Digital Slob

Curt Brandao

Sunday, January 4, 2004

Pound for pound, Digital Slobs are an unwavering bunch. We've spent the majority of our waking moments (and all of our nonwaking ones) perfecting our minimal-effort, maximum-ease lifestyle, and whoever tries to tinker with our formulas (be they spouses denying us salt at the dinner table or doctors hovering over our gurneys clutching defibrillators), they will find they have their work cut out for them.

For the most part, we'll greet their suggested course corrections with the kind of openness and inclusiveness usually reserved for Strom Thurmond's family reunions. We're not going to back down. Our unflinching affection for our way of life defines us. Digital Slobs have nerves of steel, abs of potato salad.

Such resolute creatures of habit (many of us are still putting 1997 on our checks) would seem to have little need, then, for New Year's resolutions. But Digital Slobs know nothing succeeds like inflated success, and a properly constructed to-do list can keep our personal growth meter on an automatic incline through several seasons of "The Bachelor."

Respectable People may have more lofty goals as the New Year begins, but as it ends Digital Slobs usually have a better batting average. Let's contrast, then, how members of our two groups might compose their resolutions:

RP: Adopt better personal hygiene. Condition. Hydrate. Emulsify. Moisturize. Floss.

DS: Avoid further tooth decay by squeezing the toothpaste tube from the bottom up, because on the directions it clearly states that by doing so you will get the "best results."

RP: Renovate the house. Build a deck, reshingle the roof or add a game room.

DS: Replace the florescent bulb on the left side of the medicine cabinet that has been dark for 18 months, which has in turn allowed the hair in your left ear and left nostril sprout to Sasquatch proportions.

RP: Stop drinking so much.

DS: Stop drinking sooooo much.

RP: Lose at least 20 pounds.

DS: Gain no more than 4.5 pounds to stay on pace with your overall life goal of never getting so heavy you have to pay for two seats to fly on an airplane.

RP: Schedule an interview with a credit counselor to get a grip on your debt.

DS: Max out all your credit cards' cash advance limits, fake a grisly, accidental death and move to Costa Rica.

RP: Avoid spicy foods.

DS: Avoid salsa dancing to celebrate your win in a Mexican restaurant's speed-eating contest after woofing down a 5-pound chili relleno with crushed jalapenos and somewhat too sour sour cream in four minutes flat.

RP: Reconnect with loved ones by buying a new computer, digital video camera, DVD burner and editing software to produce DVDs to share with friends and family in faraway places.

DS: Take pictures of your new apartment, new cubicle, and new hometown with a disposable camera and mail it to your mom and let her develop the film just to get her off your back.

RP: Volunteer at least 20 hours a week.

DS: Every few months, go to a store's over-the-counter drug aisle and take an inventory of all the products made to remedy the disgusting, odorous and often chafing maladies that can infect the populace. This will make you realize that, no matter how awful you may feel, no one feels as bad as they theoretically could.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Curt Brandao is the Star-Bulletin's production editor. Reach him at:


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