Friday, December 18, 2009



The Annual Report for 2004


Or: Things We Should Have Done This Year


Life is filled with choices. And isn’t it always after the fact that we come up with the best lines, the best comebacks--the perfect way to rewrite our social history?

So when no one was listening or watching- when the moment (and there were a few) had passed, this is what we wish we’d done in 2004:


Learned more good jokes like this:

Guy goes into a pharmacy.

Guy: This is kind of embarrassing, but I have a date tonight and uh…

Clerk: So you want some protection? No problem. Small, medium or large?

Guy: Medium, I guess.

Clerk: All right then. Here you are. That will be 4.75 with tax.

Guy: Tacks? I thought they stayed on by themselves!

Gone to church a little more often, especially now that they have a killer cappuccino machine in the lobby, and sometimes they don’t even notice when you ditch the kids and sneak out the back door for breakfast at the Waffle House. God bless the childcare workers.

Gotten a money-back guarantee on the pretty female lizard who turned out to be male and only kind of pretty- uh, handsome.

Seen more movies, because that $10 popcorn just doesn’t taste the same when I make it at home for 75 cents.

Taken that couth and etiquette class that Mr. S. sent Vinnie to. Yo, man. I am so jealous. Take that, be-yatch!

Watched more TV news programs featuring plastic-haired men and women who read well, instead of Survivor and Swan and Top Model and Fear Factor and every home improvement show that makes you want to paint.

Counted twice how many Easter eggs we hid.

Checked the references on the father and son contractor team, (Bubba and Sludge), before we hired them to remodel the master bath.

Learned how to play piano, or break dance, or spin china on tall sticks-- because some days all you learn is that your line moves the slowest, traffic is always worse when you’re late and if you return the spitball, the bus driver will bust you, not the sender.


We should have: Bet on black instead of red. And left the ATM card home.

Cut the hole two feet lower in the wall to get the mouse out.

Taken the advice of someone older and wiser at least twice, especially about a mouse in the wall.

Campaigned to bring back the duel. Because it’s so…final.

Spent five days in the real Italy instead of the pretend Universal Studios version of Portofino, where it costs just the same but nobody speaks Italian, the Vespas are bolted down and restaurants serve hamburgers and zee exotic fingers of chicken.

Taken the children with me and Marca to Ibiza. (Okay, I am really kidding about that one.)

Known that the Belmont drink is better than the Kentucky Derby Mint Julep, even if the race isn’t.

Hosted the Bordello-themed-long-planned-well-rehearsed murder mystery party earlier in the year-at someone else’s house, when Mr. S. wasn’t sick and looking like death warmed over.

Listened to Boy C when he said he really didn’t want to learn to swim the butterfly.

Donated the Camelot ticket money to the Robert Goulet arthritis center.

Gone with Mr. S to New Orleans, even if it was just to sit in a booth at a chicken convention.

Asked, “Just how much does a paintball hit hurt?” before loading up for Linda’s 41st birthday party.

Made sure Boy C understood Witzel is not a white chocolate-dipped pretzel, before he signed up for Math Club.

Never planned a garage sale the morning after a 4 AM bunko night. (I’ll trade you- Playstation for an aspirin.)

Realized a 10-year-old sleepover party involves too many 10 year olds and very little sleep.

Taken better notes at the sake tasting, or at least written the notes on paper instead of Mr. S’s ass.

Remembered that at the summer wine tasting, where there were so many more wines- and asses.

Asked Girl P to choose one activity, without having to try all sixteen first.

Signed myself up for fencing lessons with Boy C. Because Mr. S. says I’d look great in a straitjacket.

Made sure the new Tempur-pedic mattress would be delivered before Mom and Dad arrived, then no one would have to sleep on the floor.

Dressed Girl P up as Pippi Longstocking every Halloween.

Paid more attention to the Hawks game from those awesome courtside seats, instead of writing a story about the slick-haired ref.

Suggested the summer Family Reunion be held at an all-inclusive resort, in Bermuda- instead of B’ville.

Asked first just how much tequila shots for the whole Mariachi band were gonna cost.

Told the cop at the haunted house one more time that we weren’t driving, Angie was.

Taken a picture when Big Dog hit the exploding golf ball.

Sent my kids to summer camp a long time ago. Do they have those camps it in the winter?

Lied to get the flu shot.

Picked a simpler puzzle for Thanksgiving Day. Unless Thanksgiving is going to last a month.

Signed up to work the first week on the Habitat For Humanity project, because the last day of the build is not decorating, it’s …landscape.

Added a year onto the screenplay due date, because sometimes writing partners have babies.

Encouraged Mr. S. to golf more often. Stop laughing.

Confused the printer even more, because when he screws up, I get all kinds of free linda-sands.com stuff.

Told less people how awesome the Lenox Square fireworks are.

Entered more writing contests, like ones that actually award cash.

Set a limit on the number of house pets.

Never let Girl P tell the neighborhood kids there was ice cream in the garage freezer.

Found homes for all those dogs at the shelter instead of bringing them towels and rugs.

Shot film at the trailer park when Mr. S and the neighbor men took back the bike stolen from our subdivision. (America’s Funniest Videos of Rednecks, $10,000 prize goes to…)

Walked away from doing business with anyone named Patel, no matter how many Blimpies they own.

Warned the Bunko Broads that a penis puppet show doesn’t involve puppets.

Realized that buying irregular designer suits for $125 will cost $300 in tailoring.

Let the kids have sleepovers every Friday night. Okay, that was their should have, not mine.

Listened to Linda a little bit more. (This is Mr. S’s.) Especially when building one shoe shelf -three times.

Spent more time with family. Because most times, they’re the only ones who’ll have us.


So, even though Linda should have returned that bottle of Dom that somebody brought to the $15 gift exchange and Mr. S. should have been the Laird of Glencairn long ago, we have no regrets for 2004- and only the best wishes for all of you in the coming year.


May God teach you something wonderful in 2005 and grant you prosperity, health, wisdom, peace, righteousness and the cultivation of gratitude. Please stay in touch, and don’t wait till tomorrow to do what you can regret today. Merry Christmas!
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