MY NEW YEAR'S resolution is to develop a more positive attitude -- although knowing what a loser I am, it probably won't work.
That's the whole problem with these stupid resolutions, anyway. No one ever sticks to them, so why even bother? Why lie to yourself and say: This year will be different?
Actually, my original New Year's resolution was to lose 15 pounds.
But then I thought: Yeah, right. Like you're going to stop wolfing down a dozen Oreos at a clip, or buying those Italian submarine sandwiches the size of shoe boxes. Let's face it, tubby, you couldn't lose 15 pounds if you were trapped in a mine shaft cave-in for two months.
So then I sort of shifted gears and resolved to be nicer to my wife. But that woman . . . sometimes you need the patience of a saint.
Yesterday, she came home from the supermarket and picked a fight with me right away.
The minute she walked in the door, she started in with: "Can you help me bring in the grocery bags from the car?"
Ticked off? You bet I was. How would you feel if someone were badgering you like that?
"Let me get this straight," I said. "You want me to just drop what I'm doing -- to just forget about these monster-truck races on ESPN -- and help you with the grocery bags?"
"All the other husbands help their wives with the grocery bags," she said.
So I said: "If all the other husbands jumped off the Empire State Building, am I supposed to do that, too?"
OK. I think I made my point.
So don't talk to me about patience. I don't see how you can be patient if someone keeps baiting you and baiting you until you just snap and say something you don't really want to say.
Like the other day, she came in from the back yard with a load of firewood in both arms and . . . aw, look. Let's just forget it, OK? I don't want to re-hash the whole thing again.
Although let me say this: When a big load of firewood is dropped on the floor with a loud crash!, it tends to startle a person.
Especially if that person is trying to take a nap and -- this is the truth, honest -- didn't hear you yelling to open the door in the first place.
Anyway, I finally decided to forget about trying to be nicer and just try to be more positive.
Which is not the most original resolution in the world, I know. But what do you expect from someone who's not very bright? At least that's what my analyst said.
Now, see, that's a lie. I don't even have an analyst. But if I did have an analyst, that's what he would say.
I'd be lying there on the couch, weeping softly into a Kleenex and recounting the horrible time I got separated from my mother in Macy's when I was 7, and the analyst would be rolling his eyes and thinking: "Whew. The sloping forehead . . . the halting zTC vocabulary . . . the drooling . . . you're looking at the result of a lot of years of in-breeding, Sam."
Still, I'm willing to give this positive attitude stuff a shot, although it would be nice if people wouldn't egg me on.
Like the other day, this guy in the church parking lot asked if I wanted to buy a raffle ticket for a new Jeep Cherokee.
"Sure," I said, "that's just what I need, pal. With my luck, I'd win the damn thing and take that baby up to the mountains. We'd go roaring around those hairpin turns at 50 mph until a rabbit darted out in the road and I jerked the wheel hard to one side and sent us into a terrifying skid, eventually being thrown 200 feet from the wreck into a desolate ravine.
"I'd have two broken legs and a shattered pelvis and there'd be nothing to do but lie there and wait for the rattlesnakes and timber wolves to finish me off.
"A year and a half later, some Boy Scout troop on a day-long hike would stumble on my bones, bleached white by the sun and picked over by the vultures.
"And you want me to buy a raffle ticket -- to actually give you a dollar! -- for the opportunity to experience that kind of pain and suffering."
Boy, that really burns me up.