It’s that time of year when all of my friends are making their New Year resolutions. Most of them are ridiculous and totally unreasonable, like never falling asleep in church or reading the whole book of Gone With The Wind in under 12 months. As for me, I am more of a realist. I like to choose goals that I am sure I can obtain.

“Honey,” I commented to my wife, as I was listing my new year goals, “I think I will not smoke or drink this year.”

“But you don’t smoke or drink now,” she replied.

“I know that,” I told her.

But there is another goal that I have decided I must take on. One that I know will tax my limited abilities. My determination is fixed and my resolve is set.

It all started back when my wife and I were asked to co-direct a community theatre production. We went to meet with the other husband-wife team that we would be working with, whom I will call John and Mary. We had finished tryouts and had the regular people show up. Most of the parts were filled, but we still had a lead male adult role we could not find a person for.

We decided we would look at the tape from the production the year before and see if there was anyone we could coerce into joining our cast. That production the year before had been my first experience with theatre. I myself had been coerced into making a fool of myself on stage in front of thousands of people, instead of the way I normally do it in life, in front of a few at a time.

Anyway, we started watching the tape. As I marched onto stage on the video, making my debut performance, Mary became excited.

“How about him?!” she exclaimed. “How about that short, fat guy?!”

  John almost choked. “What did you say?”

 “I said, ‘how about that short, fat…’”

  John cut her off. “Yes, I heard what you said. Do you know who that is?”

She shook her head. John coughed and nodded his head slightly in my direction. Suddenly Mary caught what he was trying to tell her. She looked at me, then back at the video and then at me again. Suddenly her face flamed bright red, outlined by her blond hair, and she took on the appearance of a dim neon light bulb.

She spoke hoarsely, “It’s not that I am saying you are fat or anything. No, it’s just that you do a good job playing a fat guy.”

John coughed and choked.

“What I meant to say is that you cover up well how fat you are when you…”

John didn’t even let her finish this sentence before he started choking and gasping like he needed a ventilator.

“What I really was inferring was…” Mary paused and you could see her mind whirling as the video continued to play. “What I really wanted to say was, ‘Would anyone like some cookies?’”

With that she fled from the room before anyone could even answer. Shortly she came back with some warm chocolate chip cookies. She offered them to each of us. I know at that point the proper thing for me to have said was, “No thanks, I’m on a diet,” but what I really wanted to say was, “I’m not really hungry so I’ll just take five or six.”

Anyway, that steeled my resolve and I finally realized I had to buckle down and make a tough New Year’s resolution.

I’m sure you’ve guessed it. I’ve finally decided I need to get more fat friends so it will help me look thinner.

 (Daris Howard, award-winning, syndicated columnist and playwright, is author of “Super Cowboy Rides” and can be contacted at da***@da*********.com; or visit his website at