Best Wishes

A Few Hopes For The New Year.

By Tom Danehy

AFTER LOTS OF careful consideration and some surgically precise white-knuckle praying, I'm convinced 1998 will be a great year if:

The USA wins the World Cup soccer championship. This would be the ultimate in Yankee imperialism, whuppin' the world in a sport that every other country considers a religion and we here think of as something to occupy the leisure time of white people who aren't good enough to play baseball.

Danehy Just think, we go over there with a bunch of third-stringers and kick the crap out of Germany and Brazil, and all the rest of the satin shorts-wearin' doofuses. The streets of every country that ends with an "ia" will be littered with soccer dorks who climbed to the top of the nearest government office building and flung themselves into eternity with their last thought being, "We lost the World Cup to a country where most people only play soccer between the ages of five and seven."

And when it's over and the rest of the world is in mourning, sports fans here in America will be outraged that ESPN's Sportscenter runs the soccer story ahead of the nightly NFL preseason training camp updates.

Scientists discover that talking on a cell phone while operating a moving motor vehicle causes instant irreversible sterility. We don't want these people breeding. 'Course, if they're so damn busy they have to jeopardize other people's lives by doing these two things at the same time, they probably ain't got time to do the real bidness, anyway.

The Patent Office finally grants me my patent on the device which sends out a signal aimed at such offenders. The signal disrupts their phone call and emits a shrill sound which comes in three levels: migraine, ear-bleeding and lobotomy.

The device is about the size of a remote-control garage-door opener and fits nicely on one's car visor. You see some dickhead in a suit and a sports utility vehicle, swerving down the middle of the road, going either too fast or too slow, while talking on the phone to his accountant or his hair stylist or his mistress. You simply point the device at his head and press. His phone hangs up and the noise causes him to swerve back into the one lane where he was supposed to be and to either speed up or slow down, as the case may be, to the proper speed.

I explained all this to the Patent Office, but they gave me some nonsense about the FCC regulations and all, something about it being illegal to intercept and/or interfere with cell phone conversations, even though they're simply radio signals. I told them I read Tom Clancy novels. The government does that stuff all the time, and after all, ain't I the government? (I read The Turner Diaries, too. I saw an ad for it in a Soldier of Fortune magazine some guy left behind at the Laundromat. I thought it was that book William Styron wrote about the slave revolt leader.)

Sean Elliott ends up on team which appreciates him and what he can do for a title contender. Ever since Number One draft pick Tim Duncan showed up in San Antonio, Sean has been shoved aside like a brunette at a sorority function.

The Spurs started strong but now they've settled into mediocrity, which is better than last year's swoon, but not nearly enough to allow them to make a serious run at the Western Conference title. San Antonio's PR machine has been all over the Twin Towers concept of Duncan and former MVP David Robinson, which is ridiculous, since Robinson was probably the worst MVP pick of all time and Duncan is maybe the third-best rookie this year. (The late-starting Keith Van Horn and the super pick Brevin Knight are having much better years.)

Besides, the NBA gave Rookie of the Year last year to the all-skills-and-no-game Allen Iverson, so how important can that award be, anyway?

Vern Friedli gets his Amphi Panthers back to the state title game and wins one. Then he'll say, "Hey, this is fun, let's do it again and keep on doing it until I get to coach that Alexander Danehy kid for four years. Then I'll retire."

Weekly music editor Lisa Weeks finally prints my review of the Dusty Springfield boxed set. I ran out and got the set as soon as it was released. I listened to all 77 tracks in one sitting (which led to a serious bladder infection) and then wrote a completely objective manifesto on its transcendent greatness.

I told Lisa she could use it and she asked who it was about. When I said "Dusty Springfield," she looked at me like I had snot on my shirt, broccoli between my teeth and my zipper was down.

Since then, the boxed set has made the Year's Best lists of Rolling Stone, Time, and Spin magazines. But what do I know?

The Cats win another NCAA title. They've already achieved immortality, but two in a row would mean, oh, I don't know, super-duper immortality.

The odds are against any team repeating, no matter how good they are and how many starters are returning. It's just the nature of the NCAA Tournament. But the Cats have to be heartened by the fact that they're battle-tested, have tons of experience, don't rely on one person, and they won it all despite Michael Dickerson having had a horrible tournament last year.

Somebody does a fourple lutz in the Nagano Winter Olympics. I just hope it's not one of the toboggan people.

Oh, and maybe there can be an ice dancing team that does something really outrageous that pisses off the judges, but is so spectacular the judges have to give them first place, anyway. I hate that a sport that cool is judged by people that Prussian.

Have a Happy New Year. Don't drink and drive. Hell, don't drink. And gun owners, don't fire off the arsenal at midnight. It's a law of physics that bullets have to come down, and it's an unwritten law that they never seem to come down on the morons who fired them up in the first place. TW

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