I need your help. I’m a ten year old girl with a big problem! Let me explain… My family has a tradition of making New Year Resolutions. Usually this isn’t a problem and I just make a half hearted promise to keep my room tidy - I’m sure you know the score :) But this year, for reasons best known to themselves, my parents have decided that the whole family (my mum, my dad, my brother, and myself) should all individually give something up as our New Year Resolutions. And to make matters worse, they have all chosen to give up things they really enjoy, even my brother!
My mum is giving up chocolate, my dad is giving up watching football, and my big brother (or Judas as I fully intend to refer to him from now on!) is giving up playing video games! Which, as I’m sure you can see, puts the pressure on me - BIG TIME! My problem is I don’t want to give anything up! I’m perfectly happy with my life, and don’t see how giving something up for the sake of some hokey tradition is going to make me a better person in any way whatsoever! So… I was hoping you could put that sneaky brain of yours into action and find something for me to give up that will sound good to my parents, but that I will not miss at all!
Yours sincerely, Amanda Richmond
Amanda, I like the way you think! And you’ve definitely come to the right mascot for advice on all things sneaky! What you are looking for is often referred to as a “hollow promise” and it has been in use in political circles for centuries :) And, luckily for you, it also happens to be something I’m more than familiar with myself! So here are my top 5 hollow promise New Year Resolutions…
1. Give up lying! An absolute corker of a hollow promise! Not only does it sound like a heartfelt attempt at self improvement, but it also means your parents will have to believe everything you say from now on! Which could prove very useful, especially if you lie :)
2. Give up fighting with your brother! Parents love it when their kids say stuff like this, and will undoubtedly go for this resolution wholeheartedly! It also means your brother will be more likely to get blamed for any fights that do arise in the future! Result!
3. Give up being selfish! A lofty sounding resolution if ever there was one! Not too mention an utterly meaningless one too! After all, you don’t have to be overtly selfish to get your own way! Especially when parents are involved :)
4. Give up your plans for world domination! Nobody likes living with a megalomaniac, and your parents will be no exception! Just be sure to say it with a maniacal grin on your face to make sure they believe there was a chance of this actually happening in the first place!
5. Give up making promises you can’t keep! The ultimate New Year Resolution loophole! Makes you sound like you’re trying to better yourself, with the added bonus of rendering all future attempts at soliciting resolutions from you null and void! Perfect!
So there you go Amanda, my top 5 hollow promise New Year Resolutions for you to enjoy a stress free 2011! And to get you in the party mood for the upcoming Chinese year of the rabbit, here’s a bit of Chas n Dave…
Great stuff! Although it has left me with an unfathomable urge to watch Donnie Darko for some reason! Hmmm…