View Full Version : 2005: The Year That Was

12-31-05, 12:03 PM
2005: The Year That Was
Written by Burt Prelutsky
Saturday, December 31, 2005

Looking back on 2005, I’d say that, all in all, it was a pretty good year. In Iraq, things are looking up, and here in America, the bad guys haven’t been able to score a repeat of 9/11, although we all know it’s not for lack of trying.

In the minus column, a couple of my good friends died; on the plus side, I made a few new friends. It’s too bad that these things can never really offset each other like assets and liabilities on a balance sheet. One always winds up in the red.

The end of the year is a time when a lot of people sit down and make resolutions. Most of them have to do with giving up cigarettes or going on a diet, and most of them won’t be kept. As usual, I resolve nothing for myself. As is my wont, I’m far more concerned with seeing to it that the rest of you shape up.

For openers, I don’t want to hear any of you whining in 2006 about rising gas prices. That’s because the last time I filled up, I paid $2.33 for a gallon of regular. That’s about 80 or 90 cents less than I was paying a short time ago. Back then, all you heard about was how the gas companies were gouging us. So, how is it, you ingrates, that the price drops over 25% and nobody is dancing in the streets?

I’m sick and tired of hearing liberals grousing about their privacy being impinged upon by the Patriot Act. You’d think they were all card-carrying members of Al Qaeda. Do they believe that Homeland Security has nothing to do with the fact that the Islamic fascists haven’t blown up any more skyscrapers in the past four years or do they simply not care?

The goofiest thing they all complain about is that the feds might discover what books they’ve been checking out of the local library. Who writes their inane dialogue? I have been checking out books for over half a century, and it never once occurred to me that the titles were my little secret. After all, every time I check a book out or in, it’s recorded on a computer. Anybody who thinks anything on a computer is top secret is a big dummy.

For the record, the last three books I checked out were “The Devil in the White City,” “The Amateur Marriage,” and “The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs.” Make of that what you will.

A word to the wise: If you want the books you take home to be part of a covert operation, I suggest you steal them.

The other thing that irritates me about people who complain that the F.B.I. might come calling if you check out “Osama bin Laden: A Latter Day Saint,” “The Wit and Wisdom of Kim Jong Il” and “An Idiot’s Guide to Bomb-Making,” is that they’d be thrilled to death to be considered a security risk. They’d love to be grilled by the G-Men. They’d dine out on the experience for the next 20 years.

Finally, I just don’t get the whole brouhaha that’s become the latest Christmas tradition. For one thing, I don’t understand why some Christians get so upset that the occasion is celebrated not just as a religious event, but as a national holiday.

But, just as I don’t understand why Santa Claus, tinsel-laden trees, and gift-giving, should ruin December for the devout, I don’t see what gripe atheists and other secularists have coming. To me, they’re like the dog in the manger; he didn’t want the straw for himself, but he was so mean he didn’t want the other animals to enjoy it.

These party-poopers hate the traditional decorations, music, fruitcakes, and anything else that smacks of Christmas. Like a chorus of daffy ducks, they quack incessantly about the separation of church and state, ignoring the fact that the First Amendment simply states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free expression thereof.” There’s nothing at all confusing about those sixteen words. They place limitations on the power of the federal government. But that’s all they do. In other words, if your local elected officials decided to place a Christmas tree on the roof of city hall or to stick a giant menorah in the middle of the town square, there would be nothing unconstitutional about it, no matter how much the ACLU might huff and puff.

Finally, we know what symbols and traditions the secularists object to, but what would they prefer in their place? A wreath made of poison ivy? A burnt fir tree? Or perhaps a picture of Joseph passing out “I’m the Proud Papa” cigars while the Magi stand around scratching their heads?

About the Writer: Burt Prelutsky is a humorist, movie reviewer, writer for television series and movies, and author of the new book, "Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco." His website is at burtprelutsky.com. Burt receives e-mail at BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.