Barry Smith: Irrelativity

The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
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Hey – just checkin’ in – how are your New Year’s resolutions coming along?

It’s March already, which means that resolution mania has passed, and all those lofty plans for self-improvement, discipline and personal change have either taken hold or been put on hold.

I’m no stranger to the blown resolution. Heck, if I’d stuck with even a fraction of the promises I’ve made to myself in the frenzy of the approaching new year, I’d be a totally ripped, prolific, best-selling, Oscar-winning, time-traveling multimillionaire superhero fireman astronaut. (I started making New Year’s resolutions at age 8.)

If your resolution enthusiasm has waned, don’t give up yet. You’ve just got to get back on the horse! (Unless staying off the horse was one of your resolutions.) We’re only one-sixth of the way through the year. You can do it! Etc.!

Here are a few surefire tips on how to make real progress in some of the more popular areas:

1. Quit smoking: The time-honored method of kicking the habit is to wear a rubber band around your wrist, and each time you crave a cigarette, you give yourself a good “no you di’in’t” snap. Well, that may work for some, but you true smoking fans – those who’ve hand-rolled cigarettes from ashtray leftovers and lit them using jumper-cable sparks – know that it takes more than a wimpy little snap to deter you from a hard-earned lung dart.

Try this variation: Use something with a little more oomph than a rubber band, something that will really get the welts rising. A piece of an old inner tube is more of what you need. And forget snapping it yourself. You have to get someone else to do it, somebody who doesn’t like you, like, who really doesn’t like you, for reasons that go beyond the way your clothes smell after you’ve smoked a cigarette. If this still doesn’t do the trick, replace the inner tube with a short length of rusty barbed wire.

Freedom, here you come!

2. Eat less: Stomach stapling is probably the best way to control your overeating, but why would you give some so-called doctor tons of money when a perfectly decent staple gun costs $25? And that price includes having enough leftover staples for several months of moderate office use.

Swallowing the stapler, it turns out, is the easy part. It’s the “getting it to staple once inside your stomach” part, quickly followed by the “getting it back out again” part, that proves to be tricky. Attaching some sturdy string before you swallow can help in the removal. (If you went ahead and swallowed the staple gun without reading these instructions all the way through first, well, I hope you’ve learned a valuable lesson.)

Once it’s in your stomach, you usually can get it to staple by having a friend perform the Heimlich on you or by violently leaning forward over the back of a chair. You’ll know when the stapling is complete because a stapler, when it staples, makes a very distinct “stapling” sound. Like this: *staple*. Also, you’ll probably scream.

Now get that sucker out of there, rinse it off, and grab a celebratory (small) bite to eat.

Congratulations on taking the first steps toward a new you!

3. Exercise more: If your goal is to get more exercise, you just aren’t going to be able to achieve it using your own notoriously flimsy willpower. No, it has to be mandatory. The best method I’ve found to guarantee daily exercise is to get yourself incarcerated in a facility that uses chain-gang labor. Soon your glistening muscles will ripple in the midday summer sun, and those unsightly extra pounds will dissolve as steadily and deliberately as the roadside rocks you’re pounding with a sledgehammer.

You’ll be trimmer and healthier faster than you can say, “Takin’ it off, boss!”

4. Attain peace of mind: A sense of inner peace is truly the ultimate goal for all human pursuits. Of these four listed, it’s also by far the most difficult one to reach. Especially now that you’re stuck on a chain gang with a stapled stomach and no cigarettes. Good luck.

Barry Smith’s column appears Mondays in The Aspen Times.