I’m not gonna make any New Year’s resolutions; I really don’t need any. I’m an unattractive, grumpy, difficult person, and it’s taken decades of hard work to become this near-perfect pain in the ass. I’m not going to wreck it all now with some lame attempt at self-improvement. My plan is foolproof; self-delusion is the key to my happiness and my issues are most likely going to be your problem. I need no end of year resolutions; I’m good.

But the rest of you should take this New Year’s resolution stuff very seriously. Let’s be honest, y’all could really use a bit of improvement, couldn’t you? Don’t bother with the usual crap like, “I’m going to lose thirty pounds” or “I will try to become a better person,” or, God forbid,  “I’m going to read that book by Faulkner this year.” It ain’t gonna happen. Stick to simple …

My suggestions:

Start by: Stop talking on that stupid goddamn cell phone! Is there no place you won’t drone relentlessly into that piece of wired plastic?  I have friends who call me from their car simply to fill the time between point A and point B. People, I’m not an entertainment system; please spend your quiet time listening to the voices in your own head for a change. No texting, no Twittering, no sexting, no applying makeup while driving.

Learn to read a map: You’re lost because you are too lazy to read a map. Your GPS inevitably sends you on a wild goose chase and then you call me nine times on your cell phone (while you’re driving! see Resolution #1)  to ask for directions. Simply pitiful.

Learn how to negotiate a four-way stop: How difficult is it to stop on a white line and then proceed in the order of arrival to that white line? Jeeezuzz, a freakin’ hamster could be taught that.

Stop raking up leaves and putting them in bags: Why do we do this??? More leaves are coming; does the word “futile” mean anything?

Stop saying “Ignorance is bliss:” Ignorance is not bliss; ignorance is what stupid does. Ignorance ends up as number 5 in the Darwin Awards list.

Stop telling kids “if you go outside without a coat you will catch cold”: No they won’t, they will simply become cold. If they run around outside naked they will be just fine, thank you very much. Now, if they happen to meet up with a virus they will catch a cold. So when they leave the house you might try telling them, “Please avoid all microscopic viruses, bacteria, Catholic priests and serial killers.” That would be useful advice.

Do not park in the handicapped spot unless you are handicapped: The next one of you I see parking in the handicapped zone, jumping out and sprinting to the store because you’re late and forgot the frozen waffles, I’m going to wait by your car and make sure that you at least leave the parking lot handicapped.

Stop buying TV sets that qualify as real estate: The guy living behind me has a set in his living room so damn big that I can watch the game on Sundays while I sit in my back yard and grill … it’s a good 70 yards from me to the set and I can read the player’s numbers . That’s not a TV, that’s a Jumbotron and should be zoned accordingly.

Don’t Bungie Jump: Bungie Jumping is an IQ test, and participation gets a failing grade. The word Bungie is derived from the Sudanese  word “Bun” – meaning “wow that is not smart” and “Gie” – meaning “Gee, I think he’s dead”. Bungie jumping is not an activity, it’s a mental condition.

Stop taking cell phone pictures of yourself, your friends and y’all’s body parts: You do realize that when you are passed out, naked, with your head in the toilet and your “friends” photograph you, it’s a very good chance your wife, girlfriend, husband, Mom, Dad and/or boss are going to see your tits, butt and/or crotch Monday morning on the internet. Oh, and you do realize the photos will be there on the internet for the rest of your life, don’t you? What part of “really stupid” don’t you get? Trust me, “really stupid” is a helluva lot more fun when it remains “really private.” Don’t believe me? Google “Brett Favre.”

Don’t attend any drum circles: If you ever want to have a date again you won’t attend a drum circle.  Drum circles are incredibly freakin’ lame and they are only attended by seriously lonely, f—ked up dudes.

Let’s stop the hunting charade: Please stop saying “hunting is my way of celebrating my heritage.” Most of us come from a long line of retail clerks, school teachers and used car salesmen. Your “heritage” is more hunting for beer than hunting for bear. If you want to celebrate your heritage, spend your weekends doing what your grandfather and great grandfather actually did all day long, plowing behind a mule if he was a farmer, grading papers if he was a teacher, making horseshoes if he was a blacksmith, sewing the hems on pants if he was a tailor — see, your heritage wasn’t quite as exciting as you thought it was …

Sign a petition: Start with signing a petition banning ice skating and synchronized swimming from both the Olympics and all broadcast television.  If the idiots paying for cable still want to watch that crap, well, so be it.

Try to avoid church: Or any religious activity for that matter. It hasn’t helped so far and apparently either the big guy isn’t paying attention, or has a drinking problem and is just f—king with us. I suggest you save your tithe money and figure it all out on your own.

Make your time count now; heaven may be full up.

Trevor Stone Irvin

Trevor Stone Irvin

Illustrator and Designer living in the Candler Park area...At one time I worked at the Atlanta Constitution and then for CNN at the startup...it all seemed too much like real work so I went freelance...which my father defined as "being unemployed for a real long time".

  1. Will Cantrell

    Trevor, I loved this piece. In fact ‘Cantrell’ wishes he had written it. You do have at least one problem though that you need to work on to resolve to work on immediately:You need learn to quit beating around the bush and be more direct.

    By the way, I’d add one more general resolution: Stay the hell off of Facebook! When all is said and done, I’m pretty sure that Facebook and this whole concept of online social networking is going to turnout to have been a bad idea. Sure, old friends can now find you on Facebook…so can bill collectors and the police.

    1. Ah…Facebook! I feel the same. A lot of personal “free” info too handy for the wrong hands. Plus, imagine combining, and cross-referencing all those “friends list” together…scary to me.

  2. Frank Povah

    Funny if tragic, Trevor – loved it.

    “…please spend your quiet time listening to the voices in your own head for a change” – and so say all of us. Can’t people bear to be alone with their own thoughts any more? Or don’t they have any?

    I agree with you about hunting – though in my neck of the woods I suspect a lot of really poor people wouldn’t survive without it. However, I worry about the feller who is a desk-bound head something or other who “only shoots deer/turkey/ducks for the pot”. Yeh – and has it dressed and cut into unrecognizable things by a butcher whose real livelihood was taken away by the plastic meat-substitute sold by the supermarket where Mr Desk-bound Head Something or Other’s wife shops.

  3. Another good write Trev! Cell phone texting, photos, and Facebook generates a lot of free documentation for some seemingly fun and innocent communication. But, could proove horrifying down the road. Who are the stockholders of Facebook?

  4. Steve Valk

    Well, I’ve now canceled my drum circle for this evening. I hope you’re happy!

  5. Ah, Trev…it was difficult to read all of this and see the entire illustration because I am deftly balancing my mascara wand in my left hand as I am reading on my Fantastic MoiPhone screen. Could you please just leave these articles as audiofiles so that I could put you on speakerphone, because I really need to have my visual attention on my GPS screen? Really, have you no empathy for those of us compelled to try to get where we are going while looking our best and keeping in touch with the cosmos? I responsibly relinquished my right to read books while driving, now this??? You ask too much. I hear thousands of quieted drums, weeping. Happy New Year, Buzz Killer!

  6. Randy Conway

    This should be required reading for everyone over 14.

  7. Jack deJarnette

    Okay, I’ve just torn up my resolution list and am starting over. I do reserve the right to use my cell phone but only for outgoing calls, that way I control it, not it controlling me. I am looking for a defunct drive in movie theater screen to install in my backyard to use with my projector so my TV picture will be large enough for my neighborhood. As for cell phone pictures of my body parts, I wouldn’t do that on a dare. I have so many body parts from other folks that I hardly remember which ones are mine.

    1. Jack, Ok … good start … baby steps first and build on it! Have a Happy New Year.

  8. I’ll admit that a little of the appeal of running away with you has worn off since your wife gave
    her permission; forbidden things are always more alluring. But I still think I might love you,
    so pack your bag, just in case.

    1. Damn! This year is off to a great start. The wife won’t let me back in the house and now you are having cold feet … I do have a grocery bag packed with a six pack of Colt 45 (Minus 4 cans, I got thirsty) and an extra pair of socks. As for forbidden things being more alluring … It’s highly doubtful that I’ll ever be alluring, but there are many states that I’m forbidden to enter to if that helps at all.

      P.S. It’s getting cold down here under the overpass, please hurry and make up your mind.

  9. Mark Dohle

    This was very funny, thanks for the laughs.


  10. Cliff Green

    Spot on as usual, Trevor. And very funny. Keep us laughing, and we’ll all have a good year.

    1. Cliff, I’m laughin’ to keep from cryin’! I was so counting on the lottery this time around!


  11. Funny read. I’m still an avid facebook addict. One lesson I’ve learned is that none of us are that important. I’m not too worried about people caring one bit about any of my personal info.

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