The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 28, 2012

Mike Pound: New year no reason to look back

By Mike Pound

— If you are reading this on Saturday, then that means there are only three days left in 2012.

I would like to spend the remaining days of the year quietly reflecting on the past and thinking of ways that I can improve myself in the New Year.


Sometimes I kill myself.

Nope, when it comes to a new year I prefer to take the late, great Satchel Paige’s advice: “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.”

I try not to look back to the previous day, let alone on an entire year. Take this column, for instance.

It’s Friday morning as I type this and I can’t remember what I wrote about on Thursday. When it comes to writing a daily column, it’s important, I think, to have a short memory. Writing a daily column is much like being a closer in baseball, except for the fact that closers make a lot of money, are famous, wear a uniform and spit a lot. Other than that, being a closer is a lot like being a daily columnist.

Even the best baseball closer is going to screw up every now and then. And if you’re not the best baseball closer you’re going to screw up even more, but despite that you still have to go out the next day and try to close a game. The way you do that is to forget about what happened the day before.

So, at this time of the year I prefer to look ahead. Looking back doesn’t do any good. Actually looking forward doesn’t do much good either but it’s better than looking back.

As I look ahead, I see myself writing columns in January about the “this-time-it’s-really-going-to-happen fiscal cliff.”

In February, I will probably write a column about my wife telling me not to buy her roses for Valentine’s Day because “they’re so expensive.” I will ignore it because while I may be a moron I’m not a complete moron.

In March, I will probably write a column about the “I-mean-it-I-swear fiscal cliff.” I will also in March mention the great John Wayne movie “The Quiet Man” only instead of typing the word “quiet” I will type the word “quite” throughout the entire column. I’m pretty sure George Will would never do that.

In April, I will probably write a column about those “Real Housewives” shows. The reason I say that is because, as I type this, my 14-year-old daughter, Emma, is sitting in the same room as me and she is watching “Real Housewives of Orange County.” I’m not sure what is happening in the show but it sounds like there is some sort of conflict.

In May I’ll write about the “impending-head-for-the-hills fiscal cliff.” I will write that column right after I write my annual column about the Kansas City Royals being eliminated from the playoffs.

In June, because of the pressure of writing a daily column, I will be forced to take a vacation with my family. After two days I will beg to be allowed to go back to writing my column.

My family vacations tend to be stressful.

In July, the fiscal cliff will be so close that I will write a column saying that the world, as we know it, is over.

In August, I will write about my then 15-year-old daughter and the fact that she doesn’t seem to be around the house as much as she used to and my wife will read it and say, “You moron, school started.”

In September, I will write a column about the Kansas City Chiefs being eliminated from the playoffs, and, of course, in October I will write for Halloween about the scary fiscal cliff.

Which gets us to November, when I will write a column about the turkey that will never cook and make a joke about Rush Limbaugh.

Finally, in December, I will write a column in which I wonder what happened to the fiscal cliff.

Oh and at least once or twice during the year I’ll mention beer.

Don’t look back.