Because of our annual Native’s Guide issue coming next week, this will be the last regular issue of the dear ol’ Arkansas Times — and thus, the last Observer — for the Year of Our Lord 2017. We close on this year, thankfully, not with the hearty “good riddance” we gave the horrible, bad, no-good year of 2016, which took Prince and David Bowie and Muhammad Ali and gave us, in one of the great sucker deals in the history of mankind, an orange shyster named Trump. 2017 has turned out to be a fairly okay year, all in all, even when figuring in the sense of unrelenting dread that never leaves the pit of the stomach, that sense of wondering when, exactly, Gen. Bonespurs is going to stop his flirtation with apeshit crazy and go “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” up there in the White House, possibly cashing us out as a species by accidentally pushing the button to launch a full-scale nuclear strike on Russia while attempting to call in H.R. McMaster for a little juggling to entertain him during the commercials on “Fox and Friends.”
But enough about that. While there’s still Christmas and a handful of gray days left jingling in 2017’s pocket, we figure we’ll get our resolutions for 2018 out of the way now, so they can be good and broke by the time they go into effect. Saves time that way. So no more sitting around scheming on how to get a medical marijuana card, because if we’re honest, at least 60 percent of the fun of smoking pot is knowing it’s illegal. No more denying that men are asshats who need to listen more and scheme on how to get their flyrods waxed less, because enough is goddamn well enough. No more flicking out a licked finger, quick as a snake, to make three Xs on the windshield and thus ward off bad luck when a black cat crosses our path, because if this is good luck, let’s give bad luck a try for a change and see what happens. No more wishing somebody would shake up Washington, Ark. No more buying breakfast cereal based solely on the quality of the prize inside, because it probably needs to be bran or woodier from here on out. No more shirking our duty to our aging colon. No more wasting time at work looking up recipes for weed-infused lube while daydreaming about starting the Stoner Boners empire once Arkansas passes recreational pot. No more forgetting to get a copyright on the name “Stoner Boners,” because that’s actually pretty good. No more itchy trigger fingers, or toes for that matter. No more pitying the fools. No more denying that we drink entirely too much Coke Zero and not nearly enough bourbon. No more sitting in the back pew at church like a wretched sinner, because if the evangelicals can see fit to extol the Christian virtues of Donald Trump and a credibly-accused serial pedo, Yours Truly figures our heathen ass oughta rank at least row two or better, maybe even a Deacon’s chair. No more blaming it on the other guy. No more hiding the fact that we want a quiet, mid-sized dog once Junior heads off to college; maybe something in a nice Beagle or plucky mutt. No more putting off scraping and painting the house, as it’s starting to look like it belongs in an Old West ghost town. No more spending the week before New Year’s telling everybody we meet “SEE YA NEXT YEAR!” No more giving in and letting it slide. No more making excuses and making do. No more standing at the window deep down in the quick of the night and thinking of what might have been, and what tragedy didn’t transpire only by the grace of God. No more living in the past, because the past doesn’t exist anymore. No sweating the future, because the future doesn’t exist yet. No more dragging this out. No more sad goodbyes, only this: May 2018 bring you more happiness than sadness, my friend. Whatever the case, know that The Observer, as always, smiles upon you. See ya next year.