Enough of this thing called 1985. Let's usher in the new year as we usually do here on the middle page of the comics -- with a list of fervent hopes for the 12 months immediately ahead.
*I hope that someone will explain why we drive on parkways and park on driveways.
*I hope that the lords of TV will pay a little more attention to the sensibilities of young audiences than they sometimes do. That's a gentle way of saying "Ouch" to a news cut-in that was broadcast early this month during a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special. "Rapist stalks Southeast," said the newscaster. "Film at 11."
*I hope that the distinction between "whoever" and "who ever" will not turn to mush. Who ever thought that this important lesson would be lost on whoever studies English?
*I hope that somebody will come up with a funnier one-liner in 1986 than the champ for 1985 -- although I doubt that it's possible. The old-year winner was uttered by Sonny Jurgensen, noted quarterback and noted glass-hoister, during the 25th anniversary celebration for WMAL's Harden and Weaver. "All I know," said Sonny, "is that Richard Burton outlived Jim Fixx."
*I hope that somebody will learn to spell the name of Cardozo High School correctly.
*I hope that Judge Harold H. Greene's phone breaks, and he has to figure out where to call to get it fixed. 'Twas the worst legal decision in my memory, your honor, and one for which we pay daily, literally and figuratively.
I hope that somebody takes Ted Koppel aside and tells him what a metaphor is -- and what it isn't. Just before the meetings between Russia and the U.S., The Prince of Nightline said the two nations "approach the brink of the summit."
*I hope that somebody takes the federal government aside and explains that "telecon" is not a word. Let's stick with "telephone conversation," huh, kids? It may be longer, but it's a whole lot clearer. "Telecon" sounds like one of those fancy-dan consulting firms out near Tysons Corner.
*I hope that Mayor Marion Barry issues another pronouncement about the phone manners of D.C. government employes. Not that the previous pronouncements helped. You can still call any city agency (as I do nearly every day, for one reason or another) and be greeted with indifference, hostility, misinformation or all of the above.
*I hope that somebody sends a dozen roses to the phone operators at the U.S. Capitol. Let's say you're in search of Congressman Sid Glunch, but you don't know his direct-dial number. All you have to do is call the main Capitol switchboard at 224-3121 and you will be put through to Glunch's office in seconds. You're never asked to spell Glunch. Or asked where he's from. Or transferred all over creation. You're handled like what you are: a busy person who deserves efficiency. D.C. government phone operators, please copy.
*I hope that the money to finish Metrorail is pried loose from the limousine-riding officials who are holding it up. Can't you limocrats recognize clear evidence when you see it? Ridership is way above expectations, fare revenue is way above expectations and the system is now an artery rather than a curiosity. To stop building the subway now -- or soon -- would turn every highway in the area into a parking lot by the turn of the century.
*I hope that I weigh 20 pounds less a year from now (but, as usual, Mr. Typist, hope is not enough. It will take discipline! It will take denial! It will take . . . . the same brave, vain words a year from now, no doubt).
*I hope that each of you stays happy and healthy, and has a wonderful '86.