Getting the jump on unlucky '13, I've worked up a list of New Years resolutions. Thought I'd go ahead and share them early, as the world is scheduled to end on Friday and I wouldn't want them to go to waste.
Like they won't anyway.
In 2013 I'm going to cut down considerably on the number of photo-ops, and, unless more interest is shown, I may cut them out completely.
I'm going to contact the high-class wall-picture place over at Bentonville and ask them to get custody of the Christ of the Ozarks and move it over there where it'll be appreciated by real art-lovers and not a bunch of old gays and former hippies.
I'm not going to eat the liver of anything that used to be alive, even if I die that not-quite-dead death that obliges you to come back as a zombie that doesn't do anything but stagger around looking for raw dead-people's livers to eat, not even using utensils or braising them lightly in a trash-barrel fire.
I'll not be baling my own hay.
I'm going to tell Scalia the next time I see him that I think he's an insufferable prick.
I'm going to stop making excuses for tomatoes.
I won't be taking up whittling or spinning yarns, which is what men my age used to do to pass the time. This wasn't artistic whittling. It was mainly whittling sharp points onto nondescript sticks, like sharpening leadless pencils. These sharpened sticks weren't good for anything except very rarely to point the way back to the main road to strangers who stopped to ask directions. The yarns were sometimes pretty good, though.
Men my age also used to futz a lot. I'll not futz.
I won't be tumping outhouses on Halloween — a tradition that's lost its luster somehow — and I'll hire an off-duty deputy to guard mine. If I can find one who'll work cheap. And won't make off with my Sears & Roebuck catalogue.
I've bulldogged my last steer.
I've also busted my last sod. I'll avoid tight, bouldery places where I might be drygulched by bushwhackers or bushwhacked by drygulchers, or plugged or winged by either galoots or sidewinders.
I'm not going to piddle around as much. God didn't put us here to piddle.
I'll not make brooms, or learn entertaining old-timer pee tricks, such as directing it through the rear window on one side of an Airstream singlewide and out the window on the other side without a single drop moisting a bunk mattress or throw pillow inside.
I'll not yodel. Not competitively anyhow. That means I'll not be participating in the big annual Yodel-Off at Bucksnort, which is sort of our parochial version of "American Idol" or "The X Factor." But say la vee and sick transit Gloria Monday.
I'll not agree to disagree. I'd rather just have it out and be done with it.
I'll not rest on my laurels. Or I wouldn't if I had any.
I'll not update. Obliging you to is just their way of keeping you on the hook. Neither will I be ordering or installing new apps, or whatever it is you order and install these days. Just something else to worry about.
I'll not garden in the moonlight naked.
I'll not lose my breath and pass out cold again from leaning over the midriff tallow to whack off a bunch of toenails that grow about an inch a night — to keep them from looking like Howard Hughes talons that have ripped up just about every pair of socks that I own. I'll halloo a nervy pedicurist first.
I'll not be decking the halls with boughs of poison ivy. Again. Though the white berries did provide some nicely understated decorative contrast to the red ones of the plastic holly.
At the height of tick season, I'll be extra vigilant regarding otherwise inexplicable fruit movement in the breakfast raisin-bran bowl.
I'll not prejudge the new legislature. It couldn't be worse than, say, Michigan's. Though it will surely try.
If I hire any Turks as domestics with access to the household cutlery, I'll take care to refer to the footstool in the study as a hassock and not an ottoman.
I'll not go over to the Mormon cosmogony. I mean, I don't mind a little far-fetchedness in the metaphysic, but damn!
I'll not wear a bow tie that lights up and flashes to a funeral. Or anyhow not to the funeral of anybody I knew and cared about. There's a redheaded deadbeat that owes me domino money whose funeral I would wear it to, though.
I'm going to struggle with what I've got left against the notion, which gained considerable impetus in Connecticut just last week, that this is No Country for Old Men who have seen enough.
I'll not be blowing up any more beaver dams, especially that close to sensitive government installations.
I'll not go on any more swamp treks looking for ivorybill woodpeckers, as I have peckerwoods enough to deal with already.
I'll not labor for the master from the dawn till setting sun, as the old hymn, probably written by Simon Legree, advocates.
I'll not be standing my ground if the other sumbitch is intent on standing his and has a higher-caliber piece.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.
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