1-7 January 2016 #789

Happy New Earful

Is it really such a good idea to embark on a new year at this point in time?
Strange things start happening to a nation when a largish southward neighbour insists on squeezing its nuts, and won’t let go. Survival instincts take over and the squeezee comes up with ingenious ways to get back at the squeezer in order to survive. We gird up our loins with renewed vigour to safeguard our national manhood. And in the absence of LPG cylinders, diesel and electricity, we set fire to the rafters to heat our homes. 

It’s that time of the year again when each of us individually (and in semi-underground criminal gangs engaged in keeping this nation afloat by smuggling fuel across the border) have a choice: is it really such a good idea to embark on a new year at this point in time? I mean, do we actually want to go through another 365 days of this? If your answer is in the affirmative, and you have made up your mind to plunge headfirst into 2016 then go ahead, take the bull by the horns of its dilemma in a china shop, and let me compliment you on your courage, give your gonads a fond squeeze, and wish you godspeed.

May your remaining days in 2016 be filled with joy, prosperity, happiness, and a full cylinder of liquid petroleum at not less than 32 psi. May you have to wait less than 48 hours for 5 litres of petrol. May load shedding in your neighbourhood follow the schedule and, if it does, not exceed 12 hours a day. May your flush tank always be half-full of water, and not half-empty.

May there be oxygen in the Intensive Care Unit when they wheel you in. May your transformer not explode when they switch on the electric crematorium.

On a more cheerful note, let me say that I know from past experience that new year resolutions, once made, are difficult to keep. However hard we try, by January the fifth, we are back to being grumpy couch potatoes with a poor sense of personal hygiene, and harbouring an unexplicable urge to keep warm by committing arson on the effigy of KPOji and NaMoji.

We need new year resolutions that are realistic, can stand up to peer review, and which we can actually take to the implementation phase. In view of the above, therefore, I have drawn up my personal list of new year resolutions which are not copyright and may be reproduced, stored in, introduced into a retrieval system, plagiarised, and transmitted in any form (digital, analog, Bluetooth or as an interstellar radio message from the Arecibo Observatory aimed in the general direction of the globular star cluster M13) provided these suggestions are not attributed to the author or publisher in a court of law:

1. I will try my best to be grouchy and cantankerous throughout the coming year. After all, what is there to be cheerful about?

2. I will take up smoking as a hobby in the new year as part of a personal effort to draw my life to a premature end.

3. Since it causes ulcer, I will stop drinking tea. And take up Jack Daniels instead.

4. I will try to read a book in 2016.

5. Cross my heart, I’ll desist from making utterances that may be construed to be anti-Indian within earshot of the CIAA. I will only utter them after debugging my apartment.

6. I will spend less time aimlessly stalking random people on Facebook this year, and spend more quality time excavating lint from my belly button.

7. I will not work harder than I have to, I will not do today what I can do tomorrow.

8. We will hold our head high in the international community and tell a certain imaginary country to the South whose capital is made up of two words that begin with ’N’ and ‘D’ that they needn’t bother officially lifting the unofficial blockade because we’re all raking it in.

9. In the new year we shall refrain from our national pastime of picking our noses in public, and if perchance, our fingers involuntarily start exploring hitherto uncharted sections of our nasal orifice we shall wash our hands with soap. (Only soap, since water is going to be even more scarce this year.)

10. I will try to convince the Oli Gobarment to allow me to be an adviser to the newly-formed Ministry of Livestock in the spirit of inclusion, since donkeys are under-represented in a Cabinet dominated by Brahmin bulls. And as long as I am at it, I will also lobby to bifurcate the Ministry of Agriculture further into the Ministry of Horticulture, Ministry of Aquaculture, the Ministry of Monoculture and Ministry of Counterculture.

11. I will endeavour to make a complete Ass of myself every week throughout 2016. 

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