Happy New Year! It’s that magical time of year when the witty columnist dives deep into his or her own personal pool of boiling creativity and emerges, dripping, with one of exactly two of the only possible column topics available: resolutions for the new year, or predictions for the new year. It’s enough to make you long for February to come, just to get past them all.
I, however, am far more imaginative than that, and so I’m going with the third topic: predicting what will happen with my resolutions. Ready? Let’s go!
GET IN SHAPE
Little vague for a resolution, really. I already have a shape — that of a Bartlett pear — and it serves me well. I am difficult to abduct, I wobble back to an upright position no matter how far I am tipped, and when sitting I always have a useful table in front of me to hold snacks and beverages. Why change?
START A DAILY EXERCISE REGIMEN
That’s more like it. Healthy, smart, forward-thinking. I’ll actually do it too – assuming “daily exercise regimen” translates to “feebly work out with awkward, barely-remembered exercises from junior high gym for nine days before oversleeping once and then never exercising ever again.”
EAT HEALTHIER AND HEART-SMART
Oatmeal! Fruit with every meal! Lean meat! No fat, no sugar, no white bread! Death to carbs! This will last until mid-February, when I’ll begin twitching within 20 feet of a Cheese Doodle. By the 21st I’ll be getting up at 3 a.m. for a few stolen spoonfuls of bacon grease, and on March 15 I will ceremonially eat my last salad of 2008 (except for one Caesar’s salad snarfed next December to help me pretend I kept at it).
SPEND MORE TIME WITH THE KIDS
My kids, anyway. The rest of them kinda creep me out, they’re like shrunken adults with self-control probl… they’re like shrunken adults.
For the first few weeks of January I’ll be hanging around with my 15-year-old spending time together and doing everything we can think of, which means watching him play his video games, listening to his stories about video games and going with him on father-son trips to buy more video games. By the 17th I’ll snap and secretly join World of Warcraft myself specifically to hire mercenaries – probably a team of merciless 12-year-olds from Dubuque — to kill his character so the stories will stop, stop, blessedly stop.
The 22-year-old is tougher, since he took off for college, but for the next several months I’ll recapture our relationship by showing up at random, inconvenient times to crash on his couch, mooch his food and leave unidentifiable stains behind his TV, along with my laundry. I’ll finally stop after the court order in June, but the hearings will give us some nice quality time together through the summer.
SPEND MORE TIME WITH MY WIFE
She’s a lovely lady, and there’s no one I’d rather spend time with. Just need to finish checking my e-mail, updating some pages, cleaning out the extra files on my hard drive, cleaning my car, building those shelves, finishing that book, and then I’ll be right there, honey!
No, wait. Bad! Instead I’ll learn to reprioritize and put all that aside, working on it in the late night or early morning when she’s asleep so we can spend more time together. We’ll be inseparable! Whenever she wants to go anywhere, do anything, eat anything, watch anything, I’ll be right there with her. If she takes a step, I’ll finish it for her. We will be two halves of the same body again, just like we were in the beginning.
By April 5 she’ll have installed deadbolts on the bedroom to get some peace and quiet, and hung an emergency ladder out the window so she can eat a meal without me staring soulfully at her for five damn minutes. I’ll console myself by making a Web site about her, which works better for me anyway.
READ THE GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE
Won’t even get past the first week with this one. Sorry, Dickens. Forget it, Bronte sisters. Not a chance, any Russian writer at all. As soon as the first hint of multi-layered prose hits my forebrain I’m outta there. I will, however, make a greater effort to watch more movies based on great works of literature.
That effort will fade away by mid-May, to be replaced with a half-hearted resolution to watch more “Simpsons” episodes that reference great works of literature.
HELP THE LESS FORTUNATE
This one’s trickier, as for the most part I don’t like the less fortunate. Many of them seem to be aware that my presence on the more fortunate side of the equation is through sheer unwarranted luck and, worse, easily remedied.
Instead I shall start the year off by giving to charities with easily accessible Web sites. I don’t know, somehow knowing that my clicking is going to help someone just gives my finger a warm feeling inside. I will also try to help make my fellow man’s life a little easier by washing my clothes before I throw them out, and by wasting my food in clean, sealable containers.
In July, I’ll volunteer to help in a food kitchen but only after telling my attractive 30-something friends that I’m really going on a hot date. Then, when they show up there, I’ll have to resort to zany hijinks to get out of that sticky situation.
BE MORE RESPONSIBLE WITH MY MONEY
Do I really need a third stone gargoyle? (Answer: yes.) It’s time to buckle down and start making my money work for me, instead of running away from me screaming the way it does now. I’ll invest heavily in whatever stocks the popular stocks Web sites tell me to, so that when the market crashes in August (spoiler alert!) my fate will be intertwined with theirs.
Although not, for some reason, with the people who write for the stocks sites, who will miraculously escape financial ruin, although they will be hunted down for sport in September by destitute mobs.
WRITE COLUMNS ON TIME
I’ve already blown this one, so never mind. Maybe the pH balance is off on my pool of boiling creativity…