By Alex Berger
It out-sources Gloria and is the bane of my existence. January has now arrived. Many people are content to reflect upon the brand new year that awaits them. Me? I must look at my @#$%^ calendar's blank pages and plan my life for the next 12 months.The @#$% calendar has become the most important component in my house, aside from my football Giants cap and Gloria. I already threw out my old, dog-eared, paper-clipped, wrinkled and torn @#$% 2006 calendar, replete with hardened Wite-out stains, Post-its, and scribbled-in hieroglyphics that only I can decipher. (It is a closemouthed AMA secret that any doctor proven to have a handwriting worse than mine is barred instantly from the medical profession.)I replaced my 2006 nemesis calendar with a new, user-friendly, color-illustrated, spanking-clean, 2007 Spiderman calendar.I began the chore of filling in the empty calendar day boxes with doctors' telephone numbers, birthdays, anniversaries, doctors' appointments, other appointments, job-related conferences, pharmacy telephone numbers, Income Tax Day, and other urgent information I can't trust to memory. And, to think this hunk of paper will then be in control of my destiny for 2007.These “life-support” calendar messages will transform my new @#$% calendar's blank pages into the requirements for family, job, Gloria's birthday, and our wedding anniversary. (Heavens to Betsy, should I ever forget any of these.)I figure, with a good wind behind me, I should finish the job by April Fool's Day, providing nothing new comes up.To give you an idea of what I am faced with, allow me to present a portion of my month-to-month reminders, indicative of what the @#$% calendar will ask me to do.JANUARY: (Baby-sitting) Ð I will fill in two days every month for Gloria and me to baby-sit our two grandchildren, Justin and Kerrin. But I don't like to baby-sit. Who wants to sit on babies? Justin once looked at his newly born, wrinkled sister, and remarked, “So that is why Mom hid her under her coat for so long.”FEBRUARY – (Valentine's Day) Ð I use a red pencil to remind me because it is the first day of the rest of my wife! I like to do things for Gloria on this day such as I plug in the electrical cord every time she vacuums. MARCH Ð (Reconciling bank statement) Ð I find it quite prudent to visit my bank to see if it continues to be accommodating.APRIL Ð (Income Tax Day) Ð I always wait until the last minute to do my income tax. Last year, I did some hard figuring. I figured out how to balance the federal deficit: Close 27 states. Yet, I can't figure out my own income tax return. MAY Ð (Gloria's beauty parlor visit) Ð Gloria really doesn't have to go. She still is as pretty as when we married, only it just takes a little longer now. (Car checkup) Ð I regularly bring in my car when every part makes noise except the horn.JUNE Ð (Charity) Ð I mark every charity we contribute to for income tax purposes. Last year, Gloria attended a charity auction. She was told to bring something she didn't have any use for. She brought me. JULY Ð (Answering fan mail) Ð I keep a record of my fan mail for future reference. One asked, “How did I become a columnist?” “Well,” I answered, “I took a mouthful of marbles and one by one I dropped them. And when I lost all my marbles, I became a columnist.”AUGUST Ð (Gardening) Ð My lawn is perfect. Each blade of grass is three feet tall.SEPTEMBER Ð (My wedding anniversary) Ð Two “must” reminders on my calendar are my wedding anniversary (Sept. 1) and Gloria's birthday (Nov. 12). Last year, I took Gloria to a romantic French restaurant for our 42nd (the anniversary, not birthday). No expenses were spared. When I whispered to the waiter to serve us the $20 dinners, he answered, “On rye or white?”OCTOBER Ð (Halloween) Ð On Halloween, I like to scare people. I ring their bell and hand them my last column. NOVEMBER Ð (Gloria's birthday) Ð Choosing a gift for Gloria is no problem. She hinted that she wanted a string of pearls, so I will surprise her. I will get her an oyster and a rabbit's foot. DECEMBER Ð (Christmas) – I gave Gloria a $25 gift certificate for the holiday season and it made her very happy. She used it as a down payment for a diamond ring. So, there you have it. Go and mark up your new calendar and be thankful you do not have to do the same for the Hebrew, Muslim, and Chinese calendars. Gotta run. My! @#$% calendar beckons.