A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster
It is a New Year. Every year at 12:01, January 1, we join our fellow citizens in the time-honoured tradition of this great land and pause for a few moments as the old year closes to reflect on past glories and alas, past failures, just before our beloveds roll us into the back seat of the cab and sends us home.
Yes, it is 2022, and a time to face new challenges, it is a golden opportunity for us to abandon the slothful lifestyles we have carelessly drifted into, to leave behind the dreadful paths we have chosen, for all of us have strayed from the goals we set out to accomplish, not me thank God, but many of you who I can name and still might in the coming weeks.
What better time than January, 2022, for us to aim for loftier peaks, to throw off the shackles of bad decisions that haunt us and have caused us to struggle constantly. Yes, it is time for us to become what our mothers hoped we would but seriously doubted. She knew us only too well.
Ebenezer Scrooge did that very thing. He chose not to be a miserly old curmudgeon, but to start anew and become a better, more loveable, man. As Dickens said in his closing, “He became as good a friend, as good a master and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good city, town or borough in the good old world.”
And that, dear friends, is what I want you to remember today as we set out to rebuild our lives. Not me of course, I’m fine the way I am. As matter of fact I am better than fine. But even I could make the odd small change, like my underwear and socks – definitely the underwear and socks. I have been asked many times to either leave a restaurant or at the least sit downwind on the patio as far away from other diners as possible. The management may have a point there since the pandemic restrictions imposed upon other diners never really applied to me. I wasn’t allowed inside, ever.
But it is you, dear hearts, I worry about. And it is for you I am making a few suggestions to enable you to become more endearing and even find the odd person to like you, which may be quite an accomplishment for several of you.
I’m sure you all want to be more loveable. Just a suggestion, try to smile more. By that I mean at least try to look happy. I don’t want you to go around grinning like a politician on the campaign trail. There is one coming up in June by the way. You forgot didn’t you?
Can’t you just hear him or her (or it; I’m lost on this new politically-correct crap) when Mrs. Householder comes to the door and says sadly, “I’m sorry, I can’t talk to you now; my Uncle Mervyn just died. Did you not see the hearse in the driveway?”
“Well, that’s a bummer. I’ll put old Merv down as undecided. But can I count on you, madam?”
Do an act of kindness every day. You, the young gentlemen out there, why not start with something as simple as taking a widder-woman to dinner and if you hit it off, to a motel? Later as you are being wheeled into the O.R. on a gurney you will know you brought a smile to the face of a lonely lady and a strain on your heart that will quite likely kill you. And to you, his young, but seething wife, or girlfriend, or both, be gentle, content in knowing that yes, he may have been unfaithful, but he will never do it again, unless, of course, he survives the cardiac surgery.
Volunteer. There is nothing that fills one’s heart with joy as doing something for someone with no thought of reward for oneself like… I know what you can do. How about helping a weary old columnist clean up his basement and when you finish, sweep last fall’s leaves off the floor of his garage? We need to get it done soon before the below zero stuff comes back. There is no room for the car.
One more thing, try and lose a few pounds.And you know you should since not one pair of pants you have in the closet comes close to buttoning around your burgeoning middle. All you need to do to convince yourself that things have been seriously getting out of hand is to take a look at your massive bum in a full-length mirror. Does the old adage, ‘two axe-handles and a plug of chewing tobacco wide’ come to mind?