So, hope you had a happy New Yearís day and all that.
Make any resolutions? Itís a purely conversational thing, of course. None of us really intend to keep a New Yearís resolution, though we may pretend so.
We only do it to brag. You say your resolution is to quit smoking, or lose weight, or quit wearing camouflage baseball caps (which would do us all a favor). Or your resolution is to get a raise, a promotion, a haircut, a puppy, a lobotomy. Whatever it is, itís just a conversation piece. Nobody really means these things, do they?
Make it easy on yourself, like I do. I tell people who ask that my New Yearís resolutions are very important to me:
1) Catch fish.
2) Eat fish
So you see, my resolutions for 2007 are not only simple, but self-fulfilling. Well, maybe not guaranteed self-fulfilling, but we can always hope, canít we?
I guess if I have a serious New Yearís resolution, all kidding aside, it would probably go more like this:
1) Go fish.
2) Donít catch fish.
Never mind. Iím hopeless at this time of year, as you all know. Four months until we have a chance to even see if the freshwater fisheries have recovered. Woe is me.
What would be honorable New Yearís resolutions? Pledge to battle for the environment, feeding the hungry, world peace, equal opportunity. Iím not so noble. Iíd be happy pledging on Jan. 1 to stay off the Oreos and make it until at least Feb. 3.
What, really? Iíd like to finish my novel this year. Itís 150 pages now. August 30 I was at page 130. Thatís an average of five pages a month. Twelve monkeys in a room full of typewriters could do better than that. Iím writing a novel at roughly the pace of a snail crossing the Mojave Desert.
Doesnít matter, itíll get done. I spend a lot of time watching movies instead. Iím of the boob-tube generation, after all. My girl and I were watching the disappointing remake of Douglas Adamsí Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy one night. In the story, the Earth is to be destroyed by an alien race of construction beings, the Vogons, to make way for a hyperspace highway. The Vogons send a message to Earth saying that only the most intelligent species on the planet will be allowed to escape before the demolition. So humanity gets itself ready to leave, packs its luggage, takes a shower, all the usual pre-travel stuff.
On the appointed day, humans look up into the sky and see all the dolphins on the planet flying out of the oceans and into the waiting Vogon spaceship. As theyíre flying away, the dolphins have one last message for the doomed human race:
"So long," they say, "and thanks for all the fish!"
"Thatís it," my significant other says to me. "That could be your epithet!"
Couldnít have been more right. What better final words on the gravestone of a fisherman and a science-fiction fan: So long, and thanks for all the fish. Perfect. Even better than, Here lies a fisherman, the worms are finally getting even, because, as everyone knows, I am a fly fisherman and do not use worms. Much. At least not with witnesses around. You may wonder why a couple would discuss tombstone engravings, but really, this is me weíre talking about. Flying through clouds one minute, wallowing in pits of despair the next. Look up the term moody in any dictionary, youíll find a picture of me (hopefully itís the one with the trout). It ainít easy, you can imagine.
Anyway, we were talking about New Yearís revolutions. I mean reso lutions. Restitutions? I dunno. I think Iím having an anxiety attack now. See, I just realized that 2007 is a terrible year for check-signing. Itís fairly easy when, last January, you were still in the habit of writing 2005, because a Ď5í can transform into a Ď6í with little difficulty. A Ď7í cannot be made from a Ď6í except by prestidigitation. The only bright spot to all this is that next January, turning a Ď7í into an Ď8í is a breeze.
Happy New Year.