No Golf, Smoking or Saturday Crossword Puzzle


Story: Fred Hilton

 It’s January. Maybe not the best month in the year but it’s certainly the first. Several extremely important things take place in January. In order of significance, they are: my birthday, the Super Bowl.

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions in January. Fewer than 10 percent are completed.

The problem: most people set the bar too high. They set difficult goals impossible to reach—lose weight, get in shape, and make more money. Those are tough, folks. Make it easy on yourself. Don’t make a resolution hard to keep. Make resolutions you can handle.

As a public service, I offer my list of 2017 resolutions I guarantee I can achieve.

I will not eat any eggplant.

It’s ugly, misshapen, a weird color, squishy, and has the consistency of bad tofu. It isn’t even a vegetable. It’s a fruit, although rarely mistaken for a peach.

I will not smoke again.

A resolution to quit smoking was one I made, and broke, for about 20 years. I finally quit a few years back—26 years, eight months, three weeks, two days and 37 minutes ago. But who’s counting?

I will not start playing golf.

Along with at least 18 other people who live in The Villages, I do not play golf. Furio Giunta, who was one of Tony Soprano’s musclemen, succinctly described golf as “a stupid bleeping game.” It would be unwise—and probably dangerous—to disagree with Furio. I became disenchanted with golf as a teenager and played my first—and last—hole of golf on a regulation course. It was Caddy Day at the country club and caddies could play for a couple of hours. I tagged along with my buddies to try the game. However, I swing left-handed and nobody had left-handed clubs. I played the entire hole with a putter. Shot a 26, as I recall. I did play a par-three course a few years later and managed to break 20 on one hole. I decided to quit while I was behind.

I refuse to try to work the Saturday crossword puzzle.

I am addicted to crossword puzzles. My mother worked the crossword puzzle every morning for years so it must be in my genes (five letters: “inherited characteristic units”). However, the Saturday puzzle in The Villages Daily Sun is impossible. It’s created by a sadist (six letters: “pain causer”). If I get three words in the puzzle, it’s a good day. The only person who can work the Saturday puzzle lives in a tree and works them day and night. He only comes out to get another newspaper and eat berries and crickets.

The person who comes up with the best list of resolutions wins a case of eggplants.