The Observer takes this end of year stuff seriously, along with our New Year's resolutions. They'll all be broken within three weeks of making them, of course, the gym membership card burned on the lawn of Shipley Donuts, the skinny jeans once again exiled to the back of the closet with our "Keep on Truckin' " and "Free Tommy Robinson!" T-shirts, the speeding tickets we'd sworn to pay stuffed unceremoniously back into the glove box of the Mobile Observatory. The ritual isn't fulfilling New Year's resolutions, of course. The ritual is making them. We're fine with that. Makes us feel temporarily on the ball and with it.
So, as God is our witness: No more making box macaroni and cheese for company, putting it in grandma's china, sprinkling on some Parmesan, and passing it off as the homemade. No more fighting with the neighbors over skeet shooting in the side yard, because that message just ain't getting through, man. No more name-dropping of historical figures. No more disparaging the good names of the folks at the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department for their plan to cluster-F Little Rock in perpetuity by turning the east end of downtown into some kind of concrete radial hell velocity funnel railgun to shoot people up Park Hill in North Little Rock at the speed of sound. No more saying "facade" as if the e on the end isn't silent, just to sound sophisticated. No more praying that the Quapaws go ahead and put up their neon-bedecked casino down by the river, so we can actually land some some gatdamn jobs dealing blackjack and picking up elderly retirees' cigarette butts for the little people. No. More.
No more leaving the cheese wrappers on the counter. No more walking around town with a big stack of George Washingtons, flashing our jelly roll to make people think we're a whale on the prowl until we step to the counter and have to peel off a bunch to buy a bag of Fritos. No more taking life for granted. We mean that one. No more of our stubborn refusal to buy one of those three-wheeled motorcycles with one wheel in the front and two in the back, like a road-going snowmobile, so we can look like an absolute road-going tool with the rest of the folks who own them. No more arguing with the microwave: "Push power, then 1, right? What? I PUSHED POWER! Why are you beeping! DAMN YOUR MECHANICAL HEART!" No more going to Kroger and examining each egg for flaws with a jeweler's loupe. No more racing for pinks. Definitely no more saying we've got a Hemi when all we're packing is a measly four-banger. No more chances to llamas, because they have proven themselves unworthy of our trust. No more promising to raise grandpa from the dead, because that's just cruel to grandma even if the road to hell is paved with good intentions. No more answering the phone with "Jello?" "Cello?" "Pocatello?" "Portabello?" or "Hidey-hidey-hidey ho?" No more abusing the spirit of No-Shave November. No more drawing big spots around our boo-boos with a green highlighter, then asking Spouse: "Does this look infected to you?" What a fool we've been!
No more wearing that T-shirt that makes us look like a fugitive just pulled from his spider hole by U.S. marshals. No more open carry of a banana, even in a holster. No more knocking on dressing room doors and saying: "Are you almost done? I gotta go real bad." No more stowing away in Brantley's luggage like a damn freeloader when he heads off to Zimbabwe on vaykay. No more calling people "Old Sport," because even the Great Gatsby couldn't pull that one off, and we're surely no Great Gatsby. No more being creeped out by boots with the fur, the art at Goodwill, candied yams, the musical stylings of Lady Gaga, or Alexander Hamilton. No more watching that video on Youtube called "Star Trek + Nine Inch Nails = Closer" because some people might get the wrong idea about Yours Truly for watching it four or five times a day. No more sympathy for the Devil.
So long, 2015! Bring it on, 2016! Our resolutions may fall away, but not our resolve to endure.