Monday, January 01, 2007

Toasted New Year’s

I love this time of year because the constellation Orion is back in the sky and our cabinet doors shut again. But it’s also time to bid adios to another year, which is always a tough thing to do. I don’t know about you, but I was just getting used to 2006. It seems like years always end just when you’re getting settled into them. Now we have to go and get used to a whole ‘nother year. It just doesn’t feel like 2007 outside yet, does it? I think it feels more like 2004 out there, tops. Mike Tyson hasn’t even done anything insane yet this year. He’s only got a few days left. Somebody give the man a welding torch.

The important thing is that we all concentrate really hard when we’re writing down the date for the next couple of months, because a 6 is really hard to turn into a 7. We got spoiled last year; 5’s and 6’s are so closely related that they can only marry in certain parts of Appalachia. This year will be much less forgiving. You put down 2006 in pen, that check is toast.

Speaking of toast, the most mind-blowing realization I had in 2006 occurred while I was standing in line at Subway, waiting for my sandwich to come out of the toaster. That newly purchased toaster, by the way, was not at all there due to any sort of copying of ideas from any other corporate sandwich chains, if that’s what you’re thinking. True sandwich artists would never plagiarize.

I turned to my wife Kara and asked, “Why is a sub sandwich called a sub, anyway?”

“Because it’s shaped like a submarine,” she said.

That’s the answer most rational people would give, not that Kara is any indication. But doesn’t that imply that the submarine was invented before the sub sandwich? And I’m no engineer, but isn’t a giant metal contraption that can swim around underwater with people inside of it, firing torpedoes and fending off giant squid, a whole lot more difficult to design than a couple slabs of bread with cold cuts in between?

I just can’t imagine what took us so long with the sandwich. The oblong bread must have had something to do with the delay. But still, it’s pretty amazing that humanity came up with a piloted submersible craft before it thought to use an entire loaf of bread to make a single sandwich. Our priorities must be completely out of whack. At the very least, they are nowhere near being into whack.

In many ways, 2006 was pretty much indistinguishable from most other years. Famous people did stupid things, often while not wearing underwear. Politicians got caught doing things they weren’t supposed to do (judging from the transcripts, also without wearing underwear). The stock market went up and down, inspiring many line graphs along the way. Vice presidents taught inadvertent lessons in firearm safety.

I’m guessing that this New Year’s Eve will be much like the others as well. This holiday used to be one of my favorites because it was the only day of the year that I was allowed to stay up until midnight. I still enjoy it for the fact that it marks the one-week point in my stuffing-my-gullet-with-food-that-other-people-cooked year-end extravaganza, but now it’s the only day of the year that I have no choice but to stay up until midnight. I no longer get all fired up about the notion of running into the driveway at midnight, clanging pots and pans together. If I actually make it all the way until the ball drops without falling asleep on the couch, I feel all proud of myself, like when I pawn off a Canadian quarter on someone without them noticing.

Should old email address be forgot, you can reach Mike Todd online at


  1. Happy New Year to you also. I'm one of those old farts that go to sleep and not ring in the new year.

    I'm looking forward to a very uneventful 2007. To many deaths, to many injuries, to many bad bad things happening last year. I'm sitting like a deer caught in headlights waiting for the big hammer of fate to smack down on my head this year.

  2. Hey Mike,
    Thanks for mentioning me but I got the DUI to end the year. It's officially a year. Now, write 2007 or I'll bite off some of your ear.

  3. Happy New Year Mike! I'll be in the habit of writing 2007 sometime in July probably. I shudder to think of all the checks I'm going to waste.

  4. You know what Orion is? I'm surprised! I guess I shouldn't be really...

    Why do your cabinets close right in the winter but not the summer?

  5. Burf -- Here's to another year of dodging the hammer.

    Mike -- Thanks for coming through for me, you crazy bastard!

    Sheri -- Happy New Year to you, too! Keep rocking all of the internets in '07.

    Jered Earl -- You read the first sentence! Pop quiz answer: Because we let the neighbors' kids go home in the winter.