As all of you know—mainly because, like, presuming you are not a baby who learned to read really highbrow internet content super quickly, you were there—2016 was not, necessarily, the best year on human record. I mean, let’s just take a second to think about all of the terrible stuff we endured: The whole “Trump Presidency” deal officially went down. Ben Affleck’s turned into cyborg that was ironically programmed to be terrible at acting while playing Bruce Wayne in a major motion picture. Harambe, the honorable silver back guerilla that resided in the Cincinnati Zoo, was killed in society’s misguided attempt to do things like not allow animals to tear 4-year-old boys from limb to limb in front of a group of blood thirsty spectators. Princess Lea was murdered by her own heart.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the list of personal 2016 mishaps goes on and on, but the point remains the same: I need to do better. We, as a culture, need to be better. And as midnight dawned on January 1st, 2017 we were all offered the chance to do a bit of self-reflection, to really dig deep and see what is in our hearts and minds and decide, once and for all, what we need to do to change. The list below represents what I need to do, the steps I need to take, in order to become an almost-legitimate citizen of the world. The list below represents the things that I can realistically work on as I attempt to look inside and, contrary to everything Pearl Jam has taught me, find a better man.
These are my New Year’s Resolutions. And now that Taco Bell has that fried chicken taco shell, the only thing I can honestly hope for is a chance to work on them before my own heart pulls a Princess Lea and murders me, and I break that unspoken resolution we all enter the year with: to not die.
2017 New Year’s Resolutions
1) Be Less Judgy-One day I was walking down the street outside work when a man walked up to me, told me he was homeless, and asked if I could spare a few dollars so he could “get something to eat.” For one of the only times in my life I wasn’t really that hungry, so I pulled out my wallet and gave him a couple sheckles not thinking about the all McChickens I was sacrificing in the process. The man thanked me and prepared to go on his way, before stopping for a second and pulling a phone out of his jacket pocket. I had nothing to do, so I stood there and investigated further. The man was currently typing out a text message to somebody, probably his K2 dealer, on an Android smart phone.
What the fuck, I thought, feeling the anger rise inside of me, but likely not for the reasons you’d think. I didn’t care that the homeless guy had a cell phone. It didn’t matter to me that he was likely using the $2 I had just given him to buy synthetic weed instead of a can of spam and a plastic spork he could use for both eating and self-defense on the streets. What mattered to me was the fact that this guy had a fucking android phone. Androids suck, unless you are trying to blow up an airplane or cause all of your friends to send green messages to one another in a group text, while they start a second group text behind your back to discuss how and why you are so poor. God, my thoughts continued as I stood there on the street corner. Why the fuck would I help this guy if he isn’t willing to help himself?
That, the time I spent standing on Washington Avenue and staring at a homeless man in disgust for not having at least an iPhone 4, was when I realized I was too probably too judgmental of other people and the way they lived their life. Probably being the operative word. Because I still hate android devices. And I still believe that, if you are not homeless, that judgment should be thrust upon anyone who possess one.
2) Dress Better-See the Cheeto example above. Or how’s about this one: I recently attended a wedding at a classy Mexican resort when I found myself with an hour break after our pool time had ended and before the ceremony was set to start on the beach. How did I use this time? Well I spent the first 4 minutes changing my clothes. Then, since the resort was all-inclusive, I spent the next 56 minutes ordering an insane amount of both steak and spaghetti from room service, waiting for it to arrive, and then shoving as much cow and pasta into my mouth as possible while attempting not to chew at all.
What was the end result of all this? A rather noticeable spaghetti stain on the one and only dress shirt I had brought south of the border, a stain that was greeted by each and every one of my fellow wedding attendees with the question of “what is on your shirt?” Here was my answer: Spaghetti assholes. What you’ve never accidentally spilled Fazolis on your button-down just minutes prior to a wedding before? Long story still pretty long, this answer didn’t go over that well and I was forced to confront the truth. Most real men do not spill spaghetti or Cheetos on or around their pants before celebrating never-ending love. Most real men also do not own copious pairs of stain restraint dockers with a size 42-waist because it is the only way they can eat a caesar salad for lunch without returning to work that afternoon looking as if they spent their entire break jizzing all over the exterior of their trousers.
3) Pick My Nose In Public On Fewer Occasions-One day I was sitting down at a table near a window inside a local coffee shop when I felt a large booger jammed into a corner of my right nostril. Soon I began digging furiously to dislodge it, losing all concept of time and space and 100% forgetting that I was currently in a public place where my actions could be viewed and interpreted by other people. Finally, I removed the hardened mucus from my nasal passage and wiped it on a napkin, quite satisfied that all my hard work and dedication had been so richly rewarded. Until I looked out the window…
A woman was standing there, on the sidewalk directly across the glass, holding a leash with a small dog on the other end and staring at me with a mix of shock, horror and pure, outright, antipathy. Seriously. Pup miller franchisees get kinder glances from strangers than the face this woman was throwing down at me. I sank in my seat a little bit, wanting to hurl myself through the window, which wouldn’t hurt given my immunity to shards of glass, and run away forever. Finally, after many seconds, the woman softened her gaze and moved along down the street. That was the moment when I realized public nose picking could have an adverse effect on the outside world, and given my newfound respect for things such as the outside world, was something I would have to give up in order to make society better. I guess my own difficulty breathing is a small price to pay to make everyone else happy. Thanks nerds.
4) Make More Appearances On The Local News-I recently appeared on the local news for the first time in 2017, a visit with an area reporter and cameraman that included all the staples that you’ve come to expect from my on-camera turns on News Channel 5. Sentiment. An ability to articulate exactly what everyone else in the city is thinking far better than they ever could. A death stare that makes it seem as if I am about to hop through your television screen and put you in a sleeper hold for sport. Some mixture of words and articulation that relate to you, the viewing public, and causes many of you to send me a copious amount of text messages that read something like: “OMG! Saw you on the news! You are so adorbs!!!!”
And you know what? I am adorbs. My mom thinks so. Before I wrote that thing about picking my nose, my fiancee used to think so. A varying array of uber drivers who are constantly texting me “Hi, I’m outside…” all flirtacious like obviously think so. The point is that I want to appear on the news more because, when I do, people besides my mom, my boo, and the person I pay to drive me through Jack In The Box, seem to like me and that makes me feel good about myself. And when I feel good about myself, I do good things for other people. I have no evidence to back this claim up, but trust me. It’s true...
5) Love My Enemies-There is literally nothing I hate more than Duke basketball, besides racism, Wormtail from the Harry Potter films, and legionnaires disease. And in spite of that I recently tweeted the following message of emotion support to infamous Duke basketball tripper Grayson Allen: “Keep your head up man. People may be coming after you for making a mistake that no one else has made even once ever on 3 separate occasions, but that’s OK. I once burned my mouth on the same Jalapeno Popper 13 bites straight. And no one crucified me for it.”
Ignore for a minute that this supposed tweet is way more than 140 characters…because the story is 100% true. See, I am already growing as a person in 2017. In 2016 I would've just tweeted that Grayson Allen has a small penis and called it a day. Turns out that I was funnier in 2016, but I was way meaner too. Let's call it a wash shall we?