Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone!

Montreal in Winter / Oil on canvas / SOLD

I wish you all a restful New Year. Slow down. You move too fast. Peace.

This column, published several years ago, is satirical. Do not take that which I say literally. That would not be right. :)

Stop Everything!

It must be January. I know this because in the last week we’ve had ten feet of snow, wild winds with frigid cold, freezing rain, ice pellets and now gentle warm showers. With this kind of excitement in the Gatineau Hills who wants to move to Florida? But the real reason I know it is January is because out on the highways the Chelsean Jogger Beetles are cluttering up the landscape in brightly coloured fleece and spandex. This actually is not much different than at any other time of the year for Chelsea, however, added to the mix, every January are the “others”.

They are the New Year’s Resolution Beetles and they are a far different breed altogether. Usually they are not wearing spandex since they don’t fit (just yet… but soon…) into brightly-coloured plastic organic imitation sell-the-house-and-children-to-afford-them-name-brand clothes… These strangely interesting individuals (dressed in all sorts of odd mismatched things such as fur-lined muu-muus) are indeed one of the main tourist attractions here in the Hills in winter; huffing and puffing their merry way down the roads. It is said they rival if not outright outdo splendidly the clouds put out by the Wakefield Steam train in summer. A relatively enthusiastic group, they are often accompanied by disgruntled dogs and miserable spouses but for the most part they all tend to disappear by February. Booking your bus tour sightings of these strange creatures must be done by November if you have any hope of spotting a few before they retire to the fire with a box of chocolates.

Now all of this is a natural phenomenon much like the clustering of monarch butterflies in South America. Heaven help us all if the New Year’s Resolutions groups actually all achieved their objectives because it would be unnatural. In fact, the entire western world’s economy would grind to a horrible halt and we would be completely lost, forced to live by our wits, stone weaponry and a dusty copy of Martha Stewart Living magazine. We might even all-die-horribly. Again.

We are consumers in a consumerist world and as I have explained in previous columns, ours is never to question why, ours is just to buy and buy. Here is the truth: the only thing that keeps the entire western world’s economy on the straight and narrow is licorice-flavoured jumbo jellies. Well… that and cigarettes, alcohol, lottery tickets, chocolate, high-fructose corn syrup, caffeine and full-fat cheddar aged at the bottom of the Saint-Laurence for seventeen years. Without these things available to buy we wouldn’t buy a damn thing and the world would fall apart.

The only way we know how to even use a credit card is because we have bad habits. We buy everything based on what it costs against our bad habits. We know for example that the latest I-Pod costs about as much as half a pack of cigarettes (without matches) or the black silk jacket is pretty much equal to ten cases of Bristol Crème or that a foot massager on special at Wal-Mart is equal to 14 jars of Planters Chocolate Covered Almonds. And so, knowing these things, we are confident consumers feeding the economy fully aware of how we are one day going to quit all these bad habits in the New Year and that will cover off the cost of those 23 pairs of multi-striped toe-socks we bought last week. And furthermore, if we all give up licorice-flavoured jumbo jellies, in just six months we could take a trip to Paris. In fact, bad habits are the only thing that gives us any hope whatsoever for the future and keep us spending because maybe we’ll just take that trip to Paris anyway because it “only” costs as much as six months worth of licorice-flavoured jumbo jellies. This is as it should be.

Now I don’t know why but over the years many people have foolishly questioned me on my irrefutable conclusion so I just ignore them because I spent at least seven minutes on Google researching this and without a doubt I’m right and there is no point in arguing. Now go out and eat some chocolate before we all-die-horribly.

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