Ten promises I probably won’t keep.

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Woman's Handing Planting in the Garden
Credit: Guido Mieth/Getty Images

It's doubtful that the Yellowstone Supervolcano will destroy the United States this year. It's improbable that Sammy Davis Jr. will emerge from an alien spaceship and perform at halftime at this year's Super Bowl. But the most unlikely event of all is that any of us will keep a New Year's Resolution.

The logic of this is clear. If we thought taking such a mad step were that important, we'd have done it long before now. Nonetheless, the Grump has decided to defy history and present to you score of pledges I absolutely will fulfill, unless the foreseen happens and I don't.

Pledge 1. I will never berate anyone for planting a non-invasive, easy-to-grow, attractive plant that is not native to their country. I will berate them instead for painting their front door bright yellow.

Pledge 2. I will shed no tear for any Bradford pear reduced to a pile of matchsticks by a thunderstorm. I will save my tears for kittens lost at sea.

Pledge 3. I will never again trust the mature size listed on any plant label for a tree or shrub. I will multiply that number by two and hope for the best.

Pledge 4. I will never attempt to grow French or English lavender indoors in a pot on a sunny windowsill, lest the plant's ugly countenance foreshadow its expected lifespan of 72 hours.

Pledge 5. I will not attempt to kill poison ivy, honeysuckle, or nandina by pouring white vinegar and blue Dawn on them, despite what Amber in Knoxville wrote on Twitter.

Pledge 6. I will not plant English ivy, cotoneaster, ligustrum, euonymus, weeping Norway spruce, variegated Chinese holly, elaeagnus, chameleon plant, honeysuckle, Oriental bittersweet, or miscanthus without first consenting to a severe beating.

Pledge 7. I will admit to myself there is no such thing as a squirrel-proof feeder and move on.

Pledge 8. I will stop listening to complaints from people living in the Sahara that my front lawn is wasteful and boring.

Pledge 9. When anyone tells me that all the world's bugs are disappearing, I will present them with a jar of cockroaches, fire ants, and yellowjackets and open it in their kitchen.

Pledge 10. I will never again utter the phrase, "Orchids are easy."