Al Batt: I’ve decided to stop dancing on marbles and kicking snard

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Tales from Exit 22 by Al Batt

New Year’s resolutions are something we hope other people make.

Al Batt

There’s another year in the past. A riotous New Year’s Eve filled with hot and iced tea caused me to fall asleep before midnight. As my wife woke me for a kiss, I heard a crunching sound. That’s seldom a good thing. My wife mumbled she’d stepped on a cat toy. The cat toy turned out to be my eyeglasses that the new kitten had decided should be on the floor instead of on the bedside stand. Cats don’t pretend to be good, but they do enjoy spreading joy to the floor. I was fortunate I wasn’t wearing the glasses at the time. The bent spectacles made me look more lop-sided than usual. A couple of days later, I went to Eyeglass Repair World. I need glasses because my wife likes me to see what clothes I’m wearing.

Email newsletter signup

I went to a New Year’s Eve party with my parents once. It was at a relative’s house and I was the youngest one there by about 100 years. The only drinks consumed were lemonade and coffee. I thought I’d make it until midnight, but I didn’t. I fell asleep on a bed where coats were piled ceiling high and woke the next morning in my bed with no idea how I got there.

Recently, I drove in wicked cold, windy, snowy and icy conditions. Visibility was limited to the dashboard, but there was nowhere to hide. It was like dancing on marbles. I slogged along and had escaped all the furies of winter but the cold by the time I stopped to eat with friends. The nastiness had subsided, but it left the parking lot littered with chunks of ice and hard slush that had fallen or been kicked from a car. They were clumps of snow that had built up in wheel wells. People ruin nice shoes to get the pleasure of freeing their car of an automobile’s winter dust bunnies. The chunks are called fenderbergs, slush puppies, carsickles, car boogers, kickies, tire turds, snard, slurd, snowlactites, hitchhikers or chunkers. I was happy I didn’t need to dodge any snow mattresses on my journey. Snow mattresses form on top of SUVs and larger cars when snow stacks on top of the vehicle and then blows off when it’s driven. The roads had been cleared, leaving a windrow (a ridge of snow scraped to the side of the road) for company. As I drove westward, the more snirt (dirty snow in ditches and fields that happens when snow hangs around in one place long enough to get dirty) I saw.

My neighbor Crandall made too many New Year’s resolutions. It took him two days to break them all. A New Year’s resolution is a to-do list for the first few days of the year.

Procrastinators wait until next year to make one. Some folks find it simplest to adopt the Mac Davis resolution. Davis wrote these song lyrics, “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble. When you’re perfect in every way. I can’t wait to look in the mirror. ‘Cause I get better lookin’ each day. To know me is to love me. I must be a hell of a man. Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble. But I’m doin’ the best that I can!”

Doing the best we can is a righteous resolution.

I knew a guy who smoked a cigar on Jan. 1 each year. Then he resolved to stop. He kept that resolution for a year.

I missed the class on making New Year’s resolutions, but I’m a big believer in goals. I ink a plus on my hand as a reminder to be positive, read X number of books each year, walk X miles each day and try to keep breathing. Those are goals, but I’ll make resolutions for the sake of this column. I resolve to paper-train my pet rock, prove I’m not a robot, be overcome with mirth and eat healthier by cutting back on the amount of food I ingest after dropping it on the floor.

I resolve not to dance on marbles or kick fenderbergs, slush puppies, carsickles, car boogers, kickies, tire turds, snard, slurd, snowlactites, hitchhikers or chunkers.

Al Batt’s columns appear in the Tribune every Wednesday.