Friday, December 24, 2010

2010: You Couldn’t Have Made Any Of It Up

January:  One of the deadliest earthquakes in recorded history levels Port Au Prince, Haiti; I would imagine things are pretty much back to normal down there by now.

February:  Olympic organizers plan well for a lack of snow in the Vancouver area by having it trucked in from 160 miles away; pleased with how well everything turned out, the IOC then awards the 2022 Winter Games to Houston, Texas... A magnitude 8.8 earthquake kills nearly 500 people in Chile; Americans complain that if you give one third-world country $100 million in earthquake relief, pretty soon all the other third-world countries want to have their own earthquakes.

March: For our anniversary, my wife and I decide to go on our third real “date” since we became parents five years ago; we end up napping through half of it.

April: An eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull (I think my spell check just exploded) spews ash all across Western Europe, grounding a lot of airplanes and prompting everyone to wonder why the Earth seems so darn mad at us lately... The Deepwater Horizon oil platform explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, BP assured the public that they’ll have everything tidied up right quick, nothing to see here.

May: President Obama nominates Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, prompting a whole lot of really creative and forward-thinking people to make fun of her appearance and question her sexuality... A horse named “Super Saver” wins the Kentucky Derby, no doubt starting a new tradition of thoroughbreds being named after corporate sponsors (my money is on Sears Auto Center in the next Preakness).

June: As it becomes apparent that no one knows how to stop the Gulf Oil Spill, which has the potential to become the worst environmental disaster in human history, with potentially apocalyptic ramifications for ecology, climate, and the economy, Americans decide to “do their part” by making sure their tires are properly inflated.

July:  The Obama Administration sues to block Arizona’s new immigration law, arguing that corrupt and inefficient border patrol is the federal government’s job, thank you very much.

August: Russia bans grain exports after the worst heat wave in 130 years destroys enough crops to cause a major food crisis; Fox News declares climate change a hoax... President Obama announces the end of combat operations in Iraq, though continued U.S. support and involvement will be necessary for a smooth transition; Americans decide to “do their part” by turning down thermostats one degree.

September:  Government lexicographers discover there is no word in the English language for the back of one’s knee... The Gulf Oil Spill Disaster finally ends as BP engineers manage to cap the well and declare it “effectively dead;” I’m sure things are pretty much back to normal down there by now.

October: The 33 miners trapped 2300 feet underground in Chile become national heroes after rescue workers pull them one by one through a precariously winding, narrow shaft to be greeted by their loving families and by President Sebastian Pinera, who instructed them to get the hell back to work... 200 million gallons of toxic sludge spill from an aluminum plant in Hungary; the plant manager who ignored warnings about the weakening reservoir is immediately chosen as the new director of FEMA.

November: A human stampede at a water festival in Cambodia kills 347 people, despite being dwarfed in size and intensity by the line outside Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

December: The world ends at midnight on the 31st.

Let’s hope I’m kidding.

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