New Year’s resolutions you need

Me? I don’t need to make any resolutions. But the rest of you? Well, let’s just say you should hit this New Year’s resolution thing good and hard because — how do I put this politely? — you’ve got some work to do, as evidenced by your body of work lately.

Fortunately, I’m here to help. Remember Hamburger Helper? I’ve created something like that for you, a starter list of resolutions for those who have transgressed, if you will, only instead of ground beef, you only need to add effort.

To wit, in 2018 you hereby resolve to:

∫ Learn to drive in the dad-blasted snow. I swear most of you forget how from one year to the next. After the first snow it’s like you intentionally fling yourselves and your very expensive vehicles into ditches and snowbanks, like it’s fun or something — wheeee, watch me fish-tail and ultimately lose control before crashing! I guess I shouldn’t complain because it does effectively get the worst drivers off the road temporarily. But as a Yooper, I hate to see good sheet metal damaged, so I’m going to impart the secret of safe winter driving given to me by a bearded old Yooper named Skid McFarkle, who used to drive 50 miles to work, uphill, backward, every day in U.P. blizzards, even during the summer, never once sliding into a ditch. He said, “Son, I’m going to tell you how I done it. See, all you got to do is …” And then he keeled over dead, so I never did hear what the secret to winter driving is, but I’m pretty sure it was something like this: “Slow the blank down, you ninnies.” Pretty technical advice, but effective nonetheless. I suggest you follow it.

∫ Vote. I don’t care who you vote for, just vote. Most local elections draw 10-20 percent of registered voters, if that, and if you’re not among them you don’t have much reason to complain about the choice the winning side makes, now do you? Same goes for state and national elections. You don’t vote, you don’t gripe. Got it?

∫ Read newspaper. I think the single worst thing the Internet did to this country was wipe out newspapers. Back in the day, everybody read the paper and consumed the same news, more or less. And that was a good thing, gosh darn it. Today, if people consume any news at all, it’s CNN or Fox, which is news mixed with opinion, not just news. So it’s no wonder we don’t agree on anything. We’re all operating from different sets of facts. So don’t do that. Read. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Especially yours.

∫ Say no to low-rise jeans. Hasn’t this style gone on long enough? Unless you weigh 14 pounds, they’re uncomfortable (yes, I tried them once) and in all instances are cases of plumber’s crack waiting to happen. Say no to crack. Crack is whack.

∫ Make up your ding-dang mind before you get to the drive-thru speaker. This is not difficult, people. Fast food places have basically three things: Burgers, chicken and some variation of French fries. Or in the case of Taco Bell, they have basically one thing – tacos – that come in 400 different varieties. So just pick one, wouldja? Some of us are hungry back here.

∫ Signal. Your. Turns.

If you do just that last one, I’ll be satisfied. Happy New Year.