Barry Smith: Irrelativity
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
This year things will be different.
That’s what I tell myself right around this time each year. This year things will be different. I then make a bunch of empty promises to myself (floss, meditate, etc. …) knowing full well that I’ll have abandoned and probably completely forgotten about them long before the first robin of spring.
Well, this year things really WILL be different, because this year I’m skipping the resolutions and going straight to the …
RESIGNATION: No matter how much I’m able to nail “Boll Weevil Blues” on the guitar, I will never achieve my ultimate goal of being a Blind, Dead, Grizzled Old Black Man.
Sure, I’ll eventually fulfill at least one of the above-mentioned criteria, but I know now that I’ll never get to have the total combo pack. It’s also time I realize that referring to myself as “Hambone” isn’t going to take me very far down the Blues Cred Highway – maybe to the next rest area, but that’s it. What am I doing singing about a boll weevil, anyway? (Or singing at all, for that matter.) I’ve never even seen a boll weevil.
RESIGNATION: Nobody is going to make a Wikipedia entry about me, so I’m going to have to do it myself. A Wikipedia search will reveal listings for Barry Smith the (late) NZ doomsaying preacher, Barry Smith the comic book artist, Barry Smith the otologist, football player (European, American AND Australian), hockey player, hockey coach (really, two different Barry Smiths in the hockey world), organist and long-distance runner. But there’s still no Barry Smith the writing-about-himself-guy. And you can bet that these other Barry Smith’s didn’t create their own Wikipedia entries, especially not the dead ones. To do such a thing is pathetic and self-aggrandizing. And I’m OK with that.
RESIGNATION: Hair – not growing back. In fact, doing the exact opposite. Deal with it.
RESIGNATION: I’m not a procrastinator. I’m a Procrasturbator – someone who gains EXTREME self-satisfaction in putting things off. I’m almost 45 years old, and I still go to ridiculous lengths to avoid getting started on projects. Can’t imagine why a new calendar would suddenly make things any different. Moving on.
RESIGNATION: No TV show for me.
When I first started writing this weekly column, the show Dave’s World was just debuting. This was a TV show based on the life of someone who writes a humor column. So, the potential for humor-column writing was pretty big in those days. All you have to do is write some silly columns and Hollywood comes a-knocking. Great! But it’s been a while now – years, in fact – and if Hollywood has come a-knocking, I was probably playing the music too loud. Or napping. Hey, Hollywood, try using the doorbell!
RESIGNATION: Despite my gentle nudging, kind urging, desperate pleading and heavy-handed condemnation, I will never convince even a single person to stop writing “LOL.”
RESIGNATION: I don’t bite my nails, but I have my own version of this nervous habit – I like to chew on the skin on the inside of my cheek. It’s just so good – that sensation of the perfect hunk of extracted skin between my canine teeth, and how it makes that sharp clicking sound when compressed and released just right. There are plenty of reasons to quit; it’s annoying to anyone within earshot, it’s bad for my teeth, and my jaw, and certainly my cheek. I’ve come close to burrowing right through to the outside on several occasions. But I’m not gonna stop. I’m just not. In fact, moments ago I bit off a sizable chunk that I’ll probably be chewing for a good long while. Sorry, New Year’s Baby – I’m forever teething.
RESIGNATION: Not gonna get up earlier. Not gonna meditate before morning coffee. Not gonna floss consistently unless it’s a week before or after my scheduled dental cleaning. Not always going to wash dishes before bed. I’ve tried to do these things for years, and failed, so it’s time to face it – I’m just not gonna.
But there’s good news! This time next year I can look back on these resignations and feel that glowing sense of accomplishment that comes from keeping your promise to yourself.
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