Most columnists use the year's last column to summarize the past year. Heck, any idiot can do that, and I , of course, am not just any idiot. So, therefore, here is the news in brief from NEXT year:
January 2 --President Clinton gives in to the demands of Republicans and admits that he committed perjury before the grand jury. He further admits to illegally profiting from Whitewater and to fondling Kathleen Willey. Clinton then confesses to several unsolved murders in both Washington, DC and Arkansas; the assassination of John F. Kennedy; and the Lindbergh kidnapping. After an emotional press conference, Clinton shaves his head, dresses himself in sackcloth, sits in a pile of ashes on the White House lawn, and flogs himself with a cat o'nine tails, all the while chanting "mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa." Congressman Tom Delay responds by asking "When is Bill Clinton going to come clean with the American people?" and demands that the President resign.
February 1 --A deranged street person announces that he has seen Bill and Hillary Clinton dancing with the Devil at the edge of the Enchanted Forest. House Republicans immediately demand that Janet Reno appoint a Special Prosecutor. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott reads a prepared statement saying that "the fact that the mentally ill are saying Bill Clinton consorts with Satan just goes to show how low this President has sunk in the eyes of the American people. Bill Clinton should resign." The Prince of Darkness cannot be reached for comment, but the infernal press office refers all questions to his attorneys, F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie Cochran.
March 20 -- Earth's first contact with an alien civilization occurs when
five-eyed, four-armed hairy purple creatures from the planet Whambo sue the
"What the hey," the Whambonian ambassador is quoted as saying. "Everyone else is doing it."
April 22 -- A group of computer experts announce that the Internet does not actually exist. "We made the whole thing up," says red-faced uber-geek Bill Gates. "We were just making a lot of phone calls, faxing dirty pictures to each other, and saying it was e-mail." Despite the lack of an Internet, technology stocks such as America Online and Amazon.com immediately double in value.
May 16th --President Clinton orders American forces into action to repel Fidel Castro's surprise invasion of south Florida. Senate Republicans immediately condemn the use of military force as "a thinly veiled attempt to distract attention from the President's Senate trial."
May 17th --President Clinton announces that he will not order airstrikes on Iraq as punishment for Saddam Hussein's referring to Al Gore as a "falafel-head." Senate Republicans immediately condemn the failure to use military force as "the type of cowardice we can expect from this gutless draft-dodger."
July 30th --Opening statements conclude in Bill Clinton's Senate trial.
August 7th -- Following his stunning acquittal of first degree murder in the videotaped death of a termnally ill man , Dr. Jack Kevorkian shoots four jurors to death on the steps of the courthouse, then dances on the bodies, shouting "NOW are you going to put me in jail!? NOW?! My GOD, what do you people NEED!?" Congressman Henry Hyde issues a statement that "the fact that Jack Kevorkian has felt free to commit cold-blooded murder like this is just one more reason why Bill Clinton should...ah, what's the use."
September 15th -- Following the success of director Gus Van Sant's re-make of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," which duplicated the original film line-for-line and shot-for-shot, Steven Spielberg releases his shot-for-shot remake of "Gone With the Wind." Film critics immediately observe that the film not only uses the same dialogue, color film stock, and shot selection of the original film, it also stars Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, and Leslie Howard, all of whom have been dead for years. Despite suspicion that the "re-make" is actually the original film released with Spielberg's name on it, the film is nominated for a Golden Globe award.
December 1st -- Bill Clinton's Senate trial is derailed when every Senator who has ever had an extramarital affair resigns, leaving only Al Gore to turn out the lights and lock up.
And so, in the immortal words of poet Ogden Nash, " Duck! Here comes another year!"
© 1998 Jerry D. Rhoades, Jr.