It was Herb who kicked things off at the world dilemma think tank at the philosophy counter in the Mule Barn truck stop. Herb is like Nature itself. He abhors a vacuum, too.
“Well,” Herb said, “it’s about that time again.”
Three heads swiveled to look at him.
“New Year’s resolutions … you know.”
“So Herb, what are your new resolves for the next year?”
“Glad you asked, Dud. I thought I might lose 15 pounds, take sailing lessons and come up with a good recipe for beef kidneys. How about you, Dud?”
Dud took a sip of coffee. “Going to finish the rewrite of my book, I guess.”
“The Duchess and the Truck Driver?” Doc asked.
“Well, Doc, its actual title is ‘Murder in the Soggy Bottoms.’”
Dud’s struggle with the plot of this novel is well known to most of us in town.
Steve said, “For me, I think I’ll lose some weight, too, and paint the inside walls of the turret up at the cabin.”
“What color, Steve?”
“Burnt orange. You know, something like sunset in winter when the leaves are gone and the trees stand like lacy filigree against the sky.”
“Boys, I think we have a poet amonst us,” Doc said.
“Aw Doc, come on,” Steve said. “What about your resolutions for the coming year?”
Doc thought a minute.
“Fair enough. I have some. In the coming year, I resolve to grow grapes and make some wine for my friends. Then I believe I’ll put in a big effort to catch Ol’ Lunker on a fly down in Lewis Creek. If I have the time, I’ll try to keep my patients healthy, and I’ll top it off with making a concerted effort to locate Chipper.”
“Your imaginary squirrel?”
“But Doc,” Herb said, “you already do those things now. Did you realize that?”
“Sure,” Doc grinned. “Really makes it easy to keep a resolution that way.”