I see many signs that the economy is improving. For example:

The guy who was stealing all the newspapers out of the box at Harvard and Beloit stopped doing it.

A dropped dime remained on the floor of Ed’s Way for a good ten minutes.

Restaurant business is up, with Parky’s now accepting reservations.

Many senior citizens are cutting back to two minimum-wage jobs.

Waste-haulers report residents have resumed throwing away perfectly-good food, not to mention several empty champagne bottles.

Brighter job outlook means fewer teens will be holding down the couch springs this summer.

New “Beyond the Dollar Menu Diet” catching on with health-conscious Americans.

Thanks to reduced ticket prices, a White Sox fan no longer has to watch baseball sober.

More local residents well-off enough to waste rent money playing video poker.

Extended families living together in the same house is going back out-of-style.

Automakers report increased use of tires with treads.

Fewer consumers are buying groceries on the lay-away plan.

Government reports rise in personal savings as consumers are no longer emptying their change cups to buy gas.

Many 30-year-olds considering quitting school to test the job market.

Small weddings remain in vogue but more couples splurging for cake.

English major hired for job that requires English.

Hamburger Helper stock drops for third straight quarter.

Athena’s Silverland Desserts is outgrowing its Forest Park location, a sure sign that Americans refuse to cut back on brownies.

Yard sale signs are surging once again in Forest Park.

Thanks to confusing wording of referendum (brings to mind that old song “Yes We Have No Bananas”) video poker may also be lifting the local economy.

New streetlights saving money for village and residents who prefer to read outdoors.

Recovery of housing market is being driven by a surge in rentals, as consumers are no longer familiar with terms like “mortgage” “equity” and “nest egg.”

Newspaper revenues are – hey what’s going on out there – are people passing around copies of the “Review”?

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.