Friend intends to run marathon this year

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Column: Tales from Exit 22

Have you been dating things “2012”?

Did you start the new year by saying “Rabbit, rabbit” for good luck?

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It’s odd to speak of 2011 as “last year.” It’s not that far away.

New Year’s Day bring new things. A friend obtained hearing aids recently. I entered the new year with a smile after wishing him “Happy New Ears.”

How are the New Year’s resolutions working out for you? A neighbor resolved to tighten the lids on his wife’s canning jars enough so that he’ll be needed. She’ll need him to open those jars for her.

Gyms and health clubs fill early in the new year. After a few weeks, the herd thins and individuals thicken, as resolutions fail and willpower weakens. The gym memberships become donations.

An acquaintance resolved to run a marathon in 2012. He has never run one before. He’s not a runner. The last time he ran was in junior high gym class. He might have aimed too high. He’s already considering giving up the idea of running a marathon. In this era of nothing being anyone’s fault, some would claim that his fading resolution is not his fault. It is his fault. It’s great to set big goals. That’s how great accomplishments come about. However, this guy, as nice as he is, should have set a reachable goal. He’s aware of his history. He knows how he is. He should have set a goal of walking around the block each day.

He could have expanded that stroll with time. Maybe a marathon would be in is future. Not sticking to a resolution doesn’t leave one with a good feeling — other than relief. Success comes from failure. If we use New Year’s resolutions as a gauge, this is going to be an extremely successful year.

I hope your holiday celebrations went well. The longest champagne cork flight on record is 177 feet, 9 inches, and 250 people suffer eye injuries from flying champagne corks each year.

As I ducked corks, I realized that I’d been given a priceless gift that couldn’t be weighed or sold. The gift of a new year is a precious one filled with hope and possibilities. It will pass much too quickly.

I tend to make resolutions that reflect a meager increase in wisdom. A wise man is just a fool grown a year older. I typically resolve to stop procrastinating beginning in August or to stop rushing things by making resolutions for 2017.

My only New Year’s resolution this year is to become a better person. I favor resolutions that are easy to keep.


The News from Hartland Harold

The Loafers’ Club meets every morning. We gather in a place that used to be very much like it is now. We meet for about an hour, do nothing, talk about how we could do even less and then go home to rest. One of the illustrious Loafers, Hartland Harold, keeps us informed on local news. Here are the headlines according to Hartland Harold.

Fire department keeps old truck for false alarms.

Pigeons stick to the roof of the peanut butter factory.

Pessimists’ Anonymous meeting canceled.

Tutor offers hire education.

Tornado drill canceled due to inclement weather.

Man, arrested for driving 53 in a 35 mile per hour zone, pleads dyslexia.

Man, attempting to walk around the world, drowns.

Veterinarian/Taxidermist business opens. No matter what, you’ll get your pet back.

National Guardsman/karate expert suffers a concussion while saluting.

The lone pallbearer at Grumpy Johnson’s funeral spoke during the service. The title of his eulogy was, “The importance of making six to eight friends in your life.”

Conan the Barber holds sale. For the regular price of a haircut, Conan will cut your hair twice as short as usual.

Nudist Camp’s Winter Fair highly unsuccessful.


Ask Al

The customers of this column ask the questions. I supply the answers.

“Do you have any advice for students?” Always be nice to the lunch ladies.

“What is the best thing about…?” Telepathy? I know you know.

“Why are some of your answers so vague?” Because.

“What did you do to relax on the farm?” We’d sit around and wait for something to stop working.

“How can I get rid of the rabbits in my yard?” Eliminate snowmen noses.

“What causes potholes?” The highway and street departments employ individuals to install potholes. This is done to reduce speeds. It’s not all bad. There is a Starbucks in a pothole near me.

“What states does the Mississippi River flow through?” Only one — a liquid.


Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday.