Maxed Out 

Leftovers served up for the New Year

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I tend not to make New Year’s resolutions. There are many more sound reasons for being a non-resolutionary than there are good reasons for starting the year by dooming yourself to failure.

To begin with, the holiday falls at an unfortunate time. The week after Christmas is not a good time to contemplate fresh beginnings and life-changing strategies. With blood just beginning its valiant struggle to overtake alcohol and chocolate as the primary fluid in our circulatory systems, we are more suited to simple tasks and simple thoughts on the first day of January, like remembering where we left the car or who else lives in the house we woke up in for example. Pain, remorse, embarrassment and the malaise of overindulgence do not good motivators make.

And other than having to remember to tack a new number onto written dates, nothing about January 1 st even remotely feels “new.” We’re still in the same dark season we were a week ago, the village and mountains and roads are still crowded with meandering, lost, hapless tourists — bless each and every one of them — and chances are pretty good we’re still picking through the leftovers of Christmas.

When it comes to new beginnings, the start of school in autumn, the beginning of ski season, the lengthening days of spring all seem like better mileposts upon which to hang the moniker “New Year.”

Nonetheless, I’ve made two resolutions. No, I haven’t forgotten what I just wrote, but consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. I’ve resolved to slip a word into each week’s column that I’ve never used before. I’ve also resolved to eat more kumquats. Actually, I have no intention of eating a kumquat but I’ve never used that word in a column before so…. The secret to life is to go for the easy victories.

What I haven’t resolved to do is come up with an elegant way to blend several small, disparate ideas into one flowing column. I resolved to do that a number of years ago and still haven’t found the ideal conceit to pull it off. But there are a couple of annoying issues still hanging around from the end of the year so here goes, the same-old, same-old scattergun approach to clearing the decks and making way for, well, the new year.

Telus, the company you love to hate, proved once again that tragedy and comedy are separated by a very fine line. When tragedy struck the telecommunications company on Dec. 14, in the form of a severed fibre optic line, they managed to find the comedy inherent in the situation — slapstick actually — and proceeded to have us all in stitches with their inept attempts at communicating the nature of the tragedy to us. While their feeble attempts didn’t go so far as to actually e-mail their customers to let them know their e-mail and Internet would be down for the foreseeable future, they came close.

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