Miles to go and resolutions to keep


Although I have no idea who Marie Edgeworth is, I couldn’t agree more. And in light of this, I thought I’d look back at my columns from 2007, learn from my mistakes and create resolutions to improve myself for this coming year.

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n I resolve to keep dancing. On Jan. 10, I wrote an article about a recent salsa dancing lesson I’d taken. This was a rather momentous occasion for me, because when it comes to hand-eye coordination, I’m about as suave as a Chihuahua with one of those satellites disks around its neck after a surgery.

“Being raised with a Menno­nite background,” I said, “the most physical activity ever required of me is walking through potluck lines.”

By dancing, I can improve my skills and perhaps become more in shape. It beats Richard Simmons videos.

n I resolve not to become overly sarcastic about situations that I have absolutely no control over. At the beginning of last year, one of the hot news items in Kansas was the passing of a bill that allowed accepted Kansans to carry concealed weapons.

But on Jan. 19, I might have crossed a line when I satirically pondered “if the House and Senate felt that, for our own safety, we Kansans should be allowed to pack small nuclear missile launchers in the trunks of our cars, would we support that too?”

This prompted a very sincere letter to the editor that reminded me that the sky is not falling. Thank you.

n I resolve to continue giving blood. Since writing this column Feb. 7, I have given blood five times. But just like the first time I gave, the blood-drive staff still has to put me on my back with my feet up in the air as “the ceiling comes down to smack me in the face.”

n I resolve to keep my room clean. On April 25, shortly after the junior-senior prom, I decided to clean off my desk to make room for my Gutterball King trophy that I had won at the after-prom party. I then got on a cleaning spree and cleaned my whole room.

Although I don’t ever recall making a mess, somehow my room always becomes cluttered shortly after cleaning it.

“I suspect there is some sort of office-supplies breeding going on,” I wrote. “If you’ve never watched the complex mating rituals of the pencil on a Discovery Channel special, then you will never fully appreciate what has been happening on my desk.”

I am happy to report that my room is now clean again because I worked on it last week—the first time since prom.

n I resolve to keep my spare keys in a safer location. On Aug. 1 I related a rather ironic story about a key that had mysteriously found its way into my car’s rear tire, causing it to completely deflate within seconds.

I had no idea where the key came from, but a friend suggested it perhaps was the spare key I kept in a magnetic box under my car. I didn’t think much of that idea until “a few days later, out of boredom, I took the key, inserted it into my door and turned it. It unlocked.”

n I resolve not to use the middle urinal. This Aug. 15 column about the Men’s Restroom Code of Conduct prompted perhaps the most comments I have ever gotten from readers They came in two forms: men agreed with me and women couldn’t believe that such a rule actually existed.

I still suggest that we put more potted plants in men’s restrooms, just in case. If you get my drift.

n I resolve to be nicer to my teeth. A mid-fall dentist visit prompted my Oct. 31 column about proper tooth care, and why we should feel sorrier for our teeth.

“They spend their entire lives inside our mouth, which is a disgusting, dark place full of saliva and left over food particles,” I wrote.

Unfortunately, the hygienist told me my wisdom teeth are coming in, so I’ll probably have to undergo surgery sometime in the near future. I think our teeth do this to us on purpose. I think they like the attention.

n I resolve to be more respectful of other people’s opinions, even though they happen to be wrong. I made the mistake of knocking rap music in my Nov. 7 column, and then blaming my girlfriend as the reason I started listening to it.

She was quick to point out that, no, she did not force me to listen to it, and, above all else, I wasn’t even supposed to mention her in my column. Whoops.

n I resolve to become rich enough for gas and milk. I ended my 2007 series of “Don’t Ask Why” by writing Dec. 17 about selling recycled popcorn and decorative tins.

“I don’t know of a single person who has ever reported finishing an entire can without acquiring a major intestinal affliction,” I said.

My theory was that if I resold the holiday-themed cans and leftover popcorn collected from sports arenas, I could make a lot of money and potentially be able to afford the basics in life, such as gas and milk.

n I resolve not to make fun of fruitcake. In the above-mentioned column, I briefly taunted fruitcake, “an extremely dense, yet almost edible, object that contains dried fruits and nuts,” only to find that more people liked it than I had originally thought. My apologizes.

n I resolve to take all of these resolutions and promptly forget them. After all, life—or this column, for that matter—would be no fun if I actually learned from my mistakes.

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UFO: The most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Most Americans forget about that idea within a few days.

Don’t ask why.


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