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Posted on Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

Fighting the Resolutionary War

By Mike Ball

It’s New Years! Time to write up your List!

We all know pretty much how this resolution thing works. You approach the coming year with good intentions, so you write down a bunch of stuff like, “I hereby resolve to tighten the screw in the downstairs door frame.”

As your List grows, so does its variety; you want to lose 30 pounds, write a historical novel about the turbulent days of The Captain And Tennille Show, and maybe find out exactly what is in that drawer in the kitchen — the one over by the window that’s got something jammed in it so that you haven’t been able to get it open since 1997. 

By the time the ball falls on New Year’s Eve, you have your List stuck on the refrigerator under the Little Bear with Skis and a Santa Hat refrigerator magnet, ready to fuel your all-out assault on all those personal priorities. Okay, maybe it did take you longer to write down most of the tasks on your list than it would have taken you to do them, but still...

On New Year’s day you look at your List with satisfaction, and briefly consider tackling something on it. But hey, you think, you’ve got a whole year to get this stuff done, and there’s some eggnog and half a bottle of Wild Turkey left from last night, so...

Sometime in early February you open the ‘fridge to see if there is any milk in there that is not totally solid, and you notice the List. Meh, it’s not even spring yet...

In April you catch a glimpse of the List as you search frantically for some form you need for your income taxes, the one the accountant asked you for back in January. You briefly consider working on that kitchen drawer, since it would be a lot more interesting than the tax form, then you spot the package of Chips Ahoy next to the microwave...

In early July you go to grab a beer and knock the Little Bear with Skis and a Santa Hat refrigerator magnet off the ‘fridge, and the List falls into the dog’s water dish. Eventually the dog gets thirsty, so you fish out the list and set it by the window to dry in the sun...

By mid-August the List has fairly well dried out, but there is an expired Subway coupon under the Little Bear With Skis and a Santa hat refrigerator magnet, so you throw away the aged-to-unreadable receipt under the Kitty Cat With a Fish in its Mouth refrigerator magnet and post the list up high on the freezer door. The screw in that door isn’t tightening itself, you know...

It’s September, and you have just finished chipping the bottle of petrified milk out of the refrigerator, when you notice the List and decide to get cracking on that historical novel. After 10 minutes of research, you discover that The Captain And Tennille Show ran for less than a season, and nobody actually watched it, so you decide to instead do your novel about the childhood of Millard Fillmore. You edit the List accordingly...

In early November your son drops by for a visit and yanks open the kitchen drawer by the window, shattering the plastic ruler that’s been holding it shut, and revealing 15 dead “C” cell batteries, several tubes of dried-up Super Glue, a combination padlock for which nobody knows the combination, a toy claw hammer from the dollar store, a cat’s eye marble, some sort of putty that has melted then solidified around a bunch of loose thumb tacks, a rusty box cutter, six rolls of Scotch tape and an extension cord. You shut the drawer by the window, causing the toy hammer to shift so that the handle pops up and jams the drawer again, and then you go to the refrigerator and cross the first item off your List...

On Christmas day, as you are putting a platter of leftover ham in the ‘fridge, you notice the List, dog-eared and yellowed, just about to slip out from under the Kitty Cat With a Fish in its Mouth refrigerator magnet. You decide to go ahead and tighten that screw in the door, thereby checking another item off the list. If you can just find a screwdriver. Woah, there’s some eggnog and Wild Turkey left...

And then it’s New Years Eve. As you get some ice out of the refrigerator to make Mojitos, the List slides out from under the Kitty Cat With a Fish in its Mouth refrigerator magnet and flutters to the floor, sliding well back under the refrigerator and out of reach. You smile to yourself and grab a pen to write up a new list. Item one, you always wanted to write a light comedy about Attila the Hun... 

Happy New Year, Everybody!

Mike Ball is the Erma Bombeck Award-winning author of "What I've Learned So Far..." and the books What I've Learned... So Far Part I: Bikes, Docks & Slush Nuggets and What I've Learned... So Far Part II: Angels, Chimps & Tater Mitts.