Like many Americans, I've had my share of failed new year resolutions.
I've resolved to lose weight, which I have done, and not gain it back, which I flubbed.
I've resolved to use fewer ... shall we say ... colorful adjectives to describe things that cause me great annoyance, only to paint a cobalt blue verbal canvas when afforded the opportunity.
About two decades ago, I resolved to stop smoking and I've managed to keep that one intact ever since. That's something I smile about every time I walk in a store and see the price of a pack of cigarettes, which I thought was outrageous at $1.35 a pack when I quit.
Still, it'd been a long dry spell on keeping resolutions for longer than, say, a week.
So, I decided to consult my old pal Duke Petty, possibly the greatest American patriot since John Wayne was translated to heaven. The Duke has always been my guru on all things cultural and philosophical. And I figured new year's resolutions fell pretty much somewhere in those general vicinities.
"You need to give yourself a sure win here, Jimmy boy," Duke said. "That's what I tell all my clients. Pick something you know you can pull off."
"Well," I said, "I sure would like to drop a few pounds ..."
"Very original," Duke said. "How 'bout we split a pizza and talk about it?"
"Sounds good," I said, falling innocently into his treacherous trap.
"Loser!" Duke said. "If we weren't talking on the phone, you would be appropriately shamed by the letter L that I am forming with my thumb and index and holding to my forehead in symbolic derision of your fortitude."
"Hate I'm not getting to see that ..."
"Snapped it with my smartphone. I'll send it to you on Facebook. You've got to come up with something practical."
And so I did.
"OK," I said, "then I hereby resolve not to cuss."
Duke called me a name that can't be printed in a family newspaper. Suitably insulted, I called him one back, and included a hyphenated modifier.
"Nice application of the hyphenated modifier," Duke said. "Think you can scratch that one, too."
"All right," I said. "I give up. Give me an example of a doable resolution."
"Well," Duke replied, "I've done a little consulting on this lately. For instance, I consulted Mitt Romney. Made a simple suggestion and he loved it. Picked up a nice check for that one."
"What was it?"
"He resolved to never run for president again. In fact, that was such a good one, I sold it twice."
"To who? Newt?"
"Nah, to President Obama. He was leaning toward 'working better with Republicans' but decided that was way too iffy a proposition. This one's constitutionally reinforced. You could hardly tell there was a fiscal crisis when I saw that check!"
"Really? So how much is this call going to cost me?"
"Not to worry. I'll bill you. It'll give you a chance to enhance your vocabulary when you see it, kind of like House Speaker Boehner did when he got his invoice."
"What did you do?"
"He'd been talking to the president and decided to try to 'work better with the Democrats,' but I suggested he stick at least one more year with 'no tax hikes' since my consultation fees have gotten quite a bit more lucrative, as he later learned."
"Well," I said, "I guess I could try to go along with the latest list of suggested banned words from Lake Superior State University. It came up with a nice collection for its 38th annual list: fiscal cliff, kick the can down the road, double down, job creators/creation, passion/passionate, YOLO, spoiler alert, bucket list, trending, superfood, boneless wings and guru."
"Not exactly a spoiler alert," Duke said, "but didn't you call me 'guru' earlier in this column?"
I broke my no-cussing resolution again, this time with a particularly vivid description of my considered opinion of Duke's consulting abilities.
"I'm going to write that one down," he said. "Sometimes I help rappers with lyrics. Don't worry. You'll get royalties."
The conversation went downhill from there, but I was, at long last, finally able to come up with not just one, but two resolutions that The Duke said (1) were practically guaranteed to succeed and (2) made him feel much better about the bill he was fixing to mail me.
For the year 2013, I hereby resolve to care not one whit about anything anyone named Kardashian does, which is really more of a continuing resolution when I think about it since I haven't cared up 'til now anyway.
I also resolve for 2013 to not watch a single episode of that "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" show, which I have thus far devoutly avoided on account of its sole purpose appears to be to make the South look like a collection of morons. It also may be the fatal blow that finally kills off the "Learning" part of TLC, since those involved with that channel have lost so many brain cells from garbage programming like "Honey Boo Boo" that none of them can spell out "The Learning Channel" anymore.
Besides, there's got to be better things in life to do than watch Kardashian and Honey Boo Boo drivel. After all, YOLO.
Email Jim Hendricks at firstname.lastname@example.org.