Be happy! It's a brand-new year! Twenty-seven reasons to go on living:
1. The city's luring tourists with new television ads. The ads show a happy couple stripping seductively for each other. This is called "cutting edge." It's so cutting edge, it reminds everybody: "Oh, yeah, Baltimore and sex. Didn't Jay Leno just do a whole week of jokes on Baltimore and venereal disease?"
2. U.S. Sen. Trent Lott. Maybe his plan to put the Clinton impeachment quickly behind us will work. After all, the last time we had a scandal of such Sodom and Gomorrah proportions, wasn't it Lott's wife who got stiffed?
3. Peter Angelos' money. The Orioles owner will take home tens of millions for his role in the state's tobacco settlement. In the new baseball economy, this might be enough to buy a utility infielder.
4. The new Port Discovery children's museum. The city has its problems, but at least there's a brand-new way to produce the sound of children's laughter.
5. Bea Gaddy. She's tougher than anything fate throws her way.
6. The vehicular circle on York Road in Towson. Yes, there are actually people who get through this motorists' monstrosity with their cars, and their bodies, still in one piece.
7. Linda Tripp's eligible for a 4 percent raise from the Pentagon. She can buy some new tape-recording equipment and listen to the sound of public opinion excoriating her.
8. Dan Henson says he's not going to run for mayor of Baltimore. We shall all have to live with our little disappointments.
9. This could be the year the Ravens finally put a name on their ballpark. How about the Hypocrisy Bowl? How about Cleveland Browns Memorial Stadium?
10. One of these days, the last of the "Eileen Rehrmann for Governor" signs might actually be pulled down.
11. There are still buttons on your car radio for turning off AM talk radio.
12. The Cordish Co. To modern Baltimore, they represent everything progressive that the Rouse Co. did 20 years ago.
13. Our local TV stations are still brilliant enough to send their weather forecasters outside in the cold to tell us it's too cold for anybody to be standing outside in the cold.
14. You can still buy beautiful roses at the world's most reasonable prices at Cross Street Market.
15. You can still find a beautiful parking space at Towson Town Center, if you have all weekend to look.
16. You can still use your room as an income-tax write-off if you work in it. (Thus, there won't be many write-offs at City Hall.)
17. Alan Lee's Sunday night "Forgotten Oldies" program on WQSR-FM, which makes you remember why you fell in love with rock 'n' roll in the first place.
18. The jazz on WEAA-FM, which makes you wonder why more of American radio hasn't fallen in love with the great American art form.
19. You can feel safe at our suburban shopping malls. Crime's down at almost every one of them. (At Towson Town, it's down because none of the crooks can find a place to park.)
20. There'll be glorious bocci ball games on evenings at Little Italy, as soon as the weather turns warm again.
21. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra now has a "second home" at the new Strathmore Hall in Montgomery County. Now, if a few more folks around here could just discover the symphony's "first home."
22. One of these days, we'll keep the city's homicide total under 300 for a year -- and maybe we'll have more than 300 people still living in the city when that happens.
23. The Cleveland Indians will be coming here next summer, so we can finally admit to ourselves what we really feel about the Roberto Alomar spitting incident.
24. Bill Clinton will beat the rap in the U.S. Senate, but he'll give us 100 more maddening reasons to be embarrassed by his behavior before his term's up.
25. Some Republican right-wingers will be gracious about the Clinton vote, but they'll give us 100 more maddening reasons to be embarrassed by their behavior before their terms are up.
26. The new stadium-style seating has arrived at movie theaters in Owings Mills, Hunt Valley and White Marsh. Now, if Hollywood could just produce a few movies worth seeing in any kind of seating.
27. Delaware's making untold millions a year from Maryland slot machine bettors. OK, it's not exactly our reason for going on living, but at least somebody's making a killing off our money.
Pub Date: 1/05/99