There are many indicators for the state of the economy.
An old standby is the Overeducated Cabbie Index. The Squeegee Man Apparition Index is another good one. There’s also the Speed at Which Contractors Return Calls Index: within 24 hours, you’re in a recession; if they call you without prompting, that’s a depression.
But perhaps the most reliable is the Hot Waitress index. The hotter the wait staff, the worse the economy. When things are going well, pretty people find work. When they’re not, they wait tables.
The other night, I had a waitress who looked like Winona Ryder in her Heathers heyday. Winona Jr. was lovely, and she didn’t spill a thing on me. But I would’ve been far happier if she’d been a bald dude with a nose ring.