New Year’s Eve in a shanty sounds a lot worse than it really is. Shanty doesn’t have the same connotation in rural Newfoundland as it does in the States. A shanty is the small building/house/cabin on the coast used by fishermen as a residence when going to and coming from the sea. It is for the most part a home-away-from-home. And oftentimes the subject of cute and quaint calendars and post cards of lands far-away.
But come the holidays and New Year’s Eve, all that changes. The shanty becomes the Newfoundland equivalent of a man-cave by the sea for the duration plus. And one can only speculate on behaviors conducted. The good news is that it’s usually far enough away from the children and pets.
Celebrations – oh, yes. Singing and dancing – yes b’y. Eating and drinking, why the hell not? Fishing – probably not much. But when it’s cold, windy, wet and/or snowy, and more, and the holidays to boot, why would you want to do anything but the aforementioned activities? Consequently, inebriation is often the result. A common comment then heard might be “Goin’ on a tear, me son?” translated as “partying with enthusiasm are we?” Count on it. After all, it is the new year.