31 December, 2006

Happy New Year !

So, it’s New Year’s Eve again. For Wifie and me that usually means a glass of champagne at sunset and a bit of reminiscing. For the people next door, it obviously means running around the garden with a pack of drunks howling like deranged monkeys. Down in Sydney they’ll all be standing around in the street in huge, bored crowds, hour after hour, waiting for the fireworks to start. Sadly, fireworks is one of the few forms of entertainment that is not better on TV. Also sadly, it is something I learned to appreciate as being appropriate to chilly winter evenings. It isn’t something that properly takes place in the middle of a hot summer night.

Maybe the strangest thing about New Year’s Eve is the making of resolutions. It’s not such a bad idea – review your performance to date, think about what you need to change, and then resolve to do it. Aside from the fact that you should be doing this all the time anyway, at least doing it one day a year is better than nothing. But New Year’s resolutions don’t seem to be like that. They seem more to be a ritual of casting off your guilt.

It works like this. On New Year’s Day, you think about what your resolutions should be. You definitely should give up smoking – and lose weight – and try harder at work – and try harder with your spouse – and so on and so on. Then, having named all these things you should do, you name them as your resolutions. That means they are safely disposed of. You don’t have to do them. You don’t even have to feel guilty about not doing them. They’re your New Year’s resolutions. Packaged up. Stowed away. Done and dusted. It’s like the picture of Dorian Gray. You can stick your resolutions in your moral attic and they’ll keep you safe all year while they get the lung cancer and grow obese. Cool, eh?

So, this year, I resolve to work night and day for world peace, to eat only organic tofu, to treat my cat Yuli with the affection and care he so clearly doesn’t deserve, to refrain from strangling a single brush turkey, to write only fascinating and humorous blog postings, and to spend my time wisely.

Happy New Year everyone!

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