I thought twice about posting this one, but then I said to myself, “Hey, this is part of Albuquerque, for good or bad it is what it is.” Myself says – visitors need to know about this too! Kinda sad, kinda funny, but not really ha-ha funny, rather strange funny, in my opinion.
On New Year’s Eve, many parts of Albuquerque historically revert to the being the wild, wild west once again and the bullets start flying. This spectacle is viewed with both mild amusement and serious disdain by Burqueños*, yet some citizens don’t even know it is happening, although I can’t figure out why. Last year some friends were visiting us early in the afternoon on New Years Eve and when we happened to mention the gunfire we will once again be experiencing at midnight, they had no clue at all what we were talking about. But believe me, it is out there and most everyone down here in the valley and in the University area, among others, know the difference between firecrackers and gunfire.
It is called Celebratory Gunfire. People want to ring in the New Year with a loud noise and that gun in the closet makes a pretty big bang, so out it comes. Most of these gun toting folks don’t keep blanks around for these situations, nor are they usually sober when midnight rolls around, so no one is thinking that they should really shoot their gun at the ground, not skyward. But skyward they aim, like a bunch of rowdy gunslingers come to town to whoop it up and raise some hell. The weird thing is that more bullets don’t shower down on us, (we’ll, not me – we stay indoors at our house on NYE).
Last year, right after the Albuquerque New Year’s blast off, I went online to the Duke City Fix, (our spectacular city blog and conversation forum), to see what was being said about the “rat-tat-tat-tat-tat” and BOOM-BOOM-BOOM going on outside. I swear I hear automatic weapons out there. A virtual war is going on. I found this posting:
“When I first moved to Albuquerque, I was a hospice nurse and was on call NYE… I got called out to a patient’s home and arrived in front of their south valley house at midnight. HOLY SHIT was pretty much my first new years eve impression of Albuquerque. The patient’s family explained the whole thing to me, in between hysterical laughter.”
With the cost of bullets so high, I am left wondering how many bucks are blasted into the night air on this night, and where they are all coming down? So, I stay indoors, and sip my wine which is money better spent in my opinion. It’s not like there aren’t many fine, fun things to do in Albuquerque on New Years Eve – there are plenty just like any other city – but I prefer to stay at home sipping my wine and listening to the rounds going off as the new year rolls in. Hey! Maybe we could have a contest this year…invite some friends over for a few of our own rounds of “Name that Automatic Weapon”.
*Burqueños, aka Albuquerqueans, but that is way to long to say, or write, isn’t it?
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