Each January brings a rash of columns in which the writer lists his new New Year’s resolutions.
I have three:
• “Are you all right?!” I hate that question. Whenever I drop a book, dump a tool box, or knock something over, someone yells, “Are you all right?”
For years I have replied, curtly, “Yeah. Fine.”
In 2015, I will improve my answers. “I just shattered my knee, but other than that, I’m OK” might work. Or how about, “No, I’m not all right. But if you hadn’t leaned the stupid ironing board against the door, I’d still have my front teeth. Any more questions?”
• Unwanted emails. About half of the emails I get are for goods, services, and organizations that I know nothing about, care nothing about, and am not about to either buy, pay for, or subsidize. They are the result of people selling email lists, I guess. I have hit the “DELETE” key so many times that the letters on it are worn off.
In 2015, I am going to take the time to go all the way to the bottom of each annoying solicitation and hit “UNSUBSCRIBE.” I already have started doing that, and my, how liberating it is. It should add at least three years to my life, and bring my blood pressure down, too.
• Would-be hardware stores. I needed a flashlight bulb the other day, so I went to the massive, big-box “home improvement center” a few blocks away … you know, one of those places that “has everything” and runs lots of TV ads.
Well, the place that “has everything” had flashlights, and flashlight batteries, but no flashlight bulbs. The clerk offered no explanation, but you sell more flashlights that way.
My second stop was a small, family-owned hardware store. The friendly sales clerk led me directly to a small cardboard box that must have had 20 different types of flashlight bulbs … including exactly the one I needed.
In 2015, I’m going to stop there first.
• Litterers. If there’s anything I hate, it’s someone who thinks the whole world is his ashtray, trash can or garbage dump. Littering is illegal, ugly, disgusting, obnoxious, selfish … I could go on.
I can’t shoot such idiots, although they deserve it. Instead, I walk up and down the street in my neighborhood, picking up trash. I have a little aluminum picker-upper thing, and an old grass bag off a lawnmower. I pick up paper bags, pop bottles, beer cans, and, sometimes, socks and shoes. One time I picked up a $10 bill. It takes me about 45 minutes to do both sides of a six-block stretch, and the results are amazing. Kind people often thank me, which is rewarding. The slobs say nothing.
In 2015, I’m going to up my frequency and territory.
Resolved: in 2015, if something bugs me, I’m going to take action. That’s how things get better.
Danville native Kevin Cullen is a former Commercial-News reporter. Reach him at email@example.com.