A Call for the Best in Regrets

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Wish you really hadn't? You can tell Day to Day about your year in regrets. Luke Burbank explains how to share your laments by calling the show's listener line at (310) 841-5180. Day to Day will air listener regrets on Monday.

NOAH ADAMS, host:

New Year's Eve is coming. We might think ahead just a bit. But it's also a time to stock of what happened in 2006, and how we might have messed up.

NPR's Luke Burbank recaps some of the biggest regrets of 2006.

(Soundbite of song, "My Way")

Mr. FRANK SINATRA (Singer): (Singing) And now, the end is near. So I face my final curtain.

LUKE BURBANK: Ah, New Year's Eve, a time for excessive drinking, for watching what's left of Dick Clark countdown to midnight, and for kissing people you only barely know. All in all, therapists will tell you, a great time for serious self-reflections.

(Soundbite of song, "My Way")

Mr. SINATRA: (Singing) Regrets, I've had a few.

BURBANK: As a wise man once said if we forget our history, we are doomed to, once again, bet those guys at the bar that we can eat our own weight in jalapeƱo poppers, or whatever.

The fact is we've all got some regrets from 2006. But at least, you can take comfort in the fact that unlike Michael Richards, you probably didn't have to go on David Letterman to talk about yours.

(Soundbite of show, "David Letterman Show")

Mr. MICHAEL RICHARDS (Comedian): I said some pretty nasty things to some Afro-Americans.

BURBANK: Afro-Americans? Easy, Kramer. As everyone in the galaxy now knows, Richards got into some trouble this year when he'd lost it during an appearance at an L.A. comedy club. He said he regretted the incident and would work towards taming his inner racist.

As embarrassing as all this must have been for Richards, at least, it didn't involve groveling at the foot of Donald Trump's comb over.

Mr. TARA CONNER (Miss USA, 2006): I've had a very big blessing bestowed upon me. And you will never know how much I appreciate Mr. Trump for saving me on this one.

BURBANK: Yes, Tara Conner, Miss USA, 2006 had some serious regrets when it came to light that she'd been snorting coke, kissing Miss Teen USA, and generally, behaving in a manner unbecoming of the winner of a glorified bikini - I mean, beauty pageant. Thankfully, the Donald saw something in young Tara Conner.

Mr. DONALD TRUMP (Entrepreneur): Tara is a good person. Tara has tried hard.

BURBANK: Maybe it was her spunkiness, or how humbled she was, or just that she reminded him of a future wife. Whatever the case, Conner got a second chance, and Donald Trump got a bunch of free publicity. So everybody won, except America.

Mr. MEL GIBSON (Actor): I've apologized in more than anyone that I know. So it's getting old.

BURBANK: Of course, no list of 2006's biggest regrets would be complete without a mention of Mel Gibson, who during a drunk driving run-in with the Malibu police managed to insult Jews and women and probably, Mayans, at some point. A pretty big regret by any standard, but not -

(Soundbite of music)

Not our number one regret of 2006. Because as offensive as Gibson's tirade was, as hurtful as Michael Richards' invective proved to be, and as, well, hot as Tara Conner's missteps were, as bad as all those regrets were, no one got shot in the face.

Vice President DICK CHENEY: I'm the guy who pulled the trigger that fired the round that hit Harry. But that's the bottom line. You can't blame anybody else.

BURBANK: Which is why, Vice President Dick Cheney wins the trophy for biggest regret of 2006, for accidentally shooting his hunting buddy, Harry Whittington, in the face.

Congratulations, Mr. Vice President, and to all of those nominated. 2006 was truly a regrettable year.

Luke Burbank, NPR News.

(Soundbite of song, "My Way")

Mr. SINATRA: (Singing) Oh, no. Oh, no, not me. I did it my way.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Well, maybe you didn't shoot your friend in a hunting accident this year, but we would like to hear about your regrets from 2006.

ADAMS: You can call our listener line. Tell us your story. Here's the phone number, we'll give it twice. It's 310-841-5180.

BRAND: We'll play our favorite regrets this Monday, New Year's Day.

ADAMS: The number again, 310-841-5180. You can find it on the DAY TO DAY page of our Web site, NPR.org.

(Soundbite of song, "My Way")

Mr. SINATRA: (Singing) I took the blow and did it my way.

ADAMS: DAY TO DAY is a production of NPR News with contributions from Slate.com. I'm Noah Adams.

BRAND: And I'm Madeleine Brand. Happy New Year.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

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