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Goals accomplished in last year

    As New Year’s approaches, columnists everywhere are dancing with glee as they don’t have to strain to come up with something to write about this week.
    It’s actually a little known fact that humor columnists are required to write a resolution column or risk banishment from the National Association of Humor Writers of America Guild and all the benefits that go with that. (My favorite benefit is that I can say anything I want and if someone takes it the wrong way, I can say “I’m just kidding. I’m a humor writer, you know.”)
    But unfortunately, I sort of jumped the gun and wrote a column in May detailing 13 things I wanted to accomplish in the 13 months leading up to my 10-year high school reunion.
    Rather than come up with a completely new list of things to do in the new year, I figured now’s as good a time as any to check back in and see how I’m doing on my list of goals.
    ‰ Win a prestigious award
    I did get first place in humor writing in Georgia for papers in our classification. I’m not sure if that counts as prestigious. Then again, I was named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year,” so I guess that’ll count.
    ‰ Write the great American novel
    No movement on this yet, though I’ve thought about compiling all the columns I’ve written into a book and publishing that at some point- even my early work from in college and my first columns I wrote while working in Hinesville. So I guess the fact that I’ve thought about this means I can put a check mark next to this one as well.
    ‰ Get in shape
    I’ve actually managed to lose 20 pounds in the last four months using the yet-to-be-doctor-approved Luke Martin method. (Actually, I think it is doctor approved, I just ate less, exercised more and didn’t eat as many snacks. This one looks like it can be a success as well.)
    ‰ Appear on either Law & Order or Baseball Tonight
    Sadly, neither show has decided to film in Statesboro yet and my trip to Atlanta during baseball season to see the Braves play didn’t net me an appearance on the show. Though I did get my name in the paper this past year, but I don’t think that counts. So this one gets an “X” for now.
    ‰ Not get fired
    As of the time of this writing, I still have a job. Granted, it’s usually a few days between when I write a column and when it’s published. As always, this isn’t so much a resolution as much as a daily goal of mine.
    ‰ Travel the world
    Well, I went to Charleston, S.C. and Macon since I wrote that, as well as Brooklet and Screven County. I also saw Atlanta, so my quest to travel the world looks pretty good. We’ll put incomplete next to this one, just to be safe.
    ‰ Get mentioned on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report”
    No luck on this one either, though I do plan to go see the Colbert portrait that was on the set of the show during the first year (It’s in Charleston right now.) If I get my picture taken in front of that portrait by my reunion, that’s a success in my book. (This is why I’m not a teacher, everyone would pass on my lenient grading system.)
    ‰ Get a minion
    I thought this would be one of the hardest things to accomplish on my list, but less than a week after this was published, the daughter of a coworker volunteered to be my minion. Unfortunately, I never thought I’d get a minion and had nothing for her to do, so she would wreak havoc with my desk. But still, this one gets a check mark as well.
    ‰ Get a haircut
    I put this on the list so I’d be able to achieve at least one goal. And I did. In fact, this one was so easy that I’ve gone back for several more. It gives me a good feeling inside to know I reached a goal I’d set out to accomplish.
    ‰ Be recognized on the street by a stranger for my work (in a positive manner)
    There have been a few times when I’ve been introduced to someone by a friend and the person say “hey, you write for the paper, don’t you?” If they say that with a positive inflection in their voice, I’ll admit that I do. If they sound suspicious, I usually trash “that jerk Luke Martin” for ruining my good name. But I’ve had at least one positive response, so put another check mark on the board.
    ‰ Win one fantasy baseball or fantasy football league.
    Finally, after years of playing, I managed to take first place in my fantasy football league this year. Sure, you may think it’s no big deal that some athletes playing meaningful games scored points on some arbitrary scoring system set up by sports-obsessed geeks with nothing better to do.. Deride, deride if you must. But the fact remains that I won. No longer do I have to be ashamed for devoting my time to fantasy sports without a championship. That would make me some kind of loser or something.
    ‰ Serve on a jury
    I know, I know. I’ve written numerous columns about avoiding jury duty and even kept a running diary of my jury selection experience. But the fact is that I think it’d be fun to serve on one. Not a major one like a murder or something like that, but a case involving a stolen bike would be nice. (Maybe if I quit publicly commenting on it, I might actually get selected.)
    ‰ Find a really great cheeseburger
    About two days after I wrote this, I got a letter telling me where I could find a really good cheeseburger and being the procrastinator that I am, I still haven’t gone. However, it’s my new year’s resolution to go try this alleged great cheeseburger.

    Luke Martin is a reporter for the Statesboro Herald who hopes this column satisfies the requirements of the National Association of Humor Writers Guild. He can be reached at (912) 489-9454 or via email at lmartin@statesboroherald.net.

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