I've been thinking that the traditional New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square ought to be replaced with a different ceremony. It would be a globe in a hand basket, with a big fire representing Hell at the bottom of the pole. The distance the ball drops and the speed with which it falls would represent the deterioration in global conditions during the preceding year. But now I realize that the Times Building (or former Times Building) just wouldn't be tall enough to measure 2004's descent. In fact, there probably isn't a tall enough building anywhere in the world. Besides, the speed of the plummet this year would be so great that there'd be no time of a countdown. The assembled throng would barely be able to shout out "ten" before they'd smell their hair singeing. Not a viable idea, I guess.
No potholes have opened in the street yet, but I expect them to begin appearing at any time. Well, I've always wanted a view of the river. Now I've got one.