With 354 Days To Go | Page 63 | Newberry

With 354 Days To Go

I love the old holiday traditions, don’t you? There’s this period of warmth and joy, and then a holiday associated largely with heavy drinking, and then we start a whole new year as if it was a hangover. All I hear other people talking about is diets, tax returns, the drought, and flu shots. We can do better than this, kumquat cutlets! Take a cue from the calendar: because last year was a Leap Year, 2013 started on a Tuesday instead of a Monday. Must we be so Monday-minded, then? This whole millennium started on a Saturday: why not consider it a very long weekend? MUST we start off the new year by making it an occasion for giving up something we like or starting something we loathe?

Hmmmm? What’s that? Oh, I see. Just got a text message from the calendar watchdogs: it appears we must, after all. It’s a tradition. Very well. But I will say that if they were so attentive to the calendar, they’d realize I’m too old for text messages.

Anyway, it so happens I have a set of resolutions right here. I’m not afraid to face the challenges of Lucky ’13, as I am going to call this new lump of 365 surprise packages. I do not fear to put these resolutions right out there were everyone can see them. Because, as you guessed about three lines back, none of them are for me. They’re all for you, dear sardine tartlet. We’re all about service, here at the Newberry.

I WILL STOP USING MY MEDICAL BILLS AS BOOKMARKS. We were very interested to read about those back treatments you had in 2009. Who on earth referred you to a specialist who charges only $23 a visit?

I WILL PUT MY MOLDY BOOKS IN THE CAN AT THE CURB AND NOT IN MY TRUNK FOR THE BOOK FAIR. You may be one of those people who cannot bear to put a book in the garbage, even if the pages are welded together and turning blue-green. Do you suppose you could at least put them in a bag by themselves? I’m thinking of the donor who dumped moldy books into a garbage bag with unmoldy books, tied the twist tie six times, and then donated the books the day I left town, so the books could get to know each other really well over my vacation.

I WILL NOT CUT STRIPS OF PAPER OUT OF BOOKS TO MAKE BOOKMARKS FOR OTHER BOOKS. Um, one of you out there did this to about half a dozen books. Each had about a two-inch strip cut from the last or next-to-last page of the book. I am charitably assuming this was for bookmarks, but the last pages of a mystery? You were seeing how purple your spouse could turn under the new reading lamp, right?

I WILL NOT SLICE UP THE DUST JACKETS OF BOOKS FOR MY KID’S ART PROJECT. I don’t mind so much the Susan Isaacs book which had everything but the words “novel” and “Susan Isaacs” cut neatly from the cover. It was the illustration cut out of the dust jacket of an early (first?) edition of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, which you tucked inside your copy of Life Goes to the Movies.

IF I LEAVE INDISCREET PHOTOS INSIDE BOOKS I WILL LABEL THEM WITH NAMES, DATES, AND LOCATIONS. How on earth is Uncle Blogsy supposed to make any blackmail money? (I thought the Santa hat was a nice touch, though.)

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