According to the Blspidites, that wandering band of space travelers whose advanced model Frisbee broke down in Roswell back in 1947, 2018 is the Year of the Gnu. Those of us who grew up in Roswell gnow this, of course, because the surviving Blspidite crewmen and crewwomen raised their children in Roswell until they got clearance to work at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque. Their children, many my classmates, looked pretty much like all the other kids in Roswell, but they wore glasses and their belts up around their chests and were no good at sports. We called them snerds because they reminded us of Mortimer Snerd, Edgar Bergen’s dummy. But they were no dummies. They were very smart. They also work nowadays at Sandia National Laboratories or for Apple, although many have retired.

Blspidites are very smart, but always homesick for their life back on planet Blspida. (The return-trip-thingamajiggy broke down upon impact. It is impossible to find parts, so they’re stuck.) On their home planet, each family has a dog, which on earth looks like a gnu. Blspidites often take vacations in Africa just so they can pet the gnus and chat with them. They gnow fluent gnuese. And hearing that the Chinese calendar had a Year of the Dog, decades ago they decided to do something similar – the Year of the Gnu, which comes around every so often.

So, as you use these last remaining hours of 2017, or the first few hours of 2018, to make your New Year’s resolutions, gnow that the Blspidites are also making their Gnu Year’s resolutions. And here’s my point. We’re terrible at New Year’s resolutions. They’re fantastic. What might we learn from them?

How bad are we? As you know, 30 percent of Americans give up on their New Year’s resolutions when it’s time for the opening kickoff of the Superbowl in early February. The other 70 percent gave them up by Martin Luther King’s birthday in mid-January. We’re that bad.

And why? Because we set unrealistic goals. We resolve to lose 40 pounds in 2018 by using all the exercise machines and gear we bought a year ago so we would lose 30 pounds in 2017. We resolve to eat only two kinds of food – that with no calories and that with no taste. And we resolve to wash it all down with a bottle of water every 15 minutes. Where did we get that “health” recommendation? From the American Urinal Industry Research Council?

Blspidites have a much more logical approach to resolution making. They’d tell us humans to eat tasty, calorie-laden food. This will motivate us to use our exercise equipment until we can’t stand the sight of it. We can then sell it and use the proceeds to pay down our debt, although not significantly. Still,  we will have kept one resolution in 2018 rather than none!

Blspidites never make resolutions for themselves. Only for other Blspidites. At New Year’s Eve parties they exchange resolutions much like humans have White Elephant gift exchanges prior to Christmas.

And these resolutions are a riot! “Brush after every meal with dark chocolate!”… “Give all your snowmen lazer eye surgery.”… “Train for the next Olympics by doing movie marathons.”… “Tell your gnu to be nice to the cat.”…and “Compare yourself to humans.”…Ha, ha, ha!


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