In welcoming the New Year, I have many wishes. These are only a few of them.
1. Proper and limited use of the word 'alleged:' I wish newspapers would tone down their constant use of the word 'alleged.' When a person commits a crime with numerous witnesses, or such person truely confesses after being confronted with overwhelming evidence, I don't think the term 'alleged' is appropriate anymore. I know you're not legally guilty until adjudged so by a trial in front of your peers, but there must be exceptions for news reporting of such obvious cases. Even so, most writers aren't exactly sure what the word 'alleged' means. You can tell this by trying to read a news story. The writers are in such a hurry to use the word 'alleged' that they fail to write a proper English sentence. 'The alleged man [as opposed to a real man?] robbed the clerk at gunpoint. [The alleged gun didn't go off.]
2. Properly counting a decade or century: You'd think that by now, the media would have learned how to count to ten. You start with one and you end with 10. That's a decade if you're counting years. Despite what the 'fame jumpers' keep saying, the second millennium started in 2001. Does the last digit there give you a hint? So hold off on your 'decade lists', will you media? Next December  is the time for them.
3. Retire Vince '...you know we can't do this all day...': Vince is among the most annoying people on television. He sounds insincere, and he talks down to the audience. If he handles the ad for a product, I'd be less apt to buy it. In any case, I'd rather listen to repeats of 'Billy Mays here.' His energy is more even than the speedy Vince, and he was a more believable salesman. Another annoying 'Crazy Eddie' type is the beanbag who screams his ads for a hotel liquidating company. He's enough to give the listener heart palpitations.
4. Al and the Volcano: People are always fearful of an active volcano. In fact, there's a near-lame story of 'Joe and the Volcano' where Joe [Tom Hanks] was to be sacrificed to the volcano god to save the people of an island, Waponi Woo. He was to jump inside it while it was spouting---thus appeasing the god [and Abe Vigoda, the Waponi chief] and hopefully calming the volcano and leading it to a dormant state. Well, I think in real life the calming of volcanoes would lead to a cooling of the atmosphere and fewer deaths due to lava flows and pyroclastic activity---as if we need cooling in a cooling era of our planet's cycles. So I wish we should sacrifice Al Gore to the god of the most active and dangerous volcano in the world. We can choose from Merapi in Indonesia, Popocatepetl in Mexico, Vesuvius in Italy, Unzen in Japan, and a few others. Maybe the crackling of the burning fat would calm the fires like oil does to boiling water. And just for good measure, we could also use Michael Moore and George Soros---that would calm two more volcanoes. And consider Nancy Pelosi. Does Botox burn?
5. Excercise?: There's an ad on TV right now for the 'Shaker.' This is a barbell shaped object that you can shake back and forth to tone your arms. The adwoman asks 'when you put on a sleeveless dress, what's the first thing that sticks out?' I don't know about you, but I'm probably in the majority who's answer was not hers. She said 'your arms.' And as anticipated by the advertisers, most of us thought of something else immediately. Anyway, what is this thing? You shake it with your arms, it vibrates and springs back and forth and you lose arm flab. I think they call it 'dynamic inertia..' [Forceful inactivity!] Well, this is nothing new. Check with Nick and Nora Charles and ask how they maintained their lanky and admirable physiques. The answer is simple. As Nick puts it to a bartender, 'a dry martini you always shake to a waltz step.' Enough of that and you have to wonder why there are any fat bartenders. Anyway there's a triple money back guarantee. Now what does that mean? Triple your money back? No. Money back guarantee said three times? Probably. You could also get the benefit by shaking malts at home. But then, the resulting product would negate any shaking benefit. Right? I wish for its quick demise.
6. Stop the Polar Bears!: I'm getting tired of watching Noah Wylie spout his requests that we send money to his charity for the poor, declining polar bear population. First, the money goes into a fund serving other animals. So much for the Polar Bear. Second, I wish Noah would just check the real figures before he jumps on the animal rights wagon. The Polar Bear population is increasing on a regular basis. Planetary cooling and warming are natural events and should be acknowledged as such because we aren't going to change them. Such it is for the polar ice. It'll cycle back again.
7. Baskin & Robbins: Okay, the current B & R ad has the most annoying music and lyrics for ice cream and cake. Those little figures dancing around over everything singing 'ice cream and cake' is enough to send me to Carvel for my desserts. Send B & R to the Back Room.
Finally, there's a soup commercial bragging to us that '..farmers raise vegetables in Campbell soup...' Personally, I'd raise them in the dirt of the fields. But, you can never tell where the next 'growing medium' will come from. Anyway, I wish Campbells would proof-read the ad copy in the New Year.
I wish these all to be eliminated or corrected. [Fat chance!] And I wish my readers a happy and prosperous New Year. [Better than even odds.]