Once again we have arrived at that fortuitous time of year when, in a sincere and humanitarian gesture, I attempt to make you as cool as me.
I'm not saying you're not hip; I'm just saying that, unlike me, you are not openly embracing all the "happening" things the new year has to offer.
Which is why today, as I always do, I am riding to your rescue with my annual guide to what's in and what's out, what's hot and what's not in 2013, beginning with...
OUT -- The end of the world
IN -- The end of my diet
BECAUSE -- I can think of no better way to celebrate the fact the Mayans didn't know what they were talking about than with a double-cheeseburger with bacon and a large order of fries.
OUT -- Gangnam Style
IN -- Any (bad word) style you want
BECAUSE -- It's not that I am sick to (another bad word) death of that nerdy-looking South Korean singer prancing around and doing that stupid giddy-up move on his imaginary horse... no, sorry, that's EXACTLY what I'm saying. Telling the truth is in this year, too.
OUT -- Politicians
IN -- Zombies
BECAUSE -- It's high time that we, as a democracy-loving nation, started paying attention to the people with the most brains... in their stomachs.
OUT -- Watching NHL hockey
IN -- Watching your kids play hockey
BECAUSE -- It doesn't cost you thousands of dollars. OK, technically, it does cost you thousands of dollars and you have to get up wicked early in the morning, but at least you know your kids aren't going to sleazy nightclubs and blowing their cash on shooters and then tweeting embarrassing pictures of themselves doing wildly inappropriate things, right? I said, right? Look, as long as they don't end up playing for the Leafs, everything should be just fine.
OUT -- Vacationing on an Italian cruise line
IN -- Bumper-shining on the back of a city snowplow
BECAUSE -- All things considered, it's a lot safer. As far as we have heard, snowplow operators never drive up on the sidewalk and flip over while trying to impress their hot girlfriends.
OUT -- Elmo
IN -- Oscar
BECAUSE -- What with being a family newspaper and everything, we don't want to be too explicit, but it looks like Oscar can teach a few of his buddies some valuable tips about life in the can.
OUT -- The doomed penny
IN -- The beloved quarter
BECAUSE -- The penny's time has finally come. Next month, the Royal Canadian Mint will start collecting pennies for melting and recycling of the metal content. Sure, we're losing a trusted old friend, but we still have the plucky quarter, the most beloved of all coins. Why do I say that? Because whenever I go to a Bombers game I hear fans praying: "Dear God, we need a quarter back!"
OUT -- The Taliban
IN -- The Tally Man
BECAUSE -- Instead of blowing things up and shooting schoolchildren, the Tally Man brings us a beautiful bunch of ripe bananas. You know, six-foot, seven-foot, eight-foot bunch. We could go on, but daylight come and me wan' go home.
OUT -- Fifty Shades of Grey
IN -- Fifty shades of anything else
BECAUSE -- We fondly remember the time when "mommy porn" was just a woman watching her husband stop the car to ask for directions or, maybe, depositing his dirty socks and underwear directly into the laundry hamper as opposed to the floor on his side of the bed.
OUT -- Talking to an empty chair
IN -- Talking to Charlie Sheen
BECAUSE -- We love Clint as much as the next guy, but somehow Charlie seems a little less crazy now.
OUT -- Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
IN -- Jim Beam Honey Bourbon liqueur
BECAUSE -- If you're going to rot your brain, you might as well do it like a real man. Also, we have just Googled these two items and we got roughly seven million hits for honey bourbon and (wait for it) more than 66 million for Honey Boo Boo. Which makes us think, just maybe, the Mayans were right after all.