Some people use the turn of a new year to look ahead and resolve to do better in the coming 365 days.

If you are one of those people, I have a list of items to add to your “New Year’s Resolution” list. When you accomplish these goals, it will make my life a whole lot easier.

1. Don’t give my children any more gifts with batteries.

While I’m all for people giving my children free stuff – it’s not really free for me if I have to go out and buy a slew of batteries for it to be functional.

The problem I have with batteries is that they run out of power eventually, and there are too many kinds of them – which leads me to your second New Year’s Resolution ...

2. Start a crusade to establish ONE universal battery size.

Even when you accomplish your first new year’s resolution, my household will still have a TV remote control and, thus, a need for batteries.

But what I’d like you to do is lobby the battery industry to make only one size of household battery. I have found it very maddening to need six AAA batteries, only to have two C batteries, three AA batteries, and one 9V battery in my possession. Under the new battery laws that you will help to enact, if I need six batteries, I will only need six batteries – all of them will be the same. This will be dandy.

And while you’re lobbying Congress for these changes in battery types, you might as well ....

3. Stiffen the penalties for remote control theft.

At least once every three hours in our home, a remote control gets swiped and I have to spend almost 10 whole minutes looking for it before I find it behind a cushion, or under my son’s bed, or in my pocket. My thinking is: If the punishment for this crime is more brutal (a public spanking? Atomic wedgies in front of the courthouse?), then perhaps people wouldn’t be so nonchalant about where they place the remote control.

Speaking of the law, I have another legal challenge for you ...

4. Mandatory jail time for theft of cell phone chargers.

Another issue reaching epidemic proportions – stealing, or, in my home, “borrowing,” of cell phone chargers and cords. Again, perhaps a serious penalty for this crime – like a real jail cell, and not just a teenager’s room – will make a positive difference in eradicating this plague.

Which leads us to your final resolution ...

5. Develop and market a fat-free taco.

If it wasn’t for the first four resolutions, this would be your No. 1 priority for the coming year. I have often found that after I eat four tacos in one sitting, I am not overwhelmingly full, which I consider “still hungry.” When I eat four more tacos, I sometimes feel guilty. In 2020, I resolve you’ll alleviate me of this guilt by creating a new thindelicious (a word I just made up), tacorific (again) treat.

Please start immediately, as I am rather hungry (a.k.a. not overwhelmingly full) and am thinking about purchasing a new remote control.

Happy New Year (for me — unless you fail)!

Email Len Robbins at

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