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Posted: January 3, 2013 7:56 p.m.

McCoy: Goodbye Mr. Butternut and 2012

Many of your respected newspaper columnists are offering New Year's resolutions, but notice I said, "respected." That's your first clue that I'm not going in for the tradition resolutions game. Instead, I want to look back on 2012 and review some things that just didn't work for me. I'm resolving nothing about 2013, but I'll remember these mistakes and maybe I won't repeat them. This is a lighter approach to resolutions where I'll make a lot of noise but not actually do anything to solve the real problem. I learned this trick while watching Congress work on the Fiscal Cliff legislation.

So here goes. Last year, I assumed pants manufacturers knew how to use a ruler. They don't. One pair of size 32 inseam pants hangs over my toes; another fits perfectly. Even the same-sized pants of the same brand don't always match. Lesson learned: Physically measure the pants yourself or get used to rolling up the cuffs. Last year, I assumed I couldn't amass a collection of dirty laundry that was too big to wash. That's a lie. I'm still working down those piles of clothing. At one point, only three loads remained, but I ran out of energy and motivation. Lesson learned: Wash often and wear paper clothing where possible, even if you have to roll up the cuffs.

The most important thing I learned in 2012 is to never get too chummy with your winter squash. I bought a butternut squash - one of my favorite varieties - and decided I'd draw a happy little face on him, like one of those cute cartoon characters the kids love. This was Mr. Butternut, and he sat by the stove for three months in 2012, smiling as we cooked dinner, watching all the goings on, just being his butternutty little self, staring obliviously as other un-named veggies simmered and sautéed.

Several times, I threatened to cook Mr. Butternut, but when I looked into those eyes, I decided I wanted mushrooms or Arby's instead. A few days ago, I noticed Mr. Butternut was gone. "I guess we're having squash, tonight?" No. He had passed on. His time had come, and he had rotted from the inside. 2012: I'm glad you're gone. Mr. Butternut, I'm sorry you're gone. I wish I could have known you better, with some brown sugar glazing, at about 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Lesson learned. Lesson learned.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington and can be reached at davmccoy@bellsouth.net.

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