Well, we’re about to flush 2015 down the crapper, and start plunging 2016. That means it’s time for predictions for the new year. Here’s mine:
Next year will be even worse than this year, if that’s possible.
I’ve been using that one every year for 25 years, and it hasn’t failed me yet. Stick with the tried and true, I always say. Of course Western Civilization might bust out all over next year. I won’t stand on one leg and hold my breath, if you don’t mind.
Don’t get me wrong. I could make New Year’s predictions that were spot on. I’ve predicted lots of things with uncanny accuracy in the last ten years on the Intertunnel. It doesn’t do me any good, and the audience gets mad at me, and wishes to go back to sleep, so I stopped doing it. It’s like the ‘Free Beer Tomorrow’ sign on the wall in a disreputable tavern. It’s always right, and it doesn’t matter.
So what’s a busy blogger to do? The term “busy blogger” smacks of oxymoron. That might be unfair to bloggers I have known. Most of them are only about half an oxymoron. Anyway, making a year-end list of twelve of my essays chosen at random but pawned off as my finest work should do the trick. So here you go: Sippican’s Year in Review
January: The Greatest Play in NFL History
I’ve had a lot to do with the Boston, er, New England Patriots over the
years, all strange. I almost died in their driveway. I once stood on the
fifty yard line of their stadium while a half-dozen of us decided to
change a thirty-year-old NFL rule.
February: Unorganized Hancock: The Birf of Rock and Roll
The kids have been making videos for about three years now. I thought
they were always good, and they’ve certainly gotten much better, but
they were recorded in such a rudimentary fashion that the viewer had to
perform mental arithmetic to figure out how good they were.
March: Ralph Bellamy, I’m in Love With You
I used to play in a Happy Hour band that played Stump the Band with the
audience. We had to stop when Massachusetts made Happy Hour illegal. No,
really, that happened. My life is one long list of vocations, jobs,
life callings, and hobbies that were made illegal. If I were smart, I
would have started out doing illegal things right from the get-go.
Illegal pays better.
April: I Must Not Do It
I have seen money. Felt it in my hand. I have wasted it one day and
built temples to my fellow man the next with money, with no good reason
to do either. I have watched it slumber in a bank book with my name on
it waiting for nothing more than a notion and a signature. All gone.
Gone for good, I think but must not say.
May: Rumford Delenda Est
The man in the perfect yellow house persevered. He painted his driveway
and waxed his lawn and dusted his roof shingles. He polished his trees
and chromed the inside of his mailbox. He was adamantine. He was, and
is, a species of wonderful.
June: Building a Wattle and Daub Shelter for Dummies
If you can afford to have a smartphone in your pocket, you’re allowed
to be as dumb as you please. You can believe almost anything about the
natural or intellectual world and get away with it. You can think
panthers are cute and cuddly if you want, or that living in a state of
nature is a lark, or commendable in some way.
July: The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything
My wife is very quiet and reserved. She smiles a lot, but she doesn’t
talk very much. I have always depended on her steadiness, because I am
mercurial. I wonder if there is anyone in this world who has anything
bad to say about her, other than she chooses husbands in lighting not
suitable for buying off-brand bales of hay.
August: Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Television
I know how to install electricity in a new house, and an old house, and a
restaurant, and a gas station, and a football stadium, and several
other kinds of places no one invites me to build anymore. It’s really
very simple except the part where you’re dealing with what was installed
in the mists of antiquity by an escapee from a support group for
mentally challenged subcontractors with Frankenstein fetishes. The
meetings were held in my basement, I infer.
September: Unorganized Hancock Gets Their WIngs
My sons looked vaguely dazed and happy, which is pretty much the same
thing in this world. They received their applause from the assembled
crowd, the hockey team you see in the background, and the other bands,
all without throwing up on themselves or falling off the stage. It was
one of those moments in time that you will remember sweetly forever.
When Unorganized Hancock made videos as best they could in the
circumstances they found themselves in, people discounted their efforts
because the finished product wasn’t shiny. The days of people making
allowances for poor production values on the Internet are over. Don’t
get me wrong, viral videos are all made with the phone held the wrong
way while the videographer is shaking like a nursing home inmate, but my
kids will never have a viral video because they don’t suck.
November: If You Make Things, You Are My Brother: Manny Avalos
What Manny is talking about in the video is profound only because it
should be quotidian, but isn’t anymore. He’s talking about being
connected with other people. He wants to make a guitar so that other
people can use it to make music to entertain and delight still more
people. He feels connected to the world at large by his own solitary
efforts. He admits he found the construction of the guitar interesting
for its own sake, but he understands that his interest is pointless
unless it serves others.
December, More or Less: Top Ten Adviceses for Aspirating Writerers
I started out fairly wretched, so it was easier for me to become an
inkstained wretch than most people. I wrote a book that had pages with
printing on both sides and two covers that were too far apart. I sold
several copies of that book to drunk persons who found themselves on
Amazon at 4 AM (it’s my target demographic). That doesn’t mean you’ll
necessarily have that kind of luck. Those people might have sobered up
I hope 2016 is kind to you, and fortune casts a benignant smile on all your endeavors. I advise you not to count on it, though. I just don’t have that kind of pull.