Thirteen things I would like to see happen in '13:
1. I'll get the perverse one out of the way first. I'd like Bill Maher and Ann Coulter to be on some debate panel and suddenly get the warm, trembling thighs for each other, like Frasier and Lilith did on Cheers. They could become the Bizarro version of Mary Matalin and James Carville. If you could harness the self-loathing, you could power an entire city for a year.
2. Just like every year, I'd love for the University of Arizona football team to go to the Rose Bowl. Fortunately for me, when I work out really hard in my superhot garage in mid-August, I'm able to slide into alternate universes. Anyway, in SidewaysWorld, the UA did not lose 10-9 to Oregon in 1994. And then there was the perfect season in 1998, and one of my favorites was the time that the UA students had enough collective common sense not to spill out of the stands before the end of the game in that Thursday night classic a few years back against Oregon.
However, not everybody can work out really hard in my garage in mid-August, so I'd like Arizona to go to the Rose Bowl in this world.
3. I really, really hope that Iron Man 3 doesn't suck. The original in the series is my favorite comic book movie ever, but the second one sucked a moving trailer hitch.
4. I think it would be great if somebody were to stumble across some authentic evidence that President Barack Obama was NOT born in the United States and then have nobody believe it. That would be hilarious.
5. Along those lines, how 'bout if we go an entire year without somebody from Arizona embarrassing all the rest of us on the national stage? Like maybe sheriffs could just do their damn jobs and our governor could stick her finger up her nose.
6. I'd like Adele to record 24.
7. Perhaps Steve Farley can find enough votes in the state Legislature to get a law against texting while driving passed. Currently, 39 states and the District of Columbia have total bans against the insanely selfish and dangerous practice and five other states have at least partial bans. That leaves Arizona as one of only six states still stuck in the "Are You Freakin' Kidding Me?!" category.
They had a thing on the Today show the other day that showed that even in those states that have the bans, the violations are all misdemeanors, even when they lead to a death. One teenage girl was texting and blew through a crosswalk, hitting a mother and child. The 2-year-old kid died and the driver got—are you ready?—five days in jail. Another teen girl killed a husband and father who was out for his daily run; she got 45 days in jail. A third caused a multiple-car pileup that resulted in a death and she got probation.
A mother who was interviewed said, "What if it was your (child) who made one mistake? Would you want that to ruin their entire life?"
If I had even the slightest suspicion that my kids were texting while driving, they would either not have a cellphone or I would install that new app that prevents a phone from being used in a moving car (except to call 911). That's called taking responsibility.
It took America decades, during which hundreds of thousands were slaughtered on the highways, before we started treating drunk driving as the wanton felonious behavior that it is. Let's not wait even one more year for this, and make the penalties harsh. And for all you blockheads who would jump to co-sponsor a bill to allow grenade launchers to be taken into churches but then turn around and vote against a texting-while-driving bill, claiming that there are too many laws on the books, please refer to No. 5 in this column.
8. Hey, maybe, just for fun, they could legalize marijuana nationally and change the national motto from "E Pluribus Unum" to "Oh wow, man!"
9. Have the president tell the Republicans to bite him on the debt-limit thing. We'll see just how reckless and politically suicidal the hard-liners are. If they're crazy enough to have the nation default on its debts just to score a couple points with the nut-bird crowd, an absolute Everest of dookie will roll down upon them.
10. Wouldn't it be great if the new Star Trek movie would spark a renewed interest in space exploration so that America could again become a nation of people who dream and strive and reach?
11. I'd like Congress to make a serious run at immigration reform this year. There's no way they'll be able to do it next year, what with the seemingly endless line of Tea Party loons ready to challenge sitting Republicans in primary races.
12. Maybe the United States can go an entire day without anyone dying from gun violence. And then the NRA can take credit for it.
13. I would really like to stop procrastinating. I mean, this column should have come out the first week of January. Come to think of it, this item should have been at the top of the list ...