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And the new year crushes its first soul six minutes in…

January 2, 2007

The Jackal is back on my phone. Or perhaps he never left. He’s the depressed NSA agent tapping my line. Last time I heard from him, he was getting help.

“So what are you defending the free world from on my phone today?” I ask.

“I fell off the wagon,” Jackal says.

“How come?” I ask.

“I was listening in on everyone’s cell phone calls on New Year’s Eve and I got depressed,” says Jackal. “All those people calling their loved ones, wishing them a Happy New Year. And here I am, unable to call my loved ones because of a court order. And I just lost it.”

“There was your problem right there,” I say. “You should have been watching New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Dick Clark. That would have made you feel better about yourself.”

“Why’s that?” asks Jackal.

“Because he’s still messed up from that stroke he had,” I say. “He was a full second behind everyone else when counting down to 2007, and that was because he skipped a number in the countdown.”

“I think that would make me sad, watching someone like Dick Clark be a shadow of his former self on national television,” says Jackal.

“You’d think that, but I laughed my ass off,” I say. “And so did a lot of other people. Next year Dick Clark and Kirk Douglas should host the show and they can call it ‘New Year’s What the Hell Did He Say Eve.'”

“So what about my problems?” says Jackal. “I’m back on the bottle and my life has lost all meaning.”

“Sucks to be you,” I say. “I gotta go. Professional Midget Burning is on ESPN and you bore the shit out of me.”

Yeah, I can be heartless a lot of the time. But that just makes the times I actually care that much more special.

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