I read in today's newspaper that Ben Franklin once had this advice to give upon the onslaught of a new year: "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." Since Mr. Franklin is widely regarded as a guy who knew what he was talking about, I concluded that deeper reflection on these particular words was in order. So I thought about it, and two questions came to mind:
1. Do I really need to find a better man?
2. Since that's probably not what he meant, then what can I do to become a better man?
I pondered the latter and produced this list. Please feel free to submit any of your own ideas on how to become a better man in the comment section.
A. As mentioned previously, I will be a better driver. To truly man it up, I will exercise my enhanced prowess at no less than 90 miles per hour while scanning the medians and wooded areas for carefully concealed cops-in-wait. I will learn to identify all unmarked Crown Victorias and Malibus. Failing to do so will ensure a $620 ticket for speeding in a work zone, swerving to pass, and tailgating. I will drive with one hand in my pants at all times.
B. I will cook macaroni and cheese or Stouffer's Skillet Sensations every night. I will lick the plate clean so that only the most cursory of swipes with the sponge will be necessary afterward. I will leave the rest of the dishes piled up for a real woman to take care of.
C. I will plaster my work area with photos of women and cars of foreign make. Well, only the cars need to be foreign; the women can go either way. That they are naked is the only important thing.
D. I will not change a single diaper. I will potty train my 18 month old daughter in a single weekend. I will sit her on the toilet and stare at her with stern eyes of narrow fixation until I scare the piss out of her. I will be so proud.
E. In word and deed, I will remind all members of the household that I am king. I will huddle over my laptop each night balancing the online checkbook as the cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching of my Quicken financial software reverberates against the walls. I will scrutinize unnecessary purchases. I will bemoan the fact that the local coffee drive-thru now takes credit cards, a fact that a certain household member of the weaker sex deems irresistable. I will input all receipts into the register and then I will shred them with glee. Then I will go back to the Internet, where I will search for spare parts to soup up my riding lawnmower. I will try to figure out how to type and drink a beer with one hand down my pants.