If you think much about it (and there's really no reason why you should) Jan. 1 has never made much sense as New Year's Day. First, there is no natural change in the seasons then. It's right in the middle of winter. Moreover, as a holiday, New Year's is now totally eclipsed by Christmas one week earlier.
The logical New Year's, of course, is today, Labor Day, when vacations end, the seasons change and school begins. About all that Labor Day needs, beyond widespread public support, to become the new New Year's is some resolutions and predictions of its own. So, let us resolve and predict.
I resolve to refuse to renew subscriptions to any magazine that contains any of the following articles: Where Washington "Power Snacks"; Sen. Ted Kennedy's Magic Cajun Diet; Why Your Child's Big Wheel Needs an Airbag; and "Family Feud's" Richard Dawson calls on the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart.
Resolution: to express my appreciation to Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming for patriotically persevering while shrewdly crafting an immigration reform bill our nation needs.
For Simpson, immigration reform has been an issue that brings no political payoff back home in Casper or Cheyenne but that in Washington does combine Republican Jesse Helms and Democrat Howard Metzenbaum, two senatorial tigers, in opposition. For five years of work on immigration, and for a lifetime of good humor (what other senator when asked his church "preference" would have the guts to answer "red brick"?) I resolve to thank Alan Simpson.
Resolution: Not to vote for any candidate for federal office who, regardless of that candidates' position on the line-item veto, insists on using nouns as verbs. There is no real or alleged shortage of verbs that would require any of the following nouns to be misused as action words: impact, input, memo, staff, dialogue, or parent.
Predictions are integral to any New Year's day. I predict that no Big Ten university will award a varsity football letter any time in the next 10 years to any wide receiver or running back with the first and middle names of Richard Milhous.
Prediction: Patrick J. Buchanan will publicly deny that he was the "high White House official" who suggested poverty in the United States could be cut overnight if "only half the non- working six-year-olds would take a job." Buchanan will, however, argue that the lowering of the minimum age and hourly minimum wage standards to 8 1/2 years and 35 cents respectively would guarantee a "morally and economically robust nation."
Prediction: An unauthorized preview of David Stockman's memoirs will report that President Reagan laughed heartily at the White House meeting at which Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole humorously calculated that in dog years Mr. Reagan's age was now 518 and that Sen. Gary Hart's was either 322 or 343.
A Democratic Party task force and the faculty of a major seminary will issue a joint statement explaining why economic sanctions are morally imperative and diplomatically compelling when imposed on nations with right- wing governments and just the opposite on nations with left-wing governments.
I predict that a California jury will acquit an admitted felon whose only defense will be that on the day of the crime he had been subjected to driving, for four hours in heavy traffic, behind 613 cars all of which had bumper stickers which read "I'd Rather Be Dancing/Skiing/Watching Soaps/Buying krugerrands/Using my Bank's Automatic Teller/Cooking With Mesquite.
Happy New Year!