New Year, New Broken Resolutions

Like an ostrich hatching out of its enormous egg, the New Year is a chance for new beginnings and unusual metaphors. It is a time when people have an incredible capacity for hope (yes, I stole that from F. Scott Fitzgerald, and no, I will not give it back). We are over a month into 2014, and it is time to check up on New Year’s resolutions!

Did you know that 45% of Americans craft New Year’s resolutions, which are goals to achieve or habits to acquire? [Imagine picture of a nun kicking a soccer ball here, which Dan’s editor regretfully removed for reasons of length.] No, not that kind of goal and no, not that kind of habit. While so many people commit to New Year’s resolutions, precious few are successful in following through with them; only about 8% of people complete their resolutions. I wanted to see how students around Harriton were doing. Have we kept them up since January 1st or have we tossed them aside along with the New Year’s Day fireworks and party hats? To find out, I interviewed as many students as possible.

(Note: all names have been changed for the sake of confidentiality and hilarity.)


Me: Tell me, what New Year’s resolution did you make this year?

Ebenezer Scrooge: I knew that some of the most common resolution topics are food and money, so I combined them.

Me: Oh, are you going to spend less money on junk food now?

ES: No…(pauses for dramatic effect) I have sworn to eat a dollar every day.

Me: Is that sanitary?

ES: I sure don’t know what you are talking about. I never eat them raw. Please, I took Basic Foods! I know what I’m doing! I steam my bills, sauté them, or fry them up with lots of butter. Sometimes, I make money pizza and put quarters on top instead of pepperoni. Other times, I switch it up and eat a hundred pennies instead of a dollar bill.

Me: But there’s no way that can be healthy. Isn’t paper money made out of, like, cotton and other inedible stuff? And eating coins? What are you, a video game character?

ES: Haven’t you ever been told to eat your greens? If something is green, then it must be healthy – just look at green M&Ms! They are the most nutritious fruit in all the animal kingdom. But I’m not eating bills because they’re so good for me. I’m eating them for financial reasons.

Me: Uh, financially, how is it good for you to eat your own money?

ES: Well, everyone always says that you should invest in yourself…

Me: You realize that your stomach isn’t a bank, right?

ES: It isn’t? Humbug! That explains a lot. I should probably start investing in something normal, like coffee shops or double-decker mechanized battle ostriches.


Our next student was so busy that I could only contact her at 11:59 PM on Friday, January 17th.


Britney Spears: Hello!

Me: Hi, can I ask you about your New Year’s resolution?

BS: Sure! I decided to only eat pancakes on dates that are prime numbers.

Me: Really? Why?

BS: Because pancakes are always tasteless on composite dates.

Me: Is there really a culinary difference between composite and prime days?

BS: Of course there is! Clearly Mr. Occhiogrosso didn’t teach you to cook. Wait, my pancakes are done … (enthusiastic chewing sounds).

Me: You do realize that it’s 12:01, right? It’s the 18th.

BS: Noooo! I’ve broken my resolution! I can’t believe it! My pancake is so bland!

Me: Sorry about that. I guess on days like today, they should be called blandcakes.


This third interview took place in the Ram Gym as I jogged alongside my oddly dressed interviewee.


Me: I hear you have an interesting New Year’s resolution.

Bob Krusty: Yes, I do! I’m trying to quit clowning around and start to work on my clown school application.

Me: Oh, you want to be a clown? That would explain the floppy size 20 shoes. Can you describe your potential clown education?

BK: It is called “clownification”. I hope to get accepted to Bobo University, where I will double major in “Applied Buffoonery” and “Rainbow Wig Theory”. Then, in graduate school, I will study the finer points of clownage and get my Ph.D.

Me: Whoa, that’s a lot of schooling! What will you do with all that knowledge? Amuse children?

BK: Why would I do that? I plan to be president.

Me: President? How could clowning lead to the Oval Office?

BK: We’ve had clown Presidents before! Just look at our 40th president, Ronald McDonald.

Me: Don’t you mean Ronald Reagan?

BK: No, it was Ronald McDonald who famously took off his wig and said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” And then Mr. Gorbachev tore down the Anti-Clown Wall with his bare hands.

Me: It was definitely Ronald Reagan who said that. And I’m pretty sure that the Berlin Wall was not built to keep out clowns.

BK: Really? I was so sure that it was Ronald McDonald. And if that’s not what the Berlin Wall was for, then why were the East Berliners so unhappy?

Me: That was Ronald Reagan. Ronald McDonald is McDonald’s mascot.

BK: I don’t want to be a mascot. They’re scary. I want to be President. Presidents are adorable. Now I’ll have to give up clowning and be a politician to become President. (Sighs) I was so sure I could clown my way into the White House…

Me: Don’t worry, little buddy, we can’t all be Gerald Ford.

After conducting these interviews, it seems that most people’s New Year’s resolutions have been unsuccessful. However, it isn’t all bad news. My New Year’s resolution – to make other people’s New Year’s resolutions fail – is going quite well.