Good Riddance Day
How wonderful it would be if we could magically make unwanted memories disappear, or get rid of things in our lives that have caused us unhappiness! (1) _____. The Times Square Alliance in New York, a business group dedicated to promoting and improving the neighbourhood, decided to give people the opportunity to shred images or papers that represented the worst aspects of their lives from the previous year. They called this ‘Good Riddance Day’ and the event was held in Times Square itself on 28 December 2007. (2) _____. The idea was actually based on an old Latin American tradition in which New Year’s revellers put hated objects into giant dolls and burn them.
So, how exhilarating is it to shred pictures of ex-fiancés, bad school reports and so on? (3) _____. Paul Caine was one person who took the opportunity to get rid of his most unpleasant memory of 2007. ‘It’s just fantastic to see it disappear!’ said Paul. ‘It really feels that that particularly nasty part of my life is completely gone! I suppose it’s what you call ‘closure’.’ And what was Paul’s memory? A photo of his ex with her new husband!
(4) _____. One woman made a collage of an old demonic boss who had made her life a living misery. There was enormous satisfaction on her face as she watched it being sliced. A recovering alcoholic had written on a piece of paper the words ‘My obsession with drink’ and happily watched that disappear too. Perhaps the most gruesome item was a photo of a person’s appendix which had been removed that year. ‘It gave me a really bad time,’ its previous owner commented, as he said goodbye to the memory forever.
So, will this ‘Day’ catch on and encourage people the world over to ceremonially say ‘Good Riddance’ to their bad memories? Personally, I feel there is something a little suspect and even slightly sinister about cutting up photos of other people, however badly they have treated you. (5) _____. I recently ripped a picture of an old boyfriend to pieces in a fit of temper!