An unseemly high percentage of Americans will awaken this morning with brain-splitting hangovers.
That traditional and short-lived agony, however, is far from the worst thing that Jan. 1 brings around each and every year. That honor goes to the bane of my personal existence: the New Year's resolution.
It used to be that I would make one grand resolution, which would promptly be broken no later than noon on Jan. 2. I resolve to be kind to every one of Earth's creatures, great and small; I resolve to chew each bite of food 32 times before swallowing.
In recent years, however, I switched approaches. Instead of one resolution, I made many, figuring that at least one of them would hold over the course of 365 days, giving me that long-awaited triumph of willpower.
To date, I have yet to sneak a single resolution through to the next year. The closest I came was in 2006, when I made it to Sept. 17 before going out in public with my pants on backwards.
At this point, I can't just stop. It's a scab that I just can't stop picking at. Here are my resolutions for 2012. I'm absolutely positive I'll keep at least one this time:
▶ I resolve to stop picking at that scab. It's going to get infected otherwise.
▶ I resolve to start smoking, at least two packs a day. I know that it's a terrible and unhealthy habit which will set a horrendous example for my children, subject my family to second-hand smoke and likely set my house on fire when I fall asleep on the couch. Smoking, however, is something I should have no trouble convincing myself to stop, giving me an instant head start on 2013's resolutions.
▶ I resolve not to disparage the music of my children's generation, no matter how terrible it is compared to the genius of Andy Gibb and Bananarama.