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Jim Walker: Let’s ride ‘Little Big Year’ down

Don't Take Me Seriously

Posted: January 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.

“Little Big Man” was a classic film, back in the day, with Dustin Hoffman starring as Jack Crabb, who, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Indians, and fighting with Gen. George A. Custer. And it was a character-shaping movie for me, as well.

Thusly, I carry with me all kinds of quotes from that production. Most notable is the explanation from Richard Mulligan’s brilliant Gen. Custer that, “The poison rises from the goonads.”

This one I work into casual conversation whenever possible.

Also notable in the film are Crabb’s evolutions during his more than a century of life, as he goes through a couple of Indian periods, a religious period, a shopkeeper period, a gunfighter period, a drunk period, a hermit period, a suicidal period and a muleskinner period.

Consequently, I will also use a “And that was the end of my whatever period” line whenever I get the chance. And trust me, I have had a lot of periods.

Well, this New Year’s Eve ended one of those significant periods in my life, it’s true. But with the blush still on 2012, I find myself identifying less with Crabb, and more with the Mr. Merriweather character from “Little Big Man.”

Martin Balsam played the snake-oil salesman, who was whittled down over the years, but wouldn’t give in. He lost a hand, an ear, an eye and a leg, but still offered up hopeful lines such as: “Licked? I’m not licked. I’m tarred and feathered, that’s all.”

Now, with a large dose of artistic license, and a heapin’ helpin’ of exaggeration, let me say I find this new year whittling me down, financially, spiritually and physically.

Waking up New Year’s Day to the fear of losing sight in my left eye, I also find myself regaining weight, spending far too much, coming down with a cold and with skin cracking and falling off like dust from Pig-Pen. And this is not to mention my depression, paranoia, rickets, boll weevils, rampant muscle shrinkage, persistent gas and wayward mojo.

If I could, I’d sleep 24 hours a day and, you know, phone it all in for 2012.

Now those one or two of you out there who have read my stuff of late will probably say something like, “You called down the thunder, bro.” And in this you would mean that my absolute pessimism at the turn of the year plucked a sour note on the fiddle of the universe that cosmically drew in all my misfortunes.

Well, chicken or the egg, I say.

Is a lack of positivity the cause of negative experiences, or a result of them?

You will have to figure this out because, the way I see it, visualizing life as a glass half-empty only means you have another drink coming soon.

I stick with my earlier predictions that this is the last year of the world, so nothing matters, and I am going to ride this horse into the ground, my friends.

Come on, who’s with me?

To misuse another famous line, we’re all “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore,” right?

Let us “Storm the Bastille,” “remember the Alamo” and “Occupy,” well, everything. Let’s redistribute the wealth and, along with it, the good fortune. Let us “mob” any establishment that won’t let us in individually, quit our jobs and steal Wi-Fi.
Let us eat, drink and be merry, no matter how hard karma smacks us upside the head and no matter how many body parts we lose along the way.

If I’m missing an eye and you’re missing an ear, we’ll just charge in together, covering each other’s weak sides. If you’re missing a left leg and I’m missing a right, we’ll duct tape our good legs together and hop like we’re in a potato sack race.

We’ll all go down together and swinging, my friends, because “Little Big Year” is going to be the worst ever. But it will be the last, so who cares, right?

Well … OK … you might be wise to hold off on all this for at least a week, because I might have a totally different outlook soon. You see, I’ve got some meds coming in from Canada.

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