Longing to forget about that wretched boyfriend who was estranged from the words "romance" and "good grooming"? Put a beloved sports team's lousy year behind you? Vanquish those credit-card bills with their nasty 29% interest charges?

New Yorkers got that chance at the third annual Good Riddance Day in Times Square Monday, where out-with-the-old documents and newspapers hit the shredding bins of history. That's right, Big Apple's denizens (and not a few out-of-towners) with an eye toward a better year fed their tax documents, disappointing report cards and last year's New Year's resolutions to a shredder and dumpster in Broadway Plaza. Some disgruntled year-enders used a sledgehammer to pulverize CDs with love songs they'd rather forget. The tool was provided by the event's co-sponsors, Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment.

For those who failed to bring written versions of food they're swearing off of and political columnists they never want to read again, stationery was available to jot notes about them. Next stop: oblivion.

A 15-year-old from Hartford, Conn., upset with the Giants' lousy end to the football season, shredded a page from the New York Daily News describing the sport franchise's inglorious season, according to that paper's story describing the day's events. A Bronx resident clutching written reminders of personality traits she wanted to shed, relegated to history the words "procrastination," "resentment" and "fear."

A participant named Judy eagerly unloaded financial documents, including her lease agreement. "The crunching sound is satisfying," she said of the shredder.

Tim Perkins, director of the Times Square Alliance, says the event is a healthy way to discard the unwanted written baggage, a cleansing activity.

So, as you get ready to pour the Champagne and toast the beginning of the second decade of this millenium, remember that those ambitious and well-meaning resolutions for the 2010 may turn into a different kind of "toast" next December.


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