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  Texas : Features : Humor : Column - "A Balloon In Cactus"

New Year's Resolutions

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand
"If I could have anything in the world, I'd want world peace," rhapsodizes every Miss America contestant since the first one back when all the Nielsen viewers lived in caves. Today, we ask for more serious things, especially at the time of year when New Year's Resolutions are being written.

We always mean what we write down, even though our resolutions may become somewhat elastic as the year trudges on. In fact, we probably all write pretty much the same ones: quit smoking, spend more time with family, quit drinking, etc. But what about the unusual Resolutions? Who'd know about them? The New Year Baby, that's who. The very same gurgling baby who symbolizes the New Year is definitely the one to ask.

I've always wondered about that baby. It's gender is probably male, considering that outfit. No girl baby would go out wearing just a diaper and a chest banner with the year on it, especially not in January when one's nipples react to the cold weather. We tracked the baby down as it was preparing for the annual trip to Times Square, and got the following answers.

Q: You're a boy baby, right?
A: See this top hat on my head? Who'd you think I was, Fred Astaire?

Q: Since you mentioned Fred's name, what's yours? We can't keep calling you Baby New Year.
A: Kid Time, that's my moniker.

Q: Do you alternate with another baby from one year to the next?
A: Nope. It's me. It's always been me as far back as when Dick Clark was young. And that was long before he dropped the ball.

I've been playing this gig since 600 B.C. Back then I was Greek, but it was the Germans who brought me to America. You think immigration problems are bad now? Sheesh. You should've been around then. Even if you could get across the border into the U.S., you could never get a decent hotel room.

Q: Since I assume you're the one to talk with about New Year's Resolutions the same as we talk with Santa about Christmas wishes, what are some unusual ones?
A: Well, there was the one that said, "Take time from schedule to stop and smell the behinds."

Q: What?
A: Yes, you heard right. I was really shocked until I found out that the list it appeared on was Lassie's.

Q: Any other odd Resolutions?
A: How about, "Don't put the Twinkies back on the store shelf after you suck out the filling. Always eat the whole thing."

Q: Who wrote that one?
A: Kirstie Alley.

Q: Tsk tsk tsk, that's quite naughty of you to repeat.
A: I haven't revealed the most unusual of all.

Q: Oh please, do tell. Maybe we can sell the information to the National Inquirer.
A: Well, okay. I'll tell. It's this one, "Get Shorty."

Q: Who wrote that one, John Travolta?
A: Michael Jackson.

Q: Thank you, Kid Time, for this unique interview. We appreciate your turning down Oprah's show in favor of us.
A: It's not that I liked you better than Oprah, it's that her guest list is so long that, by the time she gets me out of the green room, I'll be a bent over old man with a beard and that stupid scythe. That's what happens after a year of watching all of you not keeping your Resolutions.

Q: What's your personal New Year's Resolution, Kid Time?
A: For the good of mankind, I will do my part to eliminate greenhouse gasses. Before eating the traditional New Year's Eve black-eyed peas and cabbage, I will take a Beano.


Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand
"A Balloon In Cactus"

January 1, 2005 column
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