Bay Reflections

 Vol. 11, No. 2

January 9-15, 2003

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Wish List 2003
by Pat Piper

Great thinkers have made a living telling us about this thing called the human condition. That is, why are we here and what are we supposed to do? You know, the little stuff. None of these folks ever spent time talking about why rockfish won’t bite on a blue parachute or why the biggest lottery in the country is won by a millionaire.

The Great Thinkers also tell us we can’t know/won’t know/shouldn’t know the answers because, well, because we’re human. In other words, it’s the human condition.

The thing of it is, each of us can make the world better if we stop with the me and start with the us idea.

On New Year’s Day, I sat down with a Number Two pencil and made a list of reasons why being human is fine — and we shouldn’t worry about why or what or who. It seems to me, just do the best you can, don’t hurt anyone — and don’t vote Republican. Okay, if you get two out of three, that ain’t bad.

1. In 2003, every speechwriter in America should make an effort to stop using two phrases: One is “Send A Message,” so common that it has become meaningless. Just think about all the people who are sending a message right now. Has Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden ever said “I got the message, thank you.”

The other oft-used phrase that makes my eyes glaze over (as well as my ears) is “At the end of the day,” to describe a variation of “in conclusion.” This is nonsensical because at the beginning of the next day, the same thing is done. Why do we have to keep starting over?

2. In 2003, telephone marketers won’t ask “How are you?” before starting their spiel. Instead, they’ll say “I don’t really care how you are doing, and I want you to buy what I’m selling.”

3. In 2003, people who know something about computers will be able to talk to people who know nothing about computers, and they’ll do it using the English language.

4. In 2003, local television news programs won’t waste our time with their endless Stories for Stupid People. When the temperature hits 97 degrees there won’t be a reporter saying “You need to stay in a cool place” or “You need to drink water.”

(Okay. I’ll wait until 2004 on this one.)

5. In 2003 we’ll stop using the word more when talking about the future and, instead, use the word enough.

6. In 2003, there won’t be any stories on Monday morning about how many people went to a particular movie during the weekend. The last time I looked, people went to a movie because of the movie, not the fact that 17 million saw it the first week it was out.

7. In 2003, network news will stop talking about “an update right now” when nothing has happened since an hour earlier when they did “an update right now.”

8. In 2003, Princess Diana’s butler and Princess Diana’s boyfriend will just shut up and go away.

9. In 2003, Pete Rose will say “I did it” and the Baseball Hall of Fame will say “Come on in.”

10. In 2003, the Chesapeake Bay will become cleaner as a result of people deciding to stop pointing fingers at the other guy (farmers, developers, industry, marinas) and, instead, pointing the finger at themselves and doing something to help out.

Scotsman and sailor Pat Piper has written for Bay Weekly since our third year, 1995. A former producer of The Larry King Show, he has written two books with King and is now an editor at BoatUS.

Copyright 2003
Bay Weekly