Sunday, January 09, 2000

Columnist vows to be more like the rest of us




BY PAUL DAUGHERTY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Maybe it was the town. You could spend the New Year in New Orleans, as I did, and you could make New Year's resolutions. Then, you could stand on Bourbon Street on the first night of the new century and break them all by 12:05.

        I was there one year for the Super Bowl, walked into a bar in the suburbs and saw the movie star and former Saturday Night Live copy-maker Rob Schneider singing in a band. I asked him what he was doing there. He said to answer that question, he'd have to know where he was, exactly. True story.

        Anyway.

        We're better at resolutions than resolve. This hit me as I watched the human parade on Bourbon, epicenter of Feel Good Nation, curling lagers and appreciating itself. I'm sure these people made resolutions. I'm also certain they didn't dwell on them.

        Not me. After years of resolving to improve the human condition with pledges I never intended to keep (Get in touch with my spiritual side? Right.) I decided to begin the new century with something more realistic.

        I resolve in the coming year to dedicate myself to a totally worthless cause.

        I will strive to be uncooperative and self-indulgent. I will commit random acts of smugness.

        I will, in 2000, be difficult. I will be a problem-maker. I will not be a Team Player. I will be a Me Guy.

        In 2000, I will finally get down to devoting myself to spending less time with my family.

        Life will speed up for me. I will realize what's really important: My bank account.

        I'll get in touch with my evil side. I'll re-connect with my basest self. It has been too long.

        I will be a hypocrite. I will procrastinate. When I get around to it.

        In 2000, I resolve to eat more fatty red meat, bathe less, waste time and offend people.

        I will not smile. People who smile make me nervous. I will not have a nice day, and really, I hope you don't, either.

        I will litter.

        I resolve to start smoking. I will smoke until your lungs look like a coal mine. I will speak loudly in quiet restaurants on all manner of controversial subjects. This will please me.

        Until I am self-righteous, which will be often.

        Then, I will not allow for differing points of view. I will not be tolerant. I will tell you to shut up your face.

        I will gain lots of weight. I will look down on thin people as hopeless, conformist losers.

        I will stop reading to my children.

        I won't nurture. Not at all.

        They haven't come up with the '00s Man yet. Not Esquire or GQ. Not any of the great-smelling magazines. It doesn't matter. I won't be Him, anyway.

        I will not say “thank-you” to bored store clerks. They're getting my money. Why am I thanking them?

        I will strengthen my commitment to caring only about myself.

        I will watch more TV.

        I will endeavor, in this dawn of a new century, to never, ever get over myself.

        I will do all this. I will keep more resolutions than anyone.

        Then again, maybe I won't.

        Paul Daugherty, an Enquirer sports columnist, write a Sunday lifestyle column. He welcomes your comments at 768-8454.