Resolve for the 2023 new year

This time of year, everyone’s talking about one thing: how much collective weight we put on in December. (I know I did my part.) On a related note, they’re also talking about New Year’s Resolutions or NYRs as no one calls them.

The thing I like about NYRs is that they’re cheap. To quote Jim Belushi in Animal House who was talking about beer, “Don’t cost nothing.”The same is true of NYRs. These things are absolutely free and only as limited as your willingness to dream them up.

Except research shows only 75% of people make it one week with their NYR. One week?! I think I could fast a whole week without too much trouble. I mean, I don’t know for sure. But it is just a week?! I’m absolutely certain I could talk about fasting for a week. Is that the same thing?

According to the experts, there are many reasons people don’t stick to their NYRs but my favorite has to be overconfidence. As someone who enjoys comedy, there’s nothing funnier than the over confident. Hubris is wonderful. I say, the more overconfident people out there the better. Think of the direct relationship between the self-centered, overconfident jerk at the market and the ridiculous amount of joy one feels when he slips on a sheet of ice and falls on his butt.

But I, too, am a man. I, too, have hubris. I mean, I write a column for crying out loud. And so, though I clearly think very highly of my thoughts, I wonder if they can even better in 2023.

In general, I am not big on NYRs. Because if you think of something you can work on in, say, March, why would you wait till the new year to start it? You know, I suppose I could be a better person starting now, but maybe I’ll wait till the ball drops in Times Square?! Every single day of your life is time for a NYR if you’ve found one that makes sense.

On the other hand, the timing of this New Years is, at the moment, conveniently approaching. And I like bandwagons. I like the word ‘bandwagons. I like watching bandwagons. Best of all, I like jumping on bandwagons. Thus, I give you… my NYRs.

In 2023, I resolve to make more mischief. Make no mistake about it. I already make mischief. And, depending on who you ask, the mischief I make is nice. Some people even say, when it comes to making mischief, I am, well, elite. I appreciate the acknowledgement. But the thing that makes someone elite is their willingness to continually work at it. That is how I feel about mischief. I do not want rest on my laurels. I’d prefer, like a true mischief maker, to rest on someone else’s laurels. In fact, if I could rest on anyone’s laurels, the laurels I’d rest on belong to Groucho Marx. That guy could make mischief. He made mischief in vaudeville, radio, and moving pictures. He could make mischief with the written word and in song form. Groucho seemed all too aware that mischief does not make itself and thus committed himself completely to making mischief every day of his life. Groucho did not rest on his laurels. That’s why, in 2023, I will.

In 2023 I resolve to make more jokes at the expense of children. Sure, I made plenty of jokes at the expense of children in 2022 and, yes, they went over big. But the thing I’m realizing now is that there’s always room for more jokes at the expense of children. Of course, we might remember what WC Fields said about children, “Anyone who hates children and dogs can’t be all bad.” Yes, he was just joking. But look how he brought the house down. I’m telling you, the more jokes at the expense of children the better.

In 2022, I wrote many jokes about golf and pickleball that rankled many that, for some reason, are fond of those activities. Readers wrote responses in protest. One even challenged me to a round of golf which sounded funny, so I accepted. While the experience was not devoid of all pleasantness (I very much enjoyed the visceral combination of expletives that shot out of one’s mouth after a shank), it did nothing to convince me to stop making jokes about golf. Look. If golfers and pickleballers take themselves so seriously that they can’t take a joke, then count me in again for more jokes about them in 2023.

A year is a long time. There’s room for all kinds of kinds of resolutions. But the thing to remember about New Year’s Resolutions is that they don’t actually require much resolve. Most NYRs last 4-6 weeks. So, if you find yourself struggling to keep up, don’t worry, don’t stress. Just jump ship. There’s always next year.