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Atlantic Unbound Sidebar

(12/29/95 - 1/12/96)

This contest is now closed. But enjoy!

(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)

Well, folks, we survived the year-end holidays! Now it's time for some resolutions.

What shall we resolve, we puzzlers? Shall we resolve to re-solve? Shall we vow not to be a cross, down couple?

Or shall we invent funny resolutions for *other* people? Ah yes, that's the ticket. And you can help us!

Let's say Bob Vila, the carpenter on "This Old House," was making a New Year's resolution. Would he decide to stop biting his nails? And what about Mother Theresa? Would the venerable nun resolve to kick bad habits? And Shylock, that money-lender in Shakespeare--would he vow to start taking more interest in life? Would Babe Ruth hope to get in the swing of things? And if he did, would Sandy Koufax promise to pitch in?

Surely this is just the beginning. Think of a punny or ironic resolution for a famous character (living or dead, real or fictional), and send it by e-mail to puzzles@theatlantic.com. Multiple entries are welcome, but for our convenience please pack your entries into one piece of e-mail whenever possible (and please don't use attached files).

Senders of the three grin-inducingest resolutions will win 5 free AOL hours (if they are AOL members) and a free book from Resolutions will be posted at the Atlantic Monthly on Friday, January 19.

So Happy New Year, folks, and let's all resolve to be hysterical!

--EC and HR

P.S. If you like cryptic crosswords, visit our "Puzzles and Word Games" folder on the Atlantic's America Online message board (keyword: ATLANTIC) and join the handful of rather crazed clue-writers who are already at play there! Post clues of your own and see if the gang can solve 'em!

RESOLUTIONS Contest Results

(All names without @ symbols are AOL screen names.)

"Cox and Rathvon resolve not to cross the Atlantic in 1996."

Correspondent Purrrrty has kindly suggested the above resolution for us. It's true that we strive to please our oceanic employer, so perhaps we should vow (as Nancygum avers that the captain of "McHale's Navy" has done) to make no waves.

Meanwhile, some of you like-minded geniuses have ensured that 1996 will be marked by good intentions around the globe. People turning over a new leaf include Viking explorer Ericson (JHFrancis), Sir Walter Raleigh (CORCORAN1), Adam and Eve (RDH9995 and Robbabe), and Walt Whitman (Rickwins). Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull have vowed to attain their goals (Ceejayyy and Jendh), while Neil Armstrong will try to be more down-to-earth (Jgfitzp) or else will launch a new career (BEBOP98). Thomas Edison has resolved to lighten up (Megatam and Jgfitzp) and look on the bright side (MaureenEH). Julia Child has vowed to enjoy having thyme on her hands (DSpauld548) and to stir things up a bit (Pat5761). Marie Antoinette resolves to keep a cool head on her shoulders (pjveber and BPhill9040), Spiderman resolves to improve his Web crawling (AaronTrask and Siegaride), Puff the Magic Dragon will try to stop smoking (BEBOP98 and Ceejayyy), Cyrano and Pinocchio vow to keep their noses out of other people's affairs (MJH12656 and ALbrown28), George Washington Carver and Jimmy Carter will no longer work for peanuts (Bunztogo and JHFrancis), and Lady Godiva and Eddie Arcaro will get down off their high horses (ASpates and RDH9995).

Lizzie Borden has made three resolutions: to stop flying off the handle (AK Kay), to take a whack at parenthood (RDH9995), and to bury the hatchet with her folks (ASpates and DIRICHDUNC); Raskolnikov is going to bury his hatchet, too (DMonasG). Albert Einstein will pledge to make life matter more (Robbabe) and to devote more energy to his relatives... at least in theory (Nancy Werd). Wrong Way Corrigan resolves to turn himself around (CathyLadd) and to straighten up and fly right (RDH9995), while Charles Lindbergh tries to meet people halfway (ASpates). And finally, the Blob resolves to get in shape (Robbabe)--and so does the malleable Gumby (Ceejayyy).

Among the dozens and dozens of wisecracking resolutions, our three favorite were suggested by Robbabe, TinLizzard, and ASpates. Each of these witty winners will receive 5 free AOL hours plus a book from the Atlantic Monthly's online store. Thanks and congratulations Robbabe, TinLizzard, and ASpates! Their entries and our other top favorites are listed below for your edification and pleasure.

--EC and HR

Our Three Winners

Butterball's corporate heads promise to quit smoking cold turkey. (Robbabe)

Prince Charles resolves to never say Di. (TinLizzard)

Moses resolves to get himself out of the Red. (ASpates)

And Our Other Top Favorites

Estragon and Vladimir resolve to join Wait Watchers. (CopyKate)
Harpo Marx promises to stop tooting his own horn. (MauraSteve)
Isaac Stern promises to take a bow. (Karen Ariz)
The Pillsbury Doughboy will rise to the occasion. (Karen Ariz)
Shirley MacLaine resolves to appear on "One Life to Live." (Karen Ariz)
Poet e.e. cummings promises to visit the Capitol. (Karen Ariz)
Johann Bach decides to go for baroque. (Karen Ariz)
Lucille Ball resolves to bounce back. (Karen Ariz)
Oscar the Grouch promises to watch his waste line. (Megatam)
Salome resolves not to put so much on her plate. (Megatam)
Bill Gates, in spite of being a multi-billionaire, resolves to still do his own Windows. (Megatam)
Pandora promises not to flip her lid. (Hunny3)
Cinderella promises to make it a clean sweep. (Hunny3)
Pele resolves to kick his bad habits. (BEBOP98)
George Patton reluctantly agrees to quit generalizing. (JHFrancis)
Mongolian emperor Genghis says he's given up his cruel ways, preferring instead to con his adversaries. (JHFrancis)
Tarzan and Jane will quit the swinging scene. (Nancygum)
Walt Whitman might resolve to leave the grass--but only after celebrating (himself) at the break of the new year. (LGGuernsey)
Quasimodo resolves not to play every hunch he gets. (MattWard)
Jacques Cousteau resolves to immerse himself in his work. (MattWard)
Franz Schubert resolves to finish what he starts. (MattWard)
Sitting Bull resolves to stand up and be counted. (RDH9995)
Thomas Jefferson resolves to keep up with his daily constitutional. (RDH9995)
Jimmy resolves to get crackin' (corny as it sounds). (RDH9995)
Juan Valdez resolves to stand his grounds. (RDH9995)
Genghis Khan resolves to watch his steppe. (RDH9995)
Hannibal Lector resolves to treat his friends with fava. (RDH9995)
Hank Aaron: to go home more often (Ceejayyy)
Arnold Palmer: to not drink & drive (Ceejayyy)
Dr. Jeckyll/Mr. Hyde: to stop being two-faced (Ceejayyy)
Alan Thicke: to become thinner (Ceejayyy)
Snow White: to be happier & less grumpy (Ceejayyy)
All dog catchers: to shed a few pounds (Ceejayyy)
Coach Phelps has demanded some improvements in the play of his celebrity basketball team resulting in the following resolutions:
Georges Seurat plans to put up more points in the paint
Henry Ford wants to increase his percentage from the line
John Dillinger will be working on his fast break
Dick Nixon will try to score more against the press
Vlad the Impaler hopes to master his opponents at the post
The Ancient Mariner wants to increase his shot blocking (right now he stoppeth one in three).
Coach Phelps resolves to win more games so people stop asking, "How long hast thou been grave, Digger?" (G8ly)
Newt Gingrich resolves to clean the House more often. (Robbabe)
Shakespeare pledges to be more well-versed in affairs of the Globe. (Robbabe)
Robinson Crusoe pledges to take Friday off occasionally. (Robbabe)
Siskel & Ebert vow to pay more attention to the Big Picture. (Robbabe)
Gene Kelly promises to tap into new areas of interest. (Robbabe)
Willard vows to get out of the rat race ("Ben there, done that"). (Robbabe)
The head of the NRA vows to put a few bucks away here and there. (Robbabe)
Yo Yo Ma vows to go around the world and walk the dog (no strings attached?). (Robbabe)
Joseph & Mary vow to become part of the inn crowd. (Robbabe)
Sigmund Freud pledges to look for that dream girl. (Robbabe)
Cleopatra resolves not to make an asp of herself. (TinLizzard)
AOL's Customer Service telephone line resolves to lose some wait. (TinLizzard)
Cindy Crawford resolves to get her life in Gere. (TinLizzard)
Mother Teresa resolves to be second to nun. (TinLizzard)
Oedipus: to spend more time with his family (Rickwins)
Narcissus: to take more time for reflection (Rickwins)
Joan of Arc: to get a hearing aid (Rickwins)
Marquis de Sade: to pay more attention to other people's feelings (Rickwins)
J. Alfred Prufrock: to get Bermuda shorts and start a fruit diet (Rickwins)
Emily Dickinson: to get out more often (Rickwins)
George Eliot: to start flossing (Rickwins)
Hamlet: to be nicer to his stepfather (Rickwins)
Ophelia: to take swimming lessons (Rickwins)
Polonius: to mind his own business (Rickwins)
Claudius: to go to the theater more often (Rickwins)
Gertrude: to stop drinking (Rickwins)
Bobby Fisher resolves to find the perfect mate. (ASpates)
Long John Silver vows to keep an eye out for trouble. (ASpates)
Otis promises not to let anybody down. (ASpates)
Dinty Moore resolves to get off his can. (ASpates)
Thomas resolves to be a better Mann. (ASpates)
Clark Kent resolves to see things through. (ASpates)
Dennis Connor is going to increase his company's sails. (DMonasG)
Babe decides that from now on he'll just be seen and not herd. (Mezzomezzo)
Captain James T. Kirk will take bridge lessons. (Jeannie0)
Because of his financial problems in 1995, Melvin Belli resolves to "try" harder in 1996. (AaronTrask)
Demi Moore resolves to get "A's" in her creative writing class. (AaronTrask)
Red Buttons resolves to get another tailor. (AaronTrask)
The artist formerly known as Prince resolves to call the phone company to have his symbol unlisted. (AaronTrask)
Mozart would resolve to "Aire" out his G-string. (MJH12656)
Postal workers would resolve to "stamp" out violence in the workplace. (MJH12656)
Oedipus vows not to be so complex. (CORCORAN1)
Pontius Pilate vows to stop being cross with his fellow men. (CORCORAN1)
Newt Gingrich resolves to have better fidelity as a speaker. (CORCORAN1)
John Henry resolves not to get hammered. (CathyLadd)
Seurat resolves to get right to the point. (CathyLadd)
JNicholas Leeson, that bumbling Barings bond trader, vows to lose a few less pounds. (JTyrr)
Whoopie Goldberg dreads what's ahead, but will try to get a lock on it. (Ravensegg)
When asked to make a resolution, Joe Montana passed, and Patrick Stewart spaced out. (Ravensegg)
Godzilla promises no more Japan-bashing. (Ravensegg)
Marco Polo resolves to spice up his life. (LTB127)
The Green Giant resolves to watch his peas and q's. (LTB127)
Referees in international hockey tournaments resolve to stop bouncing Czechs. (mcampbll@Trimark.com)
David Copperfield: to get his act together and get married before she disappears. (Allie1138)
Blossom: to stop and smell the roses. (Jedimstr77)
Data (from Star Trek): to stop eating so many chips. (Jedimstr77)
Peter Pan decides to grow up (Gardenia)
Jay Leno decides to stop putting off until tomorrow what he can do "Tonight" (Gardenia)
Carl Jung: to hold on to his dreams. (JBurke2900)
Emma Bovary: no more lye-ing. (JBurke2900)
Count Dracula: to stop being a pain in the neck. (Scotchtrio)
Johannef Gutenberg: to imprint himfelf on hiftory and to leave a lafting impreffion upon our worlde. (pjveber@awod.com)
J. Edgar Hoover: to get in touch with his feminine side. (pjveber@awod.com)
Will Shakespeare vows to quit playing around. (JKiikka)
Calvin Klein has designs on his genes. (mulgoose@ix.netcom.com)
Dr. Jack Kevorkian promises to inject a bit of life into his practice. (jens@west.net)
George Clooney resolves to keep his TV career surgeon ahead. (JENICA1415)
Dolly Parton would resolve to keep abreast of current affairs. (Cleo10)
Bob Dole resolves to appear conservatively dressed. (DDaugheART)
Oliver Stone resolves to put the Nix on any "prequels." (CYDs1TS)
Rin-Tin-Tin promised not to get "ticked" off anymore, especially when all the other dogs are "fleeing" from him. (FEEDEELEE)
Oprah would promise to talk things out. (Jendh)
The new year's resolution of RuPaul is not to wig out over impending downturns in the entertainment industry. (Profenyc)
Because Republicans have made it impossible for them to afford decent bathrooms, the unemployed resolve to go on the Dole. (Siegaride)
Jane Austen resolves to sign with ICM (International Creative Management) before writing her next novel. (WeaverHome)
Hester Prynne resolves not to earn her letter again this year. (BPhill9040)
Joan of Arc resolves to survive asbestos she can. (BPhill9040)
General Colin Powell would resolve not to be so specific. (Ymaltese)
Puppet Charlie McCarthy resolves to keep a stiff upper lip. (Gyge)
Andre Agassi vows not to worry about his net income. (DSpauld548)
J. Paul Getty decided to get the lead out. (CPA Bob xx)
Bobby Unser resolves to get things rolling. (Pat5761)
Troy Aikman resolves to throw himself into his work. (Pat5761)
Robespierre: to be on the cutting edge of fashion. (Dreamblade)
Charlie Daniels will not fiddle around with the devil. (Nancygum)
A certain merry old king resolved to move his family to new digs, thus carrying Coles to new castle. (ShedPot)
And Noah resolved to make a report on "State of the Ark Technology". (ShedPot)
Rupunzel decides to let her hair down. (TazDudes)
Humpty-Dumpty decides life is not all that it is cracked up to be. (TazDudes)
Goldilocks is going to grin and bear it this year. (TazDudes)
Orville Redenbacher vowed to slow down in 1996, saying he was just too pooped to pop. (Keesebar)

Copyright © 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.