they'd eaten more bacon. Upon overhearing the details of yet another unregretfully "GREAT year" ("I bought a house, and I started remodeling it—it's really cool"), a bystander sniped, "I regret finding out my stain-resistant Dockers weren't stain resistant."
Taking the rejection of regrets to its grandest, happiest metaphysical extreme, a very jolly, omni-tattooed gentleman reported, "The only regret I have is that I didn't have a good time everywhere—only places I went."