Columns » Bob Lancaster

Resolutions for ’09



I'll not waste time trying to figure out what George W. Bush's legacy is going to be. I don't care what history thinks of him. I know what I think of him.

• I'll not be indulging in any hoopla. I don't trust hoopla. When it commences, I'll be over at a side table, watching, and thinking, “Yes, and tomorrow we die.”

• I'll no longer be bullied by the hateful old heifer out at the nursing home  who has taken to calling me “the chiseler.” I don't even know this woman, and certainly never swindled her nor any other senior. Yet every time I visit out there she starts in: “I know you. You're that chiseler guy. Hey everybody, it's the chiseler.” I asked her one time why she called me that, and she said, “Like you don't know.” She also says things like, “Do you also mock the blind?” Well, I'm fed up. And next time I'm calling her out. We're going to Fist City.  If being on the walker turns out to be a handicap, she should've thought of that.

 • If I get elected to something, and there's an inaugural ceremony, and it calls for an invocation, I'll have somebody meek and obscure, who hungers and thirsts after righteousness, say the Lord's Prayer without embellishment, then we'll move on. If a benediction is wanted later, I might ask Pastor Bonhoeffer's shade to reprise one of the exalted blessings he continued to bestow right up till the laughing bastards hung him with piano wire. Then we'll all go home. And whose inauguration would be the classier one?

• I'll not have any rhubarb in my garden this year. No donnybrook either.

• The “Conversations with God” turn out to be somebody else's conversations, eavesdropped on, and I'm left scratching my head. Plagiarism confounds me. It's prima facie evidence that you're a thief and a phony and a deadbeat, and there's no denying it if you're caught. And no denying it if you're not caught. We all have to live with ourselves, even the slime weasels. You could use the lame excuse that your plagiarism was unconscious, but that's like saying you murdered somebody because you were drunk. It's guaranteed you'll not be seeing borrowed work here — if for no better reason than I know it wouldn't fool anybody. By its very coherence you'd recognize it as filched.

• I'll not be involved in any cabal. As I remember, that's what got Jim Guy Tucker in trouble — a cabal TV deal.

• I'll not be waylaying the likes of Doyle Webb, Andy Mayberry, and Jerry Cox, and giving them the serious red belly just on general principle. Probably should, but won't.

• I'll not argue anymore with a telephone voice not powered by human breath through a functioning glottis. I've tried that several times lately, and made no headway. These telephone robots can talk but they can't listen so you can't insult them or reason with them. They simply won't be cajoled. They won't change their minds because they don't have one. Give them a good cussing and there's no satisfaction in it because it doesn't bother them one bit. They just shrug it off, and even then only in a manner of speaking.

• I'll not be trying again to cut off my index finger with a single blow from a large knife as I did over Christmas while cutting up some turnips.

• The movie masterpiece  “School of Rock” proposes that our highest existential duty this day and time is what it calls “sticking it to The Man.” I agree with that, and have done my share of it, or like to think I have. But I'm ashamed to admit I've gone soft on The Man since I more or less became The Man a few years back. I reckon I could take the Fifth, which protects against excessive having to stick it to yourself, but I think I'd rather man up here and promise to do better. Consider it done.

• As the song wisely counsels, I'll not be messing with Mr. In Between.

• If they insist on knighting me, as rumor has it, I guess I'll have to insist on being dubbed Sir Assmunch I. Sir Me, Sir Elton, and Sir Jack Flash all greaved and hauberked, slaying dragons, rescuing damsels, singing that old-time rock-and-roll.

• Aye, I'll do a little more promoting of my anti-immigration scheme which involves deporting all the Coneheads back to “France.”

• And negatory, no '09 colonoscopy for ol' moi. I'm all for y'all getting your'n, even to Fred Phelps and his Westboro ghouls. Zoo monkeys get them routinely now, I'm told. I can't and don't want to explain my own freaking on this. Except to say that in every life, in places that don't even make sense, lines are drawn, and crossing them is a bigger deal than it has any right to be. Our reservations define us to an extent. Polyp roulette may be the consequence but there you are. Emily Dickinson would understand, who would've swooned and probably passed at just the thought of your basic present-day routine-maintenance illuminated tailpipe probe. 

• I'll also work on the couth thing.




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