Vol. 1, Issue 33, December 30, 2003
Resolutions Past, Present, and Future
It is a simple Matter, the turning of a Calendar page to reveal a new Number. But those ordinary four Digits of the New Year always herald great Introspection for Man, and I am no exception in this Matter. Not that the date holds great Mystical value; our Gregorian calendar is most Arbitrary, as are All such ordinal Systems, and its principal Traditions are Binge-Drinking and a Scottish Song which few Comprehend, for all that Robert Burns was a Poet of the first Order. But this date has the peculiar Virtue of causing Mankind, for one brief Day, of taking stock of his linear Existence: on this day alone, we are made Conscious of the passage of time which is in Fact a daily feat of our Lives.
And hence we seek to Better ourselves; or at least I do, with my annual Resolution list. Carefully I pen these on Foolscap and tuck them into a Pigeonhole in my desk, to remove the whole on the next New Year to copy them over Faithfully, so I may resolve to do the same Things all over Again. For like Most, my list is quite the Hypothetical plan of action.
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to Share with you my standard list of Resolutions - unchanged now these many Decades:
Be kinder to my Fellow Man. Alas, being surrounded by such Family as Ephram causes the Blood to quicken now and Then. But if he has Flaws, then so too do I; and he has not a Walking Stick with which to make conversational Points.
Reduce my Alcohol Intake by One Drink a Day. Though blessed with a Liver of cast-iron, even I am aware that the Average Man consumes somewhat less than I in the way of Spirits. (This is perhaps the most Hypothetical of my resolutions.)
Locate my missing Sock. My haberdasher is kept in Fine Form by my frequent Visitations: for no matter what I Purchase or throw Away, every time I count my Stockings there is one Extra in the batch - and such has been the Case for thirty-eight Years. Vexing indeed!
Win a Case in Court. My long and storied Career as Attorney and Public Defender is rather in its Twilight; but should I be called to service once More, gladly would I feather my Cap with a Victory.
Lose Five Pounds. Here I am cursed by my Skill at Cards and lack of British acquaintances.
An unchanged List - Unchanged? - No, good readers, I have uttered a Falsehood. For I find one on the List which I must Cross Off: having automatically Copied it lo these many Years -
Follow the Family Dream and publish the Watley Review. Father, Grandfather, I have at last achieved our Vision and brought forth a Publication that has lasted for Months. Even should our Presses burn to the Ground this very evening, I should be Satisfied in what modern Technology - and, truth be told, Ephram and Elisabeth - have enabled me to Achieve. Huzzah! And so I have room for a New resolution, having Stricken this last one from the List:
Learn how to Turn On our Difference Engines. As Editor, strictly Speaking, I don't need to Know this: but I have ever been the Hands-On sort.
The Scots excel in both Poetry and Whiskey, and I raise a glass of the Latter as I leave you with a bit of the Former, courtesy of the Bard of Scotland; and I do Entreat you to look within Yourselves as you plan the new year. Good year and good Cheer, my friends.
And ther's a hand, my trusty friend,