Monday, January 01, 2007

Old Newt's New Year Resolutions

Newt Harlan is a gifted Texas writer and a friend. Instead of posting his stuff on a blog, Old Newt sends a n electronic newsletter, Pearls of Profound Wisdom and Other Misguided Thoughts, free of charge, to anyone who sends him an e-mail at - - and asks to join in the fun.

His first epistle of 2007 opened with some Profound Wisdom on the subject of New Year resolution which I've posted below. If you want to read the newsletter's, Other Misguided Thoughts, send Old Newt one of those e-mails I mentioned. Tell him Bayou Bill sent you.


by Newt Harlan

Here it is January 1st again and that means we have important things to do. For some of us there are hangovers to cure, then there are football bowl games to watch and we all need to eat a mess of greens and black-eyed peas to insure good luck and good fortune in the coming year.

Today, also marks the day many of us start off the New Year with a clean slate and the chance to right old wrongs, correct bad habits, improve behavior, performance and relationships and set various other goals for self-improvement and other high-minded undertakings. This exercise is commonly called making “New Year’s Resolutions”.

For many years I did really good in the resolution department. My resolution was always not to make any resolutions. I succeeded in keeping that one every year for quite some time, until in 2003 a friend challenged me to make some “real” resolutions. Bad move. As I recall, I made 5 or 6 of the self-improvement kinds and by the time February rolled around I had broken all but 2 and by the end of the year, I had failed miserably. I think the only resolution I managed to half-assed keep was one where I resolved to be nice to a couple of people I wasn’t real fond of, and the only reason I managed to keep that one was they both moved out of town.

After that 2003 fiasco, I resumed my “no resolutions is a good resolution” policy. Truthfully, I do feel somewhat guilty about setting my sights so low. After all, New Year’s resolutions are a tradition and even though I did make one last year, I’m sure there are many of you who think even though I kept the one I made, it was pretty much a wussy resolution which really and truly was just a cop out on “real” resolutions.

So this year I’ve decided to jump right into the fray with y’all and make some “real” resolutions, if for no other reason, just to keep the tradition going, because this country needs good traditions. Just think if we didn’t have traditions, anarchy and chaos would reign and we’d probably revert back to being cavemen and maybe eventually start being renegades or cannibals or frenchmen or something. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a contributor to something like that, so this year I’ve made me some “real” resolutions.

Of course, when you get to be as old as I am, there aren’t too many things going on in your life that need resolving. My little stay in the hospital last year took care of quitting smoking and also helped me to shed about 35 lbs., so those two possible resolutions are off the table.

Finally, after much thought and serious deliberation, I came up with the following areas where I can probably stand some self improvement:

· I will under no circumstances attempt skydiving. I have nothing against those who participate in this sport, but at my age I don’t think it would be that much of an accomplishment to jump out of a perfectly good airplane with just a scrap of cloth between me and a splatter on the ground below. Besides, I’ve already done it once… They made me do it when I was in the service.

· I will not knowingly eat possum, muskrat or nutria. Of course, if I’m invited to a hunting camp over somewhere in the East Texas thicket country, it’s considered rude to question whatever might be offered to eat, potluck is potluck.

· I will wear underwear under my pants when out in public and will make every effort to insure they’re clean in the event there’s an accident. Wearing underwear becomes more important as I advance in age because I sometimes forget to re-zip after I unzip and it’s uncouth to walk around with your business hanging out… Not to mention that people tend to point and laugh.

· I will continue to be politically incorrect. Things and people are what they are and calling them by a different name doesn’t change a damned thing. Like Uncle Babe Martin used to say, “no matter how many times you call bullshit peanut butter, it still looks and smells like bullshit.”

· I will continue my quest to determine the correct way to dispense toilet paper from the roll---over the top or from the bottom. Somebody, somewhere out there has the answer to this.

· I will quit procrastinating. (But I’m not going to start this one until May or June or maybe September.)

· I will not buy a helicopter. I can’t fly a helicopter and don’t have a license to fly one, so it would be very dangerous for me to own a helicopter. I won’t buy an airplane for the same reasons. Besides helicopters scare my dog.

· I will continue to speak primarily English in my home and in most cases, everywhere I go in public. I may attempt a little Spanish with the folks down at the Mexican restaurant, but they usually talk too fast for me to understand what they’re saying. Russian is the only other foreign language I have any kind of grasp of and I haven’t run across any Russian speakers around here in about 10 years. About the only other “foreign language” I may attempt speaking is some unknown tongues late at night down at the beer joint…but then I haven’t been at the beer joint past eight o’clock in years, so that’s highly unlikely.

· I will not allow any Bigfoot, Sasquatch or chupacabra to take up residence in my backyard or anywhere in close proximity of my house. Those things are flat dangerous.

· I will continue to be the same irascible, incorrigible curmudgeon that I’ve been for the majority of my 66 some odd years; it’s way too late to change now and most folks wouldn’t recognize me any other way.

There you have my New Year’s Resolutions for 2007. We’ll check in periodically during the year for a progress review. Then, if at the end of 2007, I do manage to keep at least some of these, I will have contributed to the New Year’s resolution tradition by making and keeping some “real” resolutions, plus I will have completed at least a few items of self-improvement and personal growth. Perhaps between now and then, y’all can think of a suitable reward for such an accomplishment.


Blogger Monica said...

I'm lucky enough to get Newt's newsy emails.

Hope 2007 is a good one for you and your family.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Bk30 said...

LOL, now those resolutions are more my speed. I lost your blog in the move,but have found it again and saved it again...yeah me!

10:33 AM  
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