It's New Year's -- time to make up my annual resolution list. Here goes:
1. I will not use holidays as an easy way out of thinking up ideas for columns. Well, I guess THAT one didn't last too long.
2. I will not double down at blackjack when I am holding a 9 and the dealer is showing a 2. This, of course, will come as very bad news to the online casinos.
3. This year I will NOT be a wimp. I will demand a raise from my boss. I deserve it. Besides, he needs me a lot more than I need him, right? Of course, there are a lot of satirists out there, so maybe he doesn't need me all that much. Okay, no raise --but I will NOT let him cut my salary. Maybe.
4. I will not start the NFL season by betting on the Eagles winning the Superbowl, no matter what kind of odds the bookies are offering. Let's face it, even at 3 million to 1 it is a BAD bet.
5. This year, I will take an educational vacation. I will learn something and improve myself and not just fritter away my holidays like I have in the past. Let's see -- I can visit the museums and concert halls of Europe or I can take a summer course in Advanced Comparative Theology at Princeton or I can -- YES! THAT'S IT!! -- I can develop my gaming skills in Las Vegas!
6. I will learn to keep better control of my temper and not get upset at little things, like when the printer makes some tiny mistake in typeseting one of my columns. "Typeseting"? He did it again! He left out a "T"! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!! How DARE he do a thing like that? Doesn't that blasted fool pay any attention to his work!!!! I'LL KILL THAT IDIOT!!!!
7. I will spend much less time on the internet and much more quality time with my children. Then again, one need not interfere with the other. There's no reason why my son and daughter shouldn't play along with me when the Hot Gold Casino is having one of its promotion weekends.
8. I will stop this silly internet relationship I am having with that woman in Sweden. She is a married woman and it is plain wrong for us to be exchanging torrid love letters. This will have to stop. It really doesn't matter that she is blonde, 24, and beautiful. Of course, being a gentleman, I will not do it in an impersonal letter -- when is the next plane for Stockholm?
9. I will stop making fun of Sen. Kyl. After all, the man has a right to sponsor a bill banning on line gambling and it is not really his fault that when he was playing football in high school the team didn't give him a helmet.
10. I will take religion more seriously this year and go to church on a regular basis -- at least once a week. On bingo night.
11. I will not make any foolish or stupid bets. I will think out the odds carefully beforehand. This includes canceling my life insurance policy as the odds are really good that I am not going to die this year.
12. I will listen to my doctor's advice and cut back on my drinking and give up smoking completely. No. Wait! I have a better idea. I will NOT listen to his advice. Instead, I will keep the life insurance policy.
13. From now on, when I am gambling, I will quit when I am ahead. Wait. That's not a New Year's resolution. That is the same decision I make each time I go to the casino -- at least, I make it when I am leaving the casino, broke.
14. I am not going to have a number 14. Every silly list you read has a number 14. I am going straight to number 15.
15. I will stop coveting my neighbor's wife. Instead, I will just have sex with her.
16. When I do number 15, above, I will wear a condom. See? I *am* cutting back on my gambling!
17. Next time I am in a game of seven card stud and somebody is showing the 10, J, Q and K of spades and betting like crazy, I will not figure he is bluffing and see him with my pair of 8's -- ESPECIALLY after he says, "if you have any guts, not only will you see me, but you'll raise me".
18. I will resist the urge to empty my bank account to bet against Killer McGoon when he is fighting Sweety Sylvester.
19. The next time I visit the Colosseum in Rome, I will avoid the temptation of making a joke about "This is the only arena where the Lions ever won" -- especially, if the people standing around me are the defensive line of Detroit.
20. Next, I will not resolve to have a New Year's Resolution list with 20 resolutions. I don't care if it is an even number -- I never can come up with that last one!