There is nothing like the start of an artificial time construct introduced in 45 B.C. by Rome's first emperor after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria to make a guy want to turn over a new leaf.
That's right! The Julian calendar's New Year's Eve is upon us, bringing along with it the midwife of all new beginnings – regret. After the conclusion of 365 days straight, there's nothing like looking back on all the things you didn't do and all the things you wished you'd done.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot? You wish. "Auld acquaintance" will live on in your memory and haunt you for the rest of your days.
And is there any activity more fraught with "shoulda, shoulda, shoulda" than driving? Okay, there is that activity, but that activity aside, driving is plenty infused with penitent nostalgia, and just as where there's smoke there's fire, where there's regret there's denial.
This year, it will be different. I swear it will be. I'm so confident of this fact I'm publishing my New Year's driving resolutions. Feel free to add your own. There's nothing wrong with it. That's what I do. I inspire people.
1) I will not check my iPhone in bumper-to-bumper traffic. That's how fender benders happen. True, traffic generally moves so slowly that it would be faster to get out of my car and crawl, but that's not the point. Even at 5 km/h, it's distracted driving. It's not right.
Still, if God didn't want us to use these things why would he allow traffic to be so slow and iPhones to be so cool?
2) I will no longer scream and yell when I encounter someone driving slow in the passing lane.
It doesn't help anyone when I yell, "What in the Canadian Tire are you doing? Get your sad excuse for a car out of the middle lane, you gruesome bag of human excrement! I wish Nicholas Cage circa Leaving Las Vegas were here right now to leap from my car to your car and lay some old fashioned Cage – 'I feel like the kling klang king of the rim ram room' – rage on you. Passing lane fast. Right lane slow!"
3) I will stop talking to my car's radio. I accept that, though I can hear them, those people can't hear me.
4) I will no longer go through the drive-thru, purchase fast food, and then park and eat it. I will eat in the "restaurant." While I may find eating in a fast-food joint to be the spiritual equivalent of sitting in the lake of fire and believe that the sign of the beast is $4.99, that's no reason to burn gas unnecessarily.
5) I will restrict U-turns for emergencies only. No exceptions. Once in a while, okay, like, if there are no cars and it would be quicker for me if I did a U-turn. Or if I'm late, then I can do one but other than that. No exceptions.
6) I will remember that when the air traffic guy says that, "major arteries are moving well" what he really means is, "major arteries are in need of intensive angioplasty."
7) When traffic is delayed and I am inching forward I will not think to myself, "There better be one hell of a big accident up there to cause this delay." What if there really was a big accident? I'd feel awful.
However, when I finally reach the scene of the delay and see the guy who was on the phone and dinged the car in front of him and made 100,000 people late, standing beside his vehicle looking for his insurance, I will say "moron" under my breath.
8) I will buy a 1971 Chevelle.
9) I will do a lot of self-therapy so that I can get okay with borrowing the money to buy a 1971 Chevelle from friends, family, and readers. It's 2012, Andrew. Time to finally learn how to accept love.
10) As an alternative to driving, I will take up horseback riding. If it was good enough for Caesar it's good enough for me.
Follow Andrew Clark on Twitter: @aclarkcomedy