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Getting a jump on 2020 with tongue-in-cheek New Year’s resolutions

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The amount of Christmas decorations already up at area businesses signals to me it’s time to get off my rump and make my New Year’s resolutions for 2020, so here we go.

• Start smoking cigarettes for the first time ever and if I’m not satisfied, turn instead to vaping.

• Grow a ponytail and get some tattoos — the really big kind. Lip rings and eye rings are not out of the question, either, nor is that procedure involving the earlobes that I don’t even know how to describe.

• At least once a week, set up a grill in my front yard by the curb and cook chickens for sale to neighbors and passing motorists. I’ve never tried this before, though I assume it’s legal to do without a permit as I’ve seen lots of folks doing the same.

• Try to be as obnoxious, irritating and hateful as possible to everyone, including friends and family and especially to waiters in restaurants, meaning never leaving decent tips regardless of their service. This trait should allow me to fit in nicely with a large portion of our society.

• Return to the days of eating six hot dogs, a pound of bacon, a quart of ice cream or a whole jar of peanut butter at a single sitting like when I was a teenager. Boy, do I miss that!

• Run for political office probably at either the state or local level and hopefully get elected but if not, at least move into the right circles to ultimately latch onto one of those cushy, high-paying government jobs. Some refer to this practice as “feeding at the trough,” which seems to describe it perfectly.

• It’s been quite a while since I’ve played golf, but a number of my friends have told me I should take up the sport again. Hopefully I’ll make this one make this one of my resolutions.

• The same goes for skydiving, something I haven’t done since 1970, and I don’t mean that cutesy stuff like old folks or washed-up celebrities tend to do. No sir, I’m talking about non-tandem free fall jumps requiring a ripcord pull and a certain element of fear and danger. (I’m not kidding here)

• When pulling up to the gas pumps at convenience marts in 2020, before filling my tank and moving my car out of the way, I’m going to make a point of always first going inside and holding up the line by buying lottery tickets or trying to decide the kind of cigarettes I want before paying for my gas and eventually moving my car out of everyone else’s way.

• Find out where I can get a CD containing a collection of the beautiful musical selections we hear playing over the loudspeaker in grocery stores. My, what lovely tunes!

• Begin watching TV shows like “Dr. Phil,” “Say Yes to the Dress,” “Dr. Pimple Popper,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “America’s Got Talent, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians and a few others. While I’ve never watched a single second of any of these selections or others like them, I must assume they represent good, quality programming since they are still on the air.

• Change jobs and become a consultant of some type, although I’m not sure in what field and that minor detail doesn’t really matter anyway. A friend of mine who lives in the Raleigh-Durham area and is himself a consultant once told me a consultant’s job is basically to advise and recommend a solution to a problem that a client listens to, then takes or rejects whatever advice is offered.

Regardless of the result and even if the advice offered has no value or is not the answer to the problem, the consultant’s bill is rather hefty and the customer does not feel bad paying it.

This sounds like the perfect job for me. Please call me if your company is interested.

• One resolution I always include on my list each year is to try to gain at least 10 pounds by next Dec. 31.

Although I’ve attained this goal only a couple of times over the past 30-40 years, I plan to keep on trying.

This idea may sound silly but it seems to make more sense to me, plus it eliminates walking and jogging all over town during the month of January.

Keith Barnes is a reporter for the Johnstonian News. Email him at