A dose of honesty this New Year
By Todd Lancaster
So the New Year is here and it is ready to be filled with best intentions — and broken promises.
Every year I prepare for a column where I address all of the ugliness in my life and pretend like I have a plan where in 365 days I can make it disappear, leading to a world filled with snowflakes and unicorns.
The truth is I like my ugliness; my ugliness defines me.
The ugly side of people is the honest side, which is why liquor is so important. A cold brew helps bring ugly to the surface; it’s like booking passage on the Ugly Express.
If we really wanted for things to change, they would have long been changed and there would be no need for anyone to embarrass themselves on Dr. Phil.
Ugliness helps keep us separated.
It is not natural for people to live together; however, since the beginning of time people have lived under the illusion that “together we are stronger.”
As my two college-age sons have found out, it’s more like, “together your roommate eats your leftover Chinese food, forgets to pay the cable bill and has a girlfriend with an annoying laugh who has staked out a claim in your favorite Xbox chair.”
Friends are much the same way. Your best friend is never your neighbor, unless you have a really big wall. If your neighbor is your best friend, prepare for a life of people rooting around in your shed, borrowing your riding mower and being forced to eat his wife’s soggy seven-layer dip at every block party (where she also sits in your lawn chair with an annoying laugh).
Your best friend has never borrowed a tool, brings their own beer and tells you immediately when a woman is out of your league. Your best friend can sit in your garage with you for hours at a time and never say a word, but always has jumper cables. They have never borrowed money or had to stop for cigarettes, and most importantly, they always go home.
I spend a lot time at youth sporting events and that is one place where ugly really has a chance to shine. If you are looking for a chance to release inner demons, there is no better place than a junior high game.
This is the point where no one has ruled out an NBA career yet, so every bad call, double-dribble or illegal screen has a direct effect on whether or not scouts from Duke will be showing up at the South Knox Shootout.
Let me answer a few questions right up front. Yes, the coach does hate your child, hates you, and does not understand the game, so go ahead and scream at him.
If by some strange circumstance you do get along with the coach, feel free to scream at the officials. They normally get paid huge amounts of money to spend all Saturday in a cold junior high, and by the way, most of them hate you, hate your child and don’t understand the game.
One cannot fully experience all that is youth sports, if one makes a New Year’s resolution to change this behavior. If you do, you’ll be missing the best part of being an athlete’s parent.
There are plenty of other places that making radical personal behavior changes would take the fun out of living.
Like when a drive-thru attendant completely fouls up your order. Is there anything more satisfying than reminding a 17-year-old that you are the customer and they need to learn the difference between “no mustard and extra mustard and that they should have pride in customer service … ,” right before they write down your license number, look you up on the internet, steal your identity, tap your bank account and move to St. Barts on your retirement savings?
So come on, no silly promises this year. Just enjoy being the same terrible person you are, have been and always will be.
As you can tell, Todd truly enjoys being ugly. But he’s given up Twitter, where even he found too much ugliness. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.