First Person - with Paul McCabe

Paul McCabe
Paul McCabe

And a Happy New Year to you.

So it’s that time again. Many of us will be planning our 2013 and making a little list of resolutions. You know, those things that you promise yourself you’re actually, definitely and no-doubt-about-it-whatsoever going to finally do this year...and give up around March. The usual one is join a gym to lose some weight, visit a few times, discover it’s not for you, stop going, but still have to pay a direct debit for another 10 months No wonder Bannantyne’s a millionaire.

Listen, don’t bother. Lazy, unambitious, non-aspirational people of Fife - follow my lead. I’ve got a few things that I want to get around to but if I don’t, it’s no big deal. What’s of paramount importance is NOT to be arm-twisted into performing awful mundane stuff that you hate as your one and only life ticks by. So here goes - I unequivocally resolve to do none of the following this year or any other;

No.1 – Hose out the wheely bin. Incomprehensibly there are actually people that do this. Why? It’s a bin. It’s supposed to be stinky and smelly, that’s why it’s tucked away in the corner of the garden. The idea of cleaning it out is beyond my understanding, is just gross, and falls into the ‘life’s too short’ category. Speaking of which...

Bodily functions

No.2 – Doing something stupidly dangerous for charity. I’m specifically thinking of an abseil or a parachute/bungee jump here. Never going to happen. There’d be no point anyway, I’d die of a heart attack on the way down, or worse lose control of my bodily functions and live to face the ignominy. Kudos to those of you brave enough to take part in such activity, I’m happy to be the one (occasionally) giving sponsor money, ta very much.

No.3 – Learn to swim. Somehow, despite two different sets of swimming lessons, I never managed to master this as a child and now as a child-adult I’m never going to. I loathe it. On the rare occasions I’m cajoled into going to a pool (the last time was over three years ago) I just sort of bob up and down clinging onto the side in a mood. Interestingly, this more than any other of my many, many, failings is the one that seems to get most people’s backs up when I tell them. They turn out to be a smugly, self-righteous lot, swimmers do. “Ah!” they cry. “So what would happen if you fell into a river, eh?” Well, I’ve never fallen into a river, have no intentions of finding myself in a situation where I might fall into a river and I don’t know anyone who actually has fallen into a river. Is it a common occurrence?

“Well, what would happen if you were in a plane that crashed into the sea?” Firstly, thanks for saving me from dying during the initial impact and leaving me floundering in the ocean in your absurd scenario, but in answer to your question, I’d drown. Happy now?

Horrible experience

No.4 – Go camping. Another on the list that has some reacting in horror. It beats me why. It’s a horrible experience. Cold, uncomfortable, dark, boring and there’s no toilet. Tell me that doesn’t sound like prison. And it’s an invitation for some psycho to murder you as you sleep. This is one thing that I have actually experienced, unfortunately. A group of us once spent a summer slumming it Kerouac-style on the east coast of America. We divided the time between cheap motels and camp sites. One night saw us idyllically singing songs and toasting mushrooms on the fire underneath the stars at Niagra Falls...where there was a thunderstorm and I woke up inside our tent in a puddle. Argument over. Next!

No.5 – Become good at DIY. I’m a comically inept human being and I can’t do anything at all that involves fixing or building things. But the way I look at it if were able to fix stuff I’m taking the job away from someone qualified to do so. There’s a recession on, people. Who am I to deny some his livelihood during such times by selfishly being able to build a cabinet or tile a floor? My worthlessness as an odd-job bloke is my way of helping to rebuild the economy, for Queen and for country.

God bless us, one and all.