Election Section

My 2009 Resolutions — for Other People

By Scott Badler
Tuesday December 23, 2008 - 10:43:00 AM

Normally, I make New Year’s resolutions for myself. It hasn’t worked. For example, last year’s resolutions to “avoid the social ramble,” eat more gefilte fish and try to like people fell by the wayside shortly after President’s Day (oddly, Washington and Lincoln are two of my least-favorite presidents). 

But I’m not giving up on resolutions. They have their place—just not at my placemat. So this year, in the spirit of giving (another failed resolution), I’ve authored resolutions for the rest of you. I believe these are sensible ideas that will help make the world a better place—for me, and yes, you too.  

There are only four. That shouldn’t be too hard. A word of caution: Failure to follow through on these resolutions means it’s on me next year. I don’t want that. 


Resolution for Diners 

Excusez moi, Madame, but you weren’t going to leave your dishes on the table, were you? Pardonez, but did you not notice you picked up your entrée at the counter? What this means is that there is no maitred’, waiter or bus boy. They do not work here. Let me point something out to you. Do you see that tub of dirty dishes over by the wall? You are allowed to use this. No extra charge. In 2009, the busy counterperson, or the people coming after you won’t have to clean up your mess. 


Resolution for People Who Talk 

Mr. Language Person and People Who Talk, please retire “awesome” and “absolutely” from our daily conversation beginning January 1, 2009, and forever after. Given our current downturn, perhaps all is not awesome. The Urban Dictionary’s take on this word is that it’s “Something Americans use to describe everything.” 

A hangnail.  

Acquisition of a coupon guaranteeing “50 percent off the second Deluxe Sinking Titanic when you buy two Deluxe Sinking Titanic Burgers.  

When you’ve got exact change for, well anything. Awesome! Not really. Choose another word or phrase. 

As for absolutely, did you have dinner? How about “yes” instead of absolutely? Or “sure.” Save your breath. They’re both one syllable words and they work. Have for hundreds of years. 

Finally, it’s time to be different. Who hasn’t said, “I want to make a difference”? Or been urged to do that. But it’s time to be, well, different. Let’s replace that tired phrase with the more definitive “reinvent the wheel.” As in “I want to reinvent the wheel in my community.” If we reinvent the wheel, or at least say it enough times, we might find a way out of this economic mess. 


Resolution for Two-Wheelers 

You there Mr. Bicyclist, in front of me in the left-hand turn lane. What are you doing? I’ve been seeing more and more of you there, and it has me worried. By law, you have the same rights as other moving vehicles, but please go the long way and cross at the street like a pedestrian. They’re people too. Be with them for those few seconds. You may have to wait for two lights to get over to that other side. Relax and enjoy the moment. Meditate. Perambulate. Masturbate. Do not make 2009 the year you invaded the left hand lane. If others follow your lead, we, in motorized moving vehicles behind you may run out of gas—and patience. 


Resolution for the President-Elect 

Mr. President-Elect Obama, don’t use the left-hand turn lane when riding your bike on Pennsylvania Avenue. Unfortunately, you will have to clean up your predecessor’s mess. Make sure to tidy up any of your own untidiness. Strike out any attempts by your speechwriters to include “awesome” or “absolutely” in your Inauguration speech.  

Above all, reinvent the wheel.