Sort-of committments: Patrick Freyne’s resolutions
This year they’re going to stick. (He hopes)
Patrick Freyne ponders the year ahead. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
1 Help people. But don’t let them forget about it, the bums.
2 Read Ulysses by James Joyce. I’ve told everyone that I’ve read it. My wife, family and friends all think I’m someone who has read Ulysses. I carry the book with me everywhere I go so that people will ask me about it.
As I write, I’m actually dressed as Leopold Bloom and I just got a job teaching a university course at Oxford called All Ulysses, All of the Time. But I have not read Ulysses. My whole life is a sham built on a tissue of lies. I should really read Ulysses.
3 Follow the cat. The cat is up to something. She’s started coming in at strange hours smelling of tuna (we don’t feed her tuna). She acts superior and haughty like she knows something I don’t. This year I’m going to follow my cat until I know all her secrets. Then we’ll see who’s laughing.
4 Grasp new opportunities. For example, I might follow up on one of these great offers that keep appearing in the comment sections: “My last pay cheque was €9,500, working 12 hours a week online. My sister’s friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out.”
5 Get a handle on my finances (see No 4).
6 Work on my personal “brand”. I will do this by approaching all human interaction with the cold calculation of a serial killer or Facebook algorithm.
7 Keep up with the pop music of the day. Impress young people with my pop knowledge. Hang out with young people until they tell me I’m cool.
8 Change shape. Aspiring to lose weight hasn’t worked before, so this year I’m going to go for something different. I aim to achieve complete sphericality. This will turn heads.
“Is that giant sphere following that cat?” local children will say.
“Don’t worry. That’s just Patrick,” their parents will respond.
“Wow, he looks amazing. And by that I mean ‘amazing’ in its original sense of ‘causing great surprise’.”
“Thank you,” I’ll say, conspicuously brandishing a copy of Ulysses.
9 Stop being so easily dis-was that a fluffy dog?!-tracted.
10 Unplug from technology to reconnect with people, whether they want me to or not.
11 Become a bard for a local strongman Write songs about his violent exploits. This one’s a perennial. It doesn’t come in to force until civilisation collapses. Although, that might well be this year.