On we sail into 1985, and I wish each and every one of you a banner year. I also wish for each and every one of the following in the 12 months ahead:
* A cogent explanation of what the heck "progressive rock" is. Have you ever heard -- or heard of -- "regressive rock?"
* Somebody somewhere who can open up the paper on a crowded bus without elbowing a fellow passenger in the nose.
* A new set of signs at the western end of Memorial Bridge. The only way you ever know where you're going in that multilane melange is if you've been through there regularly for at least 25 years. If you're ever behind a car with an out-of-state tag, give him plenty of slack.
* A simple explanation of the rush hour restrictions on Interstate 66.
* A lawyer who doesn't respond to "What do you do?" by saying, "I'm an attorney." What is the matter with plain English, lawsmiths?
* Telephone answering machines that play it straight -- no Beethoven, no saucy language, no cutesiness.
* Someone who asks you when your birthday is and does not follow it up by announcing your zodiacal sign.
* An end to Silver Springs, McLain and Gaithersberg.
* A huge salute to WMAL's Harden and Weaver as they observe their 25th anniversary on the morning radio dial. The boys may not be as tall as the Washington Monument, but they're every bit as monumental.
* At least one Metrorail passenger (I'd be delighted with more) who moves all the way into the car and doesn't clog the doorway.
* A fast food restaurant that doesn't insult my intelligence by suggesting that there's something new-New-NEW! about a baked potato or a piece of fried chicken.
* A pedestrian who realizes that a flashing DONT WALK sign does not mean SEE IF YOU CAN MAKE IT.
* A dictionary that holds the line and refuses to admit "input" and "impact" to the family of verbs. Once a noun, always a noun. I don't care what your computer manual says.
* Baseball at RFK Stadium -- played by the young, the strong and the able, not by a bunch of oldtimers who haven't seen a serious curve ball since 1957.
* A bank that doesn't treat you like Willie Sutton for trying to cash a $50 check.
* Signs posted around the Beltway announcing backups ahead, if any. There aren't many alternate routes to Good Old 495, but in some areas there are. Let's give folks a chance to use them.
* The death of the Sin Strip along 14th Street. I used to think it would die of neglect once patrons got sick of the films and the books. Now I think it'll take tough zoning laws and code enforcement. What are you waiting for, District Building? For three strips to be born instead of just one?
* An end to the Cabbage Patch craze (or at least a sharp turn toward cole slaw). Yes, the little beasts are cute. Yes, they're cuddly. But they're aren't that cute or that cuddly.
* A retailer who'll change a buck without making a face.
* A retailer who'll accept a 20 without making a face.
* A retailer who won't put all your change in your outstretched palm and slap your receipt on top of it, like a maraschino cherry.
* Sudden, painful death to motorists who barrel down a street and scatter carefully gathered piles of leaves.
* A person between the ages of 8 and 16 who introduces himself to a stranger by giving his first name and his last.
* Twenty fewer pounds on my frame (as usual, you'll probably be seeing this one a year from now).
* Sweet dreams and a chicken in every pot. Happy New Year, everyone.