Enough resolutions to go around

FLINT — At this time of year I often hear people say, “I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because I never know what resolutions to make.”

People, you can’t be serious? I encounter many of you each and every day, and let me assure you that you are, as columnist Dave Barry once wrote, “huge, teeming flaw colonies.”

You — and I mean you reading this column right now — are figuratively standing in a room full of balloons. Toss a dart in any direction and you’re guaranteed to hit a behavior modification you can make so that you annoy the rest of us (meaning me) less.

Here. Let me get you started. In 2017, you resolve to:

– Stop making duck lips in photos. It’s not sexy. It’s just stupid. Please don’t do it, but if you do, don’t post it online. A special reminder to millennials: Online photos never die. What happens if you become a candidate for president someday? Do you really want a photo of you pretending to re-create the come hither look of a horny mallard popping up during the campaign? I didn’t think so.

– Since I’m picking on millennials, can we please be done with the lumberjack beards? Please? Pretty please? It’s time for a different annoying look — maybe muttonchop sideburns or bell bottoms. Anything’s fine, really. Just no more Paul Bunyans.

– Oh, and stop pronouncing the word button (and words like it) as if they are two separate words. Say it this way “button” not “butt en.” Thank you.

– Start reading a newspaper, preferably a print version, but online will do. I happen to think society has gotten dumber since the decline of newspapers. I also think government at all levels — local, state and national — has grown more incompetent and self-serving because politicians realize no one’s watching. I also think the virus of fake news was able to spread during the presidential election because too many people weren’t consuming enough real news. Fortify yourself with Vitamin N (for news) every day.

– Learn how to park your silly oversized pickup. Listen, if you’re going to own a pickup the size of a battleship, it’s on you to figure out how to park it so its nose doesn’t stick into other spots, thus annoying me.

– Stop posting teaser posts on Facebook. Don’t post, “Oh, I can’t believe what a tragedy has befallen my family” then not tell us what the tragedy is? Did someone die? Is someone sick? Did the dog run away? C’mon. Don’t make us beg.

– And please, please, please stop posting that post that says, “I don’t think anyone reads my posts. To find out who my real friends are, respond with ‘I am!’ so I know not to drop you.” No one likes that. If you don’t think people aren’t reading your posts, maybe you should make your posts more interesting. (Harsh, but true.)

– Not buy your lottery tickets and cigarettes at the gas station during the morning rush hour while 12 antsy people are standing behind you in line. Just don’t.

– Put down your cellphone. Once you do, you’ll realize how much time you waste staring at it. The real world is interesting, too. And also irritating. But, hey, we’re working on that this year, right? Happy 2017.

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Andrew Heller, an award-winning newspaper columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Follow him at andrewheller.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Write to him via email at andrewhellercolumn@gmail.com.

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