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Post-party depression and other ailments

“Turn out the lights, the party’s over, they say that all good things must end.

“Call it a night, the party's over and tomorrow starts the same old thing again.”


Those lyrics by Willie Nelson were made famous by Don Meredith, Howard Cosell’s less self-important sidekick on Monday Night Football. Don would break out into song when the game’s outcome was no longer in doubt.

That’s sort of the feeling I get when the holiday season is over. The Christmas lights have been turned off and we’re back in the same ol’ same ol’.

Not to mention, according to an in-the-know acquaintance of mine, 45,000 workers are automatically out of work. The newly-unemployed, of course, are Santa’s seasonal elves.

It seems the most wonderful time of year ended abruptly for them. I understand there aren’t that many other jobs at the North Pole. Here’s hoping they have good unemployment benefits.

Back here in the Lower 48, we’re left with dumpster loads of wrapping paper and discarded packing material, dried-up Christmas trees lining the streets for pickup, and 10 extra pounds weighing down our middles.

The extra belly burden makes the determination of our new year’s resolution simple: “I resolve to lose those 10 pounds I gained while indiscriminately gorging myself during the holiday season.”

Of course, new year’s resolutions are like shooting stars. They start out with a big flare before fading gently into the night.

On the other hand, those extra 10 pounds are like cute little puppies begging for attention at the pet store. Before you know it, they’re ensconced comfortably as part of the family.

That’s why I like to have my annual physical before the holidays. Then my doctor can say, “Larry, you need to lose that extra 10 pounds.”

Which is a far sight better than after the holidays when he says, “Larry, I’m putting you on this diet to lose that extra 20 pounds. I hope you like rabbit food and cow fodder.”

There’s enough going on after New Year’s, so why should I want to be driven to starvation? And mostly what’s going on is 80 more days of winter.

Did you ever wonder why Bing Crosby didn’t sing, “I’m dreaming of a balmy Christmas”? Instead, it’s “white Christmas,” which almost always turns out to be a premonition for the coming months. Let’s face it, here in the South what snow we get is mostly in January and February, the bleakest months of the year.

Snow during the holidays would be OK since most of us are off work anyway. But we need desperately to earn paychecks the next couple of months to pay off those exorbitant holiday bills.

Then it snows and people have to scrape windshields, shovel driveways and try to motor through the icy mess because they can’t afford not to work. The resulting calamity means the only ones profiting are snow plow operators, body shops, and purveyors of bread and milk.

Then we complain about the cold: “I can’t wait till warm weather gets here.”

We forget that six months earlier we were saying, “I need a break from this hot, sticky weather.”

There are those who say a cold winter kills the germs. Funny, isn’t it, that colds and flu occur mostly during cold weather.

I’m not saying I don’t like the cold. As a runner, I prefer chilly temperatures.

After all, you can dress in multiple layers and create your own heat. On the contrary, in hot weather, you can only strip down so far and still remain within the social norms.

I won’t say I hate winter. Hate is a pretty strong word, in the same class as detest, despise, abhor, loathe. You get my drift.

Actually, winter is the time of year for love. It’s when I learn to really love spring, summer and autumn.

Maybe we could learn a lesson from the bears. They hibernate in the winter, losing all that weight they gained during the warm months.

Hmm. I wonder, if I slept through the winter, would all these extra pounds go away? Then at my next checkup, the doctor might say, “Larry, you’re a little underweight. Here’s a diet to put on pounds.”

Now I could go for that.

In that case, turn out the lights the winter’s started. I’ll see you six weeks after Groundhogs Day.

Oh, before I forget, have a happy winter, spring, summer and fall.


Larry Penkava is a writer for Randolph Hub. Contact: 336-302-2189, larrypenkava@gmail.com.