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by: Max Burbank

If you're like me, right about now you're thinking, "Golly, how could it possibly be New Years again? Didn't we just HAVE one?!" You've also missed another meeting with your parole officer and you're under your desk sipping from a off-brand booze out of a Fresca can. TIP #1: Crouching under your desk doesn't make you invisible, just like it says on your last performance evaluation. TIP #2: Anything called "Southerner's Comfort" and costing less than six bucks for a plastic, two liter bottle will probably make you blind. TIP #3: Be less like me.

Well, it is New Years again, and the fact that you can't recall large chunks of April and May doesn't change anything. Just because you're still nursing a hangover from your office party is no reason not to get falling down, weeping drunk. Of course it's no reason you absolutely have to puncture your instep with shards of Strawberry Shortcake furniture on the way to the bathroom twice a night for three days running either, but human being are creatures of habit.

Now maybe I'm just becoming an old fashioned 'geezer', but I've decided I like ringing in the New Year at home. It was fun to go out when I was a youngster, but kids these days don't know from Guy Lombardo, the chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are attack are about %75, and the LAST thing I need is another Mexican Tattoo! No, wait, Mexican Tattoo's are second to last, right after Mexican Syphilis.

Besides, I've got kids now. Sure, a lot of parents get a sitter and go out, but my ankle bracelet makes that damn near impossible and if the wife wants to go dancin' with anyone it sure as hell isn't me! I don't blame her, I'm a terrible dance partner, always have been. Maybe it's me, I just think a dance floor is a very exposed place when a pack of crazed baboons is hunting you. Those fuckin' baboons, man. They ruin everything. When will they ever let me forget? So, we stay in.

My oldest daughter (that's who she says she is and until paternity tests are free I see no reason to doubt her) came up with a great New Year's Eve tradition a few years back. Wish bags. Got it out of some family magazine the wife subscribes too. I tried reading one of them once, I mean we're paying for them, they pile up like dead pets for god's sake, but I couldn't make head or tail of the damn thing. It was half ads and no one was naked at all. Anyway, Wish Bags. You take a brown paper lunch bag, decorate it any old way you want with stickers, pom-poms, crayons and what all. Then you write your wishes for the New Year on slips of paper and put 'em in the bag. When they start counting down the clock in Time's Square you blow up your bag and at the stroke of midnight you pop it. Which I guess is in someway supposed to make God care, I don't know. It's from a magazine.

Last year all I wrote was 'huff less glue' which turned out to be pretty useless since I didn't write 'keep receipts for all glue purchased'. Even that wouldn't have worked because I didn't keep Glue receipts from previous years, so how the hell am I supposed to know if I'm cutting back or not? Self-improvement is a lot harder than it looks and may even take more than a Wish bag, but it's all I plan on doing, so I mean to make the best of it.

I've been planning my wishes since New Years day 2003. First thing I did (well, second, right after Glue because I can't even shave before my morning Glue, I tried it once and took off an eyebrow) was go through the trash to find my wife and daughter's wishes. Everything was pretty torn up so I couldn't really tell whose was whose but they were both good so it doesn't really matter. One said "Save the animals in the rainforest" and the other said "Think about killing my husband less."

For most of the year I was set with "Become King of world", but that just seemed like more work than I could handle, especially since I couldn't even bother to write "The World" on my wish. Then I was going to go with 'Care Less', which seemed to cover everything but the truth is, I'd much rather have a lot of candy then care less that I don't have a lot of candy, because I'd still care some and I like candy. I toyed with "Be more mature" but I knew if I wrote down a great idea like that all you bastards would read it and copy my idea. So I'm going to wing it. You know, trust my instincts. They've never let me down before. At least that's what my old buddy "Jack Danielson" always says. And at four fifty a quart, he's rarely wrong.

note: Max Burbank will probably settle for "Lift the restraining order that my family has on me" as his wish.

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