L. Neil Smith's
Number 349, January 8, 2006

Two Thousand Six. Golly!

2005: The Year In Headlines
by Jonathan David Morris

Special to TLE

Most journalists like ending the year on a down note with "factual" retrospectives. As far as I'm concerned, those journalists are whores. I'm the only one with the guts to compile the year's best stories with a reckless disregard for accuracy.

Just keep reading. You can thank me later.

10. The Asian tsunami steals Christmas.

In January, the Asian tsunami of December '04 files a grievance with weekly columnist Jonathan David Morris for not being included on his list of 2004's top stories. JDM explains that the tsunami happened so late in the year that his year-in-review column had already been written and turned in. "I swallowed whole islands and killed hundreds of thousands of people... on Christmas!" complains the tsunami. "Ask anyone. I was the No. 1 story of 2004." To compromise, JDM agrees to include the tsunami as one 2005's top stories. However, it now has to settle for being No. 10.

9. The Supreme Court says nope to dope.

Realizing their original plan of going door-to-door to say "Up yours" to every American would be too time-consuming, the Supreme Court decides to bolster eminent domain and stop cancer patients from smoking pot instead. Shortly after writing the 6-3 opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens wakes up and realizes what happened. "Wait a second," he says, looking groggily at his notes. "We banned medicinal pot? It says here 'medicinal poop.' Who wrote 'poop' in my notebook? This isn't very mature." The Supreme Court then agrees, 9-0, to ban the nickname SCOTUS. From now on, they will be known as C-Shizzle.

8. Americans continue not to care about Plamegate.

In one of the biggest stories of the year, Americans fail to care about one of the biggest stories of the year: the so-called Plamegate scandal. Supposedly, this story has something to do with some Washington hack telling some nitwit reporter about some other hack's wife's secret identity. No one's really sure, though, because no one's paying attention. In other news, Terrell Owens gets cut by the Eagles after not getting tired in the Super Bowl.

7. Washington solves baseball's steroid problem.

In March, Congress asks Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, and Rafael Palmeiro to testify about the use of steroids in Major League Baseball. In a surprising turn of events, the players tear off their faces to reveal they are congressmen, and the congressmen tear off their faces to reveal they are players. Mark McGwire, who is now Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Ca.), points to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Ca.), who is now Mark McGwire, and says: "Guards! After them!" Jose Canseco rips off his face to reveal he is still Jose Canseco. Then he pees in a corner and kisses his bicep. The White Sox go on to win the World Series.

6. Anakin Skywalker is badly disfigured in a river of lava, and the transformation to Darth Vader is complete.

In May, the third and final Star_Wars prequel hits theaters, wows fans, and answers unanswered questions. When the credits roll, however, thousands of people suddenly realize they're homeless -- the result of having lived on the sidewalk outside a theater since before the first prequel back in 1999. Unsure what to do, they go to the diner for gravy fries.

5. Something bad apparently happens in London.

Panic tears through the heart of England on July 7 when bombs go off on three London subways and a bus. Americans vow to stand with the British in the face of undue terror, pledging they'll "never forget the events of 7/7." Confusion quickly sets in, however, when Americans realize July 7 is called 7 July on the other side of the pond. Refusing to call 7/7 by its politically correct name, 7/7, Americans rescind their pledge to never forget it. When asked a month later, '80s icon Steve Guttenberg admits, "I don't remember Police Academy 7. Was I in that one?"

4. Terri Schiavo rests in peace.

After months of heated exchanges around the country and right outside her Florida hospice, brain-damaged 41-year-old Terri Schiavo passes away in late March, two weeks after her husband removes her feeding tube. The case stirs intense debate over the right-to-live and/or die amongst thousands of people who've never actually met her. Later that weekend, a great man, Pope John Paul II, passes away as well. His death ends the Terri Schiavo news cycle and spares America much agony. It's widely agreed that this is the one miracle he needs to qualify for sainthood.

3. Live 8 gives AIDS to Africans. Oops, I'm sorry. Gives aid to Africans. Aid. Not AIDS.

In an unprecedented effort to wipe the scourge of AIDS off the continent of Africa, famous recording artists perform free concerts around the world in July. The event is dubbed Live 8, and its goal is to "raise awareness" of the African AIDS situation. Later that evening, Coldplay's Chris Martin sets off a fire alarm by rubbing his temples and concentrating.

2. Cindy Sheehan holds an anti-war séance to contact dead soldiers outside the president's ranch.

In June, Vice President Dick Cheney proudly informs us that the Iraqi insurgency is in its "last throes." This comes as news to Iraqi insurgents, but they're happy to hear it, because they're as tired of fighting as we are. To celebrate, they go on conducting attacks and suicide bombings. Vice President Cheney later remarks: "To be honest, I'm not even sure what 'last throes' means. I use a lot of words I don't understand. Like 'understand,' for example. What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

1. George Bush unleashes the forces of nature on New Orleans.

With the government having failed in its previous efforts to wipe out black communities with AIDS, crack, and MC Hammer, President Bush finally takes matters into his own hands in August when he puts on his cowboy hat and hops on a cloud named Katrina to ride to New Orleans and dump buckets of water. "Everyone knows brown people can't swim," Bush later says at a press conference. When told that African-Americans are usually called "black," the president responds: "That doesn't make sense. Most of the ones I've seen have been brown." After thinking it over for a couple of days, blacks decide not to get angry about his statements, because, honestly, they never liked the guy anyway. A few months later, with the NSA watching, George Bush strangles the Constitution with his own bare hands.

Jonathan David Morris writes a weekly column for The Aquarian and other publications. He can be reached at jdm@readjdm.com.


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