Last week, I bemoaned my trials and travails of the previous year and I didn’t paint a pretty picture. I’m told I brought many of you to tears, yet sadly I barely even scratched the surface. There was a lot of layers to that bloomin’ (pardon my French) onion.

Yes, there was the pinkeye and balloon lip, but also a night in jail and lost driving privileges for three months. Now that the ugly intrusion is finally adjudicated six months later, I humbly offer my mea culpa. At my age, I was sure I was long-done with that kind of stupidity, but I got caught in one of those “No good deed goes unpunished” snares. I won’t belabor details, but meeting an interesting young man whose deceased father I knew well led to one more beer I hadn’t scheduled.

Shameful story short, that confusing stop sign at 19th and Sheridan alerted an officer who hit the pretty lights 100 yards shy of my house. But ... buzzed driving is still drunk driving and barely over the legal limit is still illegal. I’m now paying the greedy piper.

Yeah, rough year, but I had positive highlights as well. I made a great new golfing buddy in Harry Block (no relation to HR) and got a free month trial of Showtime. That’s about it, but out with the bad and in with the new I always say. I enter 2022 brimming with optimism, but I’ve set the bar really low.

But enough about me, let’s review the year as a community. We suffered some major business losses, not so much Kanye, but Dee’s Upholstery. My mother was a tailor, (she sewed my new blue jeans; daddy was a gambling man, down in New Orleans). I’m joshing about Pop, but Ma really was a factory seamstress and truly did make me outfits from scratch.

But like harmonica repair, sewing is a dying art. Dee skillfully filled that need, and once aware, I dumped endless apparel with zipper issues on Dee’s unassuming little shop. But seemingly overnight, a “closed” sign assaulted our senses and my favorite jacket has a zipper stuck at half-mast. Dee, your passing has left a big hole.

While maybe not an existential crisis, it’s almost impossible to find a paper grocery bag, of which I’ve grown dependent on for countless uses. And if I might ask, What kind of mood has your cat been in lately? I ask because my once-purring princess Kiki is more than a little forlorn, as her ultra-finicky choices of a couple specific Fancy Feast flavors and Friskies “turkey in gravy” vanished weeks ago. Shelves are dusty all over town with no end in sight.

The look in Kiki’s pleading eyes as she rejects another off-brand is heartbreaking. To quote Crystal Gayle, “Don’t it make her green eyes blue?” I’m not into doomsday rhetoric, but I predict this “Great Friskies Famine” will make the Irish Potato Famine look like a starchy inconvenience. You know the old saying, “When kitty is happy, everyone is happy.”

So onward and upward. May our only masks be Halloween and our kitchens rife with potatoes.

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