Oh well. So much for New Year’s resolutions and good intentions.
My first resolution was to consistently get my column out no later that first thing Monday morning.
I have not yet been able to get started on that one. I dutifully prepared my column on Sunday night, January 2, only to discover that my Internet service provider was down. Of course it stayed that way until midafternoon, Tuesday, January 4.
This week when I sat down to write, I discovered that the software on my computer was locked up as a result of letting too many novices play around on it over the weekend. It is now 2 a.m., but, after spending most of the day and night reloading and rebooting, etc., I have finally cussed the damn thing back into cooperation. You might want to try this yourself. When all else fails, get right up in your computer’s face and vent your wrath and maybe even slap it around a little bit. I’m reasonably convinced that was the ultimate solution to my problem.
However, this also caused me to break my second resolution, which was to stop cussing out loud.
For many years I have consistently resolved to quit smoking and sometimes made it stick as long as 30 days. Knowing that it would not stick again year, I resolved to put my ashtray on a table out on the front porch and, when I had to have a fag, I’d go out there to smoke it. That one didn’t even last a day because the temperature started dropping to single digits around dark while the wind gusted consistently between 10 and 35 miles per hour. I found it impossible to light a smoke, much less actually smoke it with gloves on.
So I compromised. I would go into the utility room, then halfway down the basement steps and turn the stairwell into a smoking lounge. That one lasted for about a week until Loretta started complaining that the smoke was venting upwards into the laundry room and causing all our clothes to stink. As of right now, I fire up in the kitchen, take two puffs and snuff it out. If the temperature is above 30 and the wind is less than 20 mph, I still go to the front porch. I realize that I’m gonna catch hell for smoking at all, but I have not been able to quit. In fact, if I had all the money back that I’ve spent on gimmick medicines, hypnosis, and stop-smoking clinics, I could easily buy a few years’ worth of cigarettes.
Resolution # 4 is to clean out and organize my garage. We have a two-bay job, but there’s not room enough in it right now to park another lawnmower. My current plan on this one is to pull a Tom Sawyer trick on Jack and John, the Edwards twins, both of whom have never seen a piece of junk that did not have potential. I will tell them to bring their pickups and that they can have anything that I don’t want. The inventory includes at least two Weed Eaters and three chainsaws that won’t start, at least a thousand board feet of scrap lumber, two huge kitchen tables, three telephone wire spools, and that’s just for starters. They may have to make two trips between my house and Mt. Vernon.
My final resolution is to be a better husband and helpmate to my wife. That loud braying and cracking sound you may have heard coming from Paint Lick should not concern you. That was Loretta caught up in hysterical laughter and slapping her leg.