If asked, I'd have to admit to being a bit ambivalent about the world not ending last month. Go out in an unexplained Mayan apocalypse; stick around for the new dawning? Meh.
I didn't suspect the world would end but if you got anywhere near mainstream or social media the first three weeks of December, you'd have had to be of firmer stuff than me to at least not give it a passing thought. But having lived through a number of End of the World prognostications — generally being sold by crackpot Christian evangelists of questionable intelligence — and having awakened in the post-Y2K dawn to find my coffeemaker had successfully brewed the stuff of life, I couldn't bring myself to believe the Mayans would do to us what the Spanish almost did to them, lo those many years ago.
On the other hand, if the world had fizzled like a loosely packed roman candle, I wouldn't have to face the annual, unpleasant task of writing about New Year's resolutions. It is an unwritten, but harshly policed rule, that all columnists have to do at least one column annually about New Year's resolutions. I failed to adhere to it one year and received what could only be read as a very threatening reminder from the International Brotherhood of Palavering Pundits, the IBPP. Since it was an unwritten rule, not to mention because I'd never heard of them, the directorate of the IBPP cut me some slack but suggested I bear in mind the hands-in-the-locker scene from The Hustler and never let it happen again. Noted.
This requirement has, understandably, created the closest thing to writer's block I've ever experienced, being as a general nature irrelevantly wordy. That's because I don't make New Year's resolutions, henceforth called simply resolutions.
I used to make them. Sheepishly, annually, mindlessly, I resolved to do things that ran completely contrary to my nature. Contrition, gluttony, hope for a new beginning and, yes, peer pressure drove me to resolve to be something I wasn't and never would be.
Like so many of the other lemmings, I more than once waddled into my local Y or — ugh — trendy sports boutique in early January to sign up for a new, improved me. As contrite as I am to admit it, I even joined an aerobics class at the height of that miserable, revolting trend.
The only saving grace I could find in the whole wretched experience was planting myself at the back of the three classes I attended, before allowing myself to be waylaid by the siren song of a pimped fern bar I would otherwise have never entered, and ogling the display of misshapen but smoothly latexed backsides of the 98 per cent of the class comprised of contrite, sheepish women. Wearing earplugs to block out as much of the ersatz disco soundtrack as possible didn't hurt either.