Tom's current hopes and wishes for the future

I wish and hope:

· That every single member of the do-nothing Arizona Legislature who refuses to ban the use of cell phones by people operating motor vehicles gets crashed into by someone talking on a cell phone. I hope the legislators' cars get all messed up and that they are horribly inconvenienced on a 117-degree day in the butthole of Phoenix. I don't want anybody to get seriously hurt, but I wouldn't mind if they suffered from temporary incontinence, a nervous tic or two and a nasty rash that prevents them from shaking the hands of any lobbyist from the wireless-phone industry.

After using that lame-ass excuse for years that there was "insufficient data" to suggest that talking on the phone impairs driving, the blood is now on their hands.

· That after Revenge of the Sith hits its domestic target of $500 million or so (probably by next week), George Lucas comes out and says that the film is, indeed, about the Bush administration.

· That Channel 13's Barbara Grijalva was mistaken when she said that Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall was "asking for $123 million for two more prosecutors for her office." Or does that break down to 120 grand for salaries and the rest for malpractice insurance the next time a murder tip comes in and is ignored?

· That the Arizona Daily Star sports page (which I read every day and usually enjoy) will never, ever, ever again waste space by running a story (with multiple photos) about women who "dance" at professional sports events. These women have nothing to do with sports and very little to do with dance. The resurgence of the Phoenix Suns and their exciting, old-school style of up-tempo basketball is one of the great sports stories in years, and the team's play should be more than enough to entertain the people who are sitting inside America West Arena. But the dolts with the short attention spans who run things at AWA feel the need to fill every single second with sensory overload, even playing excruciating loud music while the game is going on.

· That the National Rifle Association will do what it can to see to it that criminals who use guns (like the idiot who shot three people at an eastside basketball gym last week) go away for a long time. This could take the form of helping to pay for the prosecution of gun criminals or maybe electing legislators who will fully fund such prosecutions. Of course, this would require the NRA to actually stand up for a gun law here and there, and I don't know if we can have that.

· That Barry Bonds comes back to the San Francisco Giants--without the juice--and finds that he can only hit the ball to the warning track. Oh, I'd love that.

· That the next person who uses the race card in lieu of an actual argument ends up in a Twilight Zone: The Movie episode like the one in which actor Vic Morrow died, one in which he gets a taste of real, ugly racism. Billy Hunter, an African American who heads the NBA Players' Union, has said that the suggestion by NBA Commissioner David Stern that players' agents have too much power is racist because (Hunter claims) it states that a black man can't be in charge without white guys telling him what to do.

Sadly, racism still exists in this country, but every time some knucklehead cries wolf like this, it makes it harder for someone with a real grievance to get noticed and helped. For decades, the NBA has been one of the least-racist organizations in America. To claim racism as the league spirals toward a work stoppage is weak, indeed.

· That the new season of Rescue Me with Denis Leary will be even half as good as last year.

· That the Tucson Sidewinders remain in first place and draw huge crowds this season. Owner Jay Zucker and his staff work hard to deliver a quality product, and they have to overcome the most dreadful location in all of Tucson. Here's hoping for good weather, too.

· That the next talking head/faux economist who goes on TV and says that the price of gasoline isn't really that bad when "adjusted for inflation" gets pinned under a barrel of imported oil. Either they're lying or they don't understand that the "inflation" that they're adjusting for was largely caused by the increase in the price of oil. That's like saying that the crime wasn't really a crime because it happened during the commission of a crime.

· That the headline writer at the Star gets a promotion. What used to be "illegal aliens" and then "undocumented workers" are now "entrants." They skipped right over "uninvited guests."

· And most of all, I really hope that the guy who keeps e-mailing me--to tell me that he can tell by the look of the underwear that that isn't really Saddam Hussein in those pictures--stops e-mailing me. Please! I keep having to replace the alarm bells in my Creepy-o-Meter.

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