To avoid writing even a single check w th "82" in the upper right-hand corner.

To turn off the TV every time an ad offends me. That ought to be often.

To say something, not necessarily printable, to the next motorist who makes a right on red and narrowly misses my thigh as I'm walking across the street. The street belongs to both of us, buddy.

To find a Metrobus whose seats haven't been defaced by people with undernourished egos. Why does Donnie think that his love for Ruth justifies destroying public property?

To get through just one month (the whole year is too much to ask) without hearing anyone confuse "less" and "fewer."

To see the Capitals not just make the playoffs, but stay alive in them for a while.

To snap my fingers and make those tourist-trap ashtrays with the Reagans' faces on them disappear. Better: to watch them disappear because no one ever buys any.

To see at least one extension of the subway open on schedule.

To find one--just one!--plastic lid that fits on a Styrofoam coffee cup without crimping the lip of the cup or burning the coffee drinker's fingers.

To write to whoever keeps sending me those Win-a-Million contest entries and tell him to knock it off.

To walk up to a cop and tell him, "Listen, I know nobody ever tells you this. But I really appreciate the job you're doing."

To keep our car as clean as it was the day it left the factory. (Hey, I said "hopes," not "likelihoods.")

To figure out what "Fuel Adjustment Charge" means on my electric bill.

To dispel once and for all the notion that "Anacostia" refers to all of Washington east of the Anacostia River. In fact, Anacostia is a neighborhood that comprises at most one-sixth of that territory. There's also Congress Heights, Hillcrest, Benning Heights, Randle Highlands, Deanwood and Barnaby Terrace, to name just a few.

To find out why so many Washington cabbies have 147 rubber bands looped around their sun visors, when none of the 147 is being used.

To discover why Hecht's is Hecht's, but Hechinger's is officially Hechinger.

To watch a football game on TV without being told every three minutes what great Americans all the coaches and players are.

To overhear someone describing me as "You know, the handsome one," instead of "You know, the guy with gray hair."

To get through a cold day without anyone asking me if it's cold enough for me.

And to make a million dollars (You'll see this one again a year from now).