New Year’s Eve is the traditional occasion for making some splendid resolutions.
It’s become a time for deciding how your life should shape up for the year ahead, a time for planning how you should shape up for the year ahead.
Let’s get real here for a minute.
Does anyone actually keep those New Year’s resolutions one minute past noon on January 2?
So why bother, I say!
Instead, the other day I sat down and drew up a practical Declaration, the Gibb Declaration of Things I Would Change.
Such Declarations, as I view them, know no season. These occasional statements are not linked to any particular date on the calendar. They make no demands on your character, your career goals, your weight.
They are simply thoughtful speculations about the world in general and how it might be improved.
Best of all, you can draw up a Declaration and happily ignore it at your leisure. No guilt.
I would like to share some of the items on the latest Gibb Declaration of Things I Would Change.
1. I would like to see a complete ban on tummy rumblings.
Like me, you may find it very disconcerting to be sitting in, say, a crowded bus, and to suddenly realize that the bizarre noises you are hearing are the products of the stomach of the dozing man wedged tightly next to you on the seat.
In fact, (and inevitably) such rumblings eventually lead to the belief that your seat fellow is hosting, somewhere near his belly button, an entire Scottish Pipe Band skirling ‘Bonnie Dundee.’
Caught in a situation like this, despite my best efforts to ignore the gastric symphony beside me (while shifting a millimetre or two farther away on the seat), such rumblings will only get louder and louder.
All too soon the people crammed into the vicinity of my seat become aware of the noises right about the time the bag pipes give way to the whistling howls of tom cats in a fight to the death.
There are disapproving looks, pained sighs and throat clearing all around.
These are always directed at me.
It is quite impossible at this point to leap up, flap your arms around and hysterically scream “It’s him! It’s him! It’s him!” without actually being forcibly escorted off the bus at the next stop.
No, I find that all you can do in the circumstances is shrink into the seat gritting your teeth, pounding your knee and muttering away venomously to yourself.
You are forcibly escorted off the bus at the next stop.
Ban tummy rumblings.
2. I want to make sweeping changes in how clothing sizes, especially in women’s fashions, are defined.
We need new meanings for PP, P, M, L and XL.
Under my system, PP would now stand for Pleasantly Proportioned.
Remove size P completely. I once tried on a size P dress. It looked quite fetching on my left forearm.
Abolish size 0.
I mean really! Is size 0 supposed to indicate that when a woman stands sideways, she’s invisible?
L, in my new system would stand for Luscious. And XL? Definitely extra luscious.
Leave M as a kind of default size. Not too underdone. Not too overdone.
3. Put an end to instructions that read “so simple a child can assemble” unless there is an actual child included in the packing crate.
4. Immediately stop the habit, among some people, particularly salesclerks and waiters, of casually referring to all people of my vintage as “dear.”
Frankly, if you insist on publicly calling me “dear” when I am checking out, or sitting in your service area, then the very least I expect from you is dinner and a movie.
Either that or change that casual “dear” to a phrase I consider far more appropriate.
“Here’s your order for corn plasters and poligrip, you gorgeous creature you.”
No doubt about it.
I could live with that.