At this time of year, life is sliced into micron-thin segments, and on each of them is printed a top 10 list. For example, in next weeks issue, Travel Weekly will review the top 10 travel industry stories of 2005. You can be sure top 10 lists are appearing in business publications serving every industry imaginable.

The one thing all these lists have in common is that they trigger a sense of nostalgia for the immediate past. But I believe Ive come up with an annual list that will trigger no recollections and spur no reflection on recent events.

Below is my list of the top 10 stories that did not appear in the pages of Travel Weekly. They may not have appeared anywhere. But at some point in 2005, a communications specialist at a public relations firm sat, with serious intent, at his or her keyboard to write the following press releases. As I clear out my inbox for the last time in 2005, I dedicate this column to them.

10. Ariana Afghan new client of Aviarep. This falls into a category of news that may be of interest to someone, somewhere, but not likely to the readers of Travel Weekly. The release reveals that the national airline of Afghanistan has selected a new general sales agent for, among other countries, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

9. Smuckers® Uncrustables®. First of all, Im disinclined to write about anything if it means I have to look up how to produce the registered trademark symbol. And second, Id never promote a line of thaw-and-serve, crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I believe our sophisticated readership likes the crust.

8. Randy Daniels for governor of N.Y. Arnie, thank you again for all your support over the years, this begins. The writer is misguided not only in assuming that I would support Daniels editorially, but that he had thanked me once before.

7. World Beard and Moustache Championships coming to Anchorage in 2009. The press release details how Liechtenstein, a competitor to host the championship, was so awed by the Anchorage presentation that it withdrew. Im not rejecting it out of hand, but theres a timing issue here. Try me again in 2008.

6. Train lovers show love with llama. I first thought it was spam from a bestiality porn site, but its actually a voluntourism effort by Heifer International to get travelers who are riding the rails to Machu Picchu to donate llamas to needy Peruvian families. Upon reflection, this does not belong on the list, but I cant take it off because I need 10 items.

5. Regions largest dreidl in Doylestown! All invited to dedication! But is it commissionable?

4. Dental tourism Turkey for Arnie Weisman. This confused me on several levels. First, it arrived on Nov. 22, two days before Thanksgiving. Second, it was personalized, sort of. Third, this was the opening sentence: First of all good days from Turkey, we as Im-ca Travel Agency was being in London WTM 2005, after turn our home we thought we could contact with you for wants to getting your kind informations of UK travel journal and publishments we wants to learn costs of advertising in these magazine, may be you can share us your kind opinions about Health Tourism.

3. New! Sunscreen travel packets. Sunscreen, check! Titanium dioxide, check! Green tea to reduce DNA damage to exposed skin, check! Blend of old and new world herbs to soothe the skin, check! I think they lost me at Titanium dioxide, check!

2. Rhymes with Vallarta? This is an announcement for a contest asking entrants to submit a limerick, haiku or other poem that includes a word that rhymes with Puerto Vallarta. Examples include poems whose lines end with start-a and depart-a.

Further instructions: Entries can be about any Puerto Vallarta subject: fishing, diving, parasailing, a dining experience ... One can only hope that an entrant doesnt write about a dining experience that begins with a big plate of frijoles.

1. Avoid sitting next to a turkey this Thanksgiving when flying. This release promotes a site to help air passengers minimize chances they will sit next to the obviously ADHD kids with the bored looking mom! Or worse yet, Randy Daniels eating Smuckers® Uncrustables®, the faint odor of titanium dioxide wafting from his enormous mustache ...


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