Please, Someone, Buy Eric Schaefer Jack in the Box Tacos for His New Year's Eve Birthday

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

This holiday season, Chow Bella asked some of our favorite writers to regale us with tales of the holidays -- and food. We're at the tale end this week, with New Year's. Today: Eric Schaefer on the joys horrors of a NYE birthday.

See also: - Champagne: Good, Better, Best Options with Kimber Stonehouse of Sportsman's - Where to Drink and What to Eat in Phoenix on New Year's Eve - Eating Christmas: Valley Writers Nosh on the Holidays

Take my word on this: Don't have sex in April unless you're supremely confident in your chosen form of birth control. Had someone shared this sage advice with my parents nearly 40 years ago, there's a chance that I wouldn't be forever cursed with a birthday that falls on the worst day of the year: New Year's Eve. Don't take the chance of inflicting upon your child the lifetime of misery that was unwittingly bestowed upon me.

New Year's Eve is the holiday that we all secretly despise. We feel compelled to go out and have a great time but, really, it's never very much fun. We force a smile as we adorn ourselves with stupid New Year's themed accessories, and feign excitement as the clock ticks down to midnight. Driving will get you a death wish or a DUI. And even the best restaurants frequently disappoint. Recent years have included an almost-unheard-of lackluster experience at Binkley's, a culinary clusterfuck at Quiessence, overpriced glitz at Dominick's and even dinner at my beloved that Noca failed to excite.

What normally costs $25 is $50 on New Year's Eve. When we go out with the expectation that it has to be fun, it almost never is and you'll pay through the nose for the privilege of feeling disappointed.

Truthfully, I've only had three truly great New Year's Eve birthday dinners. The first was in Amsterdam and that's probably because I only vaguely recall the bulk of it. Something about several grams of Jamaica's finest, a live sex show, and a banana, but I digress. My friends told me I had a good time. The second was a meal on the beach in Nice, France, but the fun quickly came to an end when my girlfriend overindulged on Grand Cru and spent the night getting intimate with our hostel's plumbing system instead of me. We missed our train to Florence the next morning and she dumped me a few weeks later.

Happy birthday to me, indeed. I should have opted for a tall glass of hemlock instead.

And the third involved dinner with my wife in rural New York at a continental restaurant where we were the youngest customers by at least 40 years, the stereotypically French proprietor had relatives in Tubac, Arizona, and on the drive home we found ourselves lost at the set of Stuckeybowl from the since-canceled sitcom Ed. Bizarre.

But before you label me a miserable bastard, I'm vowing to have a better attitude this year. I'm going to take all that I hate about being a New Year's Eve baby and I'm going to celebrate it. I intend to be dressed head-to-toe in Made in China New Year's Eve Crap from Party City. A little tip: invest in confetti, because I'm buying all of it and it's going to be everywhere. I will drink every crappy glass of champagne that I'm served, hangover be damned.

Shit, I might even be okay with the fact that Carson Daly is clearly responsible for Dick Clark's premature demise. I'll watch the ball drop in Times Square with the knowledge that 2012 was in many ways the worst year and the best year of my life. I'm glad it's over, I'm excited about the future and I don't intend to look back.

As for the food, I haven't yet made any decisions. But as long as I'm surrounded by the ones that I love, I could be happy with a nice bottle of champagne and some 99-cent tacos from Jack in the Box. Hell, I'll even pay two bucks for them on New Year's Eve.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.