I miss my man, Lou Bega.
As we approach the end of the decade, I think back to December 31, 1999 and two images dominate: the smiling crooner of “Mambo No. 5” and Peter Jennings’ sweep of midnights across the globe.
In the months leading up to the New Millennium, a Lou Bega sighting could happen anywhere, including on a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float. Fueled by an Internet-powered surge, stock markets were at all time highs, and Mambo No. 5 reflected such abundance with an impressive roster of trumpet-playing hotties:
A little bit of a Monica in my life,
A little bit of Erica by my side
A little bit of Rita’s all I need
A little bit of Tina’s what I see
A little bit of Sandra in the sun…
While women everywhere rejoiced, those whose names were mentioned celebrated with the most vigor.
As Peter Jennings suited up for 23 hours of continuous coverage, Lou’s most pressing concern was whether to wear the solid white suit with the black and white Panama hat or vice versa.
ABC linked a consortium of news organizations to present celebrations in Sydney, London, Paris and other great cities, showcasing the results of years of prosperity and construction booms. The $2 billion dome in London, one million people in Sydney for fireworks, the Eiffel Tower and Washington Monument, pulsating with Star Wars-like photons — each surpassing the one before in their display of excess.
Following falling snow as large as feathers in Red Square was a report from a Somali refugee camp where the only electricity was supplied by the ABC camera crew. By the time midnight had arrived, the people in the tent city had already gone to bed, stripping them of any sense of promise or the worldwide experience, their time continuum beginning and ending with their last meal.
I’m not sure what happened to my man Lou or where the world is heading in 2010. Based on recent events, though, I fear he will land on an episode of “Cheaters,” keeping Joey Greco busy following trumpet-playing beauties with digitally distorted faces into various eating establishments.