Well, I guess since this is the last time I'll be writing this in 2001, some sort of year in review/wrap-up kind of thing is in order. the only problem with that is that I can't remember anything that happened this year. Part of that is senility, part is not wanting to remember anything, and part is that right now I have a fever that is rendering me unable to remember my own phone number without a lot of concentration. So delirious was I last night that I was thrilled to see a news bite which reported that expensive clothing stores were so hard up for business that they were hanging out "Winona Ryder is Welcome Here" signs,only to finally figure out that I was actually watching Jay Leno. Fortunately, at one point I couldn't even remember my own age. So as for looking back and remembering an entire year,it ain't happening. Sure, I remember the events of September 11th and all of the things that ensued, but I will leave that to the thousands of other newspaper columnists who will likely have much more to go on and on about regarding that topic. Although I doubt any of them will point out that we have basically ravaged a country where all of the men wear dresses. It seems that my favorite person in Hollywood, Robert Downey Jr., got into some trouble but made some kind of comeback and then got in trouble again and then made some sort of comeback. Jennifer Lopez probably did something, but I still don't know who she is or what she does. Ditto for Penelope Cruz, the Spice Girls (probably the Old Spice Girls), and Harry Potter. My cat stared at me a lot. There was some kind of presidential election that somehow put in office a man with very big ears who didn't really win the majority of the votes, and now we have an Alfred E. Newman look-alike running the country. Although, giuven the anthrax scare, it may be good that he at least has plenty of experience with white powder. Tamara Mitchell-Ford, wife of state Senator John Ford, was not hired to handle public relations for MADD or the Jaguar company.) I was in Jackson, Tennessee, not long ago and saw a very decorated gift-shop window with lots of holly and berries and wreaths and other holiday things,including a beautifully appointed Christmas tree, in the center of which was an "Osama bin Laden: Wanted Dead or Alive" poster. And speaking of Christmas, I thought I would leave you this week with a very touching story a friend related to me. It sums up the goodness of the holiday season much better than anything I've heard, so here goes: Late last week,I was rusnhing around trying to get some last-minute shopping done. I was stressed out and not thinkng very fondly of the Christmas season right then. It was dark, cold, and wet in the parking lot as I was loading my car up with gifts that I felt obligated to buy;I noticed that I was missing a receipt that I might need later. So, mumbling under my breath, I retraced my steps to the mall entrance. As I was searching the wet pavement for the lost receipt,I heard a quiet sobbing. The crying was coming from a poorly dressed boy of about 12 years old. He was short and thin. Oddly enough, he was holding a hundred-dollar bill in his hand. Thinking that he had gotten separated from his parents,I asked him what was wrong. He said that he came from a large family. His father had died when he was 9 years old. His mother was poorly educated nad worked two full-time jobs. She made very ltitle to support her large family. Nevertheless, she had managed to save $200 to buy her children Christmas presents. The young boy ahd been dropped off on the way to her second job. He was to use the money to buy presents for all his siblings and save just enough to take the bus home. He had not even entered the mall when an older boy grabbed one of the hundred-dollar bills and disaoppeared into the night. "Why didn't you scream for help?" I asked. The boy said, "I did." "And nobody came to help you?" I wondered. The boy stared at the sidewalk and sadly shook his head. "How loud did you scream?" I inquired. The soft-spoken boy looked up and meekly whispered, "Help me!" I realized that absolutely no one could have heard that poor boy cry for help. So I grabbed his other hundred and ran to my car. And there you have it. Here's a look at some of what's going on around town this week. Tonight [editor's note, Thursday, December 27], there's a Christmas party with FreeWorld at the Lounge. And that seems to be about it.