Whilst everyone entertains the idea of making a resolution, it’s only the haughty who’ll bother with the self-gratifying circle-jerk of discussing their labours. Both lanky and lardarse flaunt unapparent brawn: “Yeah, gyms are really hard to get into nowadays. All that moving, remembering to breathe, it’s so strenuous- I got carpal tunnel pulling my finger out.” Of course having said that, working out has become increasingly dangerous, trying to avoid the intense stares and gropes of sexual predators like a round of ‘Gym’ll Fix It’. But there’s also the quasi-aristocratic, trolling through the colonies to solve the latest fad crisis: “I want to help others this year, and like the Nepalese have like so many issues, like health and poverty and such like. That’s why I’m painting an orphanage wall Hessian beige for them: they’re such a beautiful people, it’s so tragic that they can’t grasp the finer points of colour coordination.”
By far the toffee-est nose belongs to the Combine Martyr-ster, who merges his triumphs over all human inadequacy into one God-given mission to make me look bad. Letting the sun shine forth from his fundament onto us but lowly and depraved reprobates, behold the glut of his good works! He’s partial to a spot of fartlek, has ditched the booze and fags, counsels in his spare time, might go on to cure IBS or something. All he needs now to polish it all off is ‘sanctimonious prick’ tattooed across his forehead.
I imagine a fair few resolutions will involve Oxford. Since most resolutions are about doing oneself justice, it makes sense that many an Oxonian will be trying harder not to squander this golden opportunity: more hours in the library, less in the bar, and we could all be richer, hotter, smarter, stronger. Alas, making your mark on Oxford is like a puppy marking his territory: no matter how original and nonpareil you think you are, you’re still playing about in the same pool of piss as untold polymaths and prodigies have before you. If you’re going to try harder, make sure it’s in something very niche like stamp-collecting: Oxford’s yet to have a famous philatelist!
Helping people, helping yourself- none of these are too intolerable as resolutions (Gulf of Tonkin, now that was dire). What does vex me though is that people need a special occasion to change for the better. If your obesity has been affecting the way you roll since February, what on earth possessed you to tackle it now, when everyone left, right and centre are flailing and failing to break out of their own vicious cycle? There’s no motivation whatsoever, other than that your efforts won’t have to last that much longer, a couple of weeks tops. You’ll then be old news and we’ll all be betting on the next bubble gum-chomping Disney démodé to demolish her persona for a shot at Holly(gives me)wood. My money’s on Katy Perry, with a Mohawk, rump-rutting a sledgehammer.
By laying our imperfections out in a pathetic display of self-improvement, we invite unrelenting mockery; and even if we do prevail in our personal quests, it’s only ever a depressingly pedestrian metamorphosis: less larva to butterfly, more Bingo wings to Lotto lappets. Moreover, although failure is all but inevitable, year on year we have to suffer a stampede of ruminants, regurgitating their flaws in the hope they’ll discover why they keep cocking-up. One might as well fail in the most spectacular way possible: this year resolve to twerk a tutor, crack jokes and snort with laughter with Nigella or fight sign language misinterpretation everywhere as ‘Mandela’s Mandem’. If we all take on the ultimately impossible- an irresolution- none of us will have to deal with any Mûnchausen-by-incompetence.