In January 2018, after a two week bout of bronchitis in December 2017, I made a New Year’s resolution to not be sick this year. Not even once.
And I wasn’t, until two weeks before the end of the year. I suspect a plot by doctors.
Here we are at the end of 2018, so let’s begin our review of the past 12 months. The year has opened and closed with a government shutdown. Isn’t that interesting?
The year 2018 has been designated the Third International Year of the Reef, by the Coral Reef Initiative. Jeff Sessions, United States Attorney General, thinks they mean “reefer” and demands that all coral be confiscated and coral farms be shut down. He does not know what “initiative” means, but tries to find a reason to get rid of that too, on the grounds of “moral turpitude.” Coral sounds to him like the name of a stripper he remembers fondly from a trip he took to Houston one year and doesn’t want it to get back to his wife.
Jan 20-22: The United States shuts down the government as a result of a dispute of extensions granted to kids covered by DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The shutdown was further caused by a dispute over whether funding should be allocated for the US-Mexico border wall as promised by Mr. Trump during his campaign.
In an attempt to get the Big People to stop quarreling, DACA children build a wall on the US/Mexican border with their Legos. Mr. Trump is impressed and asks if he can play, too. The DACA kids say “No,” take their Legos and leave. Thousands of Weeble Wobbles pour over the border.
The government conveniently shuts down from Saturday night to Monday, so no one is affected by it except one guy in Arizona who was leading a group of tourists on burros to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
They were on their way out when the burros stopped dead at 5pm sharp and refused to go any further. The tourists walk the rest of the way. The burros sit down and play with Legos which mysteriously sprinkle the trail.
Jan 2: WHO, World Health Organization, reveals it will classify gaming addiction as a mental health condition in its next Classification of Diseases.
No one realizes how close gambling came to not being included in the classification, but a lucky scientist at WHO won the office pool as to which new ones would be included and used his winnings to play in the World Poker Tournament.
Jan 3: A security expert reveals two security flaws, Meltdown and Spectre, which affect most microprocessors. James Bond thinks these are two global crime organizations and destroys all computers. The Queen is not amused.
James Bond and an obsession with seeing super villains everywhere is included in the WHO’s Classification of Diseases.
Jan 3: A previously unknown ancient Beringians group of people is unearthed in Alaska, and are the earliest known Native Americans at 11,500 years old. Additionally, the first bionic hand with a sense of touch for use outside a lab is unveiled in Rome. The hand makes dramatic gestures every time someone speaks Italian.
The defrosted Beringians use the bionic hand to play the slots in a nearby casino. The WHO asks the federal government to give the Beringians free psychological counseling, meds, and time off from work, as they have a “mental health condition.” They also seize all their winnings. The bionic hand goes on to win the World Poker Tournament.
Jan 7: It snows in the Sahara and the world is finally able to find out if a snowball DOES stand a chance in hell.
Jan 11: Mr. Trump calls African countries “shitholes.” The bionic hand flips him off and starts paddling toward Africa for a visit. Now we will find out what is the sound of one hand paddling.
Jan 3: Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by Michael Wolff, is published. After reading it, WHO includes Mr. Trump in its new Classification of Diseases.
Jan 18: The first drone rescue of swimmers by lifeguards in New South Wales, Australia, takes place, leading to worldwide protests over the drones’ skimpy swimsuits. Jeff Bezos demands to know why the swimmers’ Amazon purchases were not included in their rescue.
Jan 23: Twelve camels are disqualified from the King Abdulaziz Camel Beauty Contest in Saudi Arabia after it was discovered their owners used Botox on the camels’ lips. It is discovered that the camels also had face lifts, butt enhancements, and hump implants. One camel’s humps were so big, Mr. Trump offered to buy it and use it as a border wall.
Jan 23: Chinese researchers report they have cloned two monkeys using the same technology as Dolly the Sheep. Dolly the Sheep demands reparations and uses the money to build a theme park. The monkeys jump on her back and ride off, taking the camels with them, citing an attraction to big, shapely lips. The Beringians join them and they all go to a nearby casino for a nosh.
Jan 23: The Trump Administration formally suspends the Clean Water Act. The governor of Flint, Michigan, cracks open a bottle of Scotch to celebrate, the camels decide to stock up on beer to fill their humps, and the monkeys riding Dolly the Sheep keep going in the direction of a different planet where they hope to find signs of intelligent life.
Jan 31: A total lunar eclipse takes place in January and the Moon appears as supermoon.
It also appears to be wearing a cape and a tight fitting shirt emblazoned with the initials SM. No one knows what this means and people suspect that sadomasochists have landed on the surface of earth’s faithful lunar companion. The Man in the Moon’s expression is no longer a smile. He now looks surprised when he isn’t looking pained.
It is the first blue moon eclipse since 1983 and is referred to as the Super Blue Blood Moon. People everywhere proclaim that this is a great name for a rock group.
Feb 1: Archaeologists announce the discovery of thousands of undetected structures in Mayan lowland civilization in Guatemala, suggesting a population of 10 million. Politicians everywhere immediately make their way down there to register millions of nonexistent people as voters.
Feb 7: DNA analysis of Chedder Man, UK’s oldest complete skeleton, shows he had dark skin and blue eyes. This discovery proves once and for all that cheese really is good for strong bones. Everyone breaks out the crackers and wine.
Feb 7: All citrus fruit can be traced to the southeast foothills of the Himalayas, according to a DNA study published in Nature. Florida and California citrus farmers demand another study. Before they can organize a protest though, they all catch a cold.
Feb 8: Twitter reports its first quarterly profit as a public company and publicly thanks Mr. Trump, after which it donates a portion of the profits to Mr. Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.
Feb 15: First known case of a transgender woman breastfeeding reported in Transgender Health Journal in the US. Fortunately, it did not happen in North Carolina, otherwise she would not have had a restroom in which to breastfeed.
Feb 23: Study suggests the earliest European Palaeolithic artwork in Spain was made by Neanderthals and not humans in Science Journal. Humans everywhere take to the streets and protest, after which they open a museum with nothing but refrigerators covered in kids’ artwork.
Feb 25: China briefly bans the letter ‘N’ as part of widespread censorship efforts, but soon realizes everyone will thereafter mistake the country for a Chia pet.
Mar 1: Vladimir Putin in his annual state address claims Russia has an “invincible” intercontinental cruise missile, causing Mr. Trump to post a likeness of his invincible intercontinental cruise missile, which is much biglier.
Mar 6: World’s oldest message in a bottle found in Western Australia, thrown from German ship Paula 132 years ago (12 June 1886). The note simply reads: Please invent the internet so I don’t have to wait so long for a response.
Mar 6: American WWII aircraft carrier USS Lexington rediscovered in Australia’s Coral Sea, lost during 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea. Jeff Sessions demands to know if it was filled with weed.
Mar 6: British health officials tell the country it’s time “to get on a diet” and urge manufacturers to reduce calories in foods. More Brits than ever are exiting the country via that tunnel to Switzerland or wherever, all of them eating chocolate with the original calories.
Mar 10: Two girls aged 8 and 6 become the first female weightlifters to appear on Iranian television after a protest. American officials try to explain that weightlifting is normally an adult sport and that contestants should be able to lift more than than a cat.
Mar 13: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is fired via a tweet from President Donald Trump, effectively replacing the Post It Note as the go to way to break up with someone.
Mar 14: NASA study about twins finds that Scott Kelly is no longer identical to his twin brother after one year in space. Seven percent of his genes are altered. He and his brother can no longer switch places in class and play tricks on people.
Mar 21: China announces greater controls over the media, including merging state-run radio and television broadcasters into a single conglomerate called Voice of China, prompting one Chinese toy manufacturer to invent a talking planter called the Voice of Chia.
Mar 26: E-commerce Alibaba Group, and US car maker, Ford, unveil a car vending machine 5 stories high in Guangzhou, China. No sales people will be needed, but dollar bills will be spit back out every time you try to insert 30,000 of them in the pay slot. Ford recommends that buyers choose a car from the lower levels, because any higher, the car will be destroyed when it drops into the tray.
April 9: US Senator Tammy Duckworth becomes the first senator to give birth while in office. She names the baby girl, Filla Buster, and asks that her office be thoroughly cleaned after the blessed event is over.
April 19: Ten days later, Senator Tammy Duckworth is the first parent to bring a baby into the US Senate a day after the Senate votes to allow babies on the chamber’s floor. The honorable senators protest when Ms. Duckworth begins breastfeeding on the Senate floor.
Apr 29: Sweden’s official Twitter account confirms Swedish meatballs actually originated in Turkey. Sweden makes a public apology for their cultural appropriation of Turkish meatballs. They go on to admit that furniture was invented elsewhere also. Ikea stores everywhere are forced to close. China cabinets are held for suspicion as “fake Swedish furniture.”
Apr 30: World’s oldest known spider, a female trapdoor, age 43, dies after being killed by a wasp sting in Western Australia. Around our house, a spider never makes it much past its three day birthday.
May 1: Chinese authorities label British cartoon Peppa Pig subversive and it is removed from the Douyin video website. Peppa Pig doesn’t even have an “N” in it. Soon after this pronouncement, Peppa is sliced up for baco.
May 5: Electric cigarette explodes killing a man in St. Petersburg, Florida, the first death from a vaping product. The AMA and the cancer societies are at a loss as to how to use this in their anti-smoking campaigns. Tobacco companies are suspected to be behind the exploding cigarette.
May 9: India’s Supreme Court criticizes the country’s archaeological conservation body for failing to protect the Taj Mahal from discoloration and green slime. The conservationists respond that according to The Antique Roadshow, removing green slime reduces the value of old objects.
May 13: China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier begins sea trials in Dalian, China, but no one reports for duty due to Chia banning the letter N and making the city impossible to find.
May 14: Successful memory transfer in snails achieved by scientists from University of California as published in the journal eNeuro. This sounds more awesome than it is, because no one knows what a snail remembers. One snail’s memory is pretty much like any other snail’s memory. Asphalt, grass, dirt. Asphalt, grass, dirt, some water. That’s about it. Everything goes by very slowly. Can one of those snails tell me where I put my car keys?
June 4: Former US President Bill Clinton and James Patterson publish a thriller novel together The President is Missing. Some people believe this is really a plan to get rid of the current president.
June 4: Mr. Trump tweets “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself.” Many people suspect this tweet is in response to the above mentioned book. What he meant to say was, “I have the right to find myself after I disappear.”
June 5: Miss America pageant announces an end to its swimsuit competition. This will usher in a new era of peeking through peep holes in doors trying to get a glimpse of women’s lingerie.
June 6: Special pedestrian lane is introduced just for “phubbers,” who are slow-walking smartphone users in Xi’an, China. Chia felt the need to add this lane to make up for the lack of the letter “N” in Chiese society.
June 13: Raccoon climbs 23 story office building in St Paul, Minnesota, becoming an internet sensation. He goes on to develop his own YouTube channel and makes millions climbing office buildings all over the world. He also accepts the part of James Bond after Daniel Craig retires.
June 20: Algeria turns off its internet to stop students cheating during exams. Unfortunately, they didn’t take away their chewing gum wrappers which had all the answers written on them.
June 24: Women drive for the first time in Saudi Arabia after the ban is lifted. All Saudi women immediately pack up their cars with their kids and peanut butter sandwiches and head for another country.
July 9: Bright pink is the world’s oldest biological color according to scientists, and is produced by tiny cyanobacteria in 1.1bn-year-old marine shale rock from Taoudeni basin, Mauritania. Little girls everywhere stuff their Hello Kitty backpacks with their toys and leave for Mauritania as it is now their “spiritual home.”
July 12: The world’s longest fingernails are cut off. Shridhar Chillal’s nails measured 909.6cm after growing for 66 years. Being an American, I have no clue how long this is, but I’ll bet we could grow them longer.
July 16: Scientists at the Carnegie Institution for Science discover twelve new moons orbiting Jupiter, bringing the planet’s moon total to 79. Progressives demand that the moons be “redistributed” to planets that have none or only one. The earth will soon be seeing five new moons in its orbit.
July 19: Largest intact sarcophagus of its kind ever found (2000 years old) opened in Alexandria. It contains 3 skeletons, and is not a curse as feared. I didn’t have to add anything to this news event, as the people who thought there was a curse in the sarcophagus did it for me.
Aug 19: Limerick wins All Ireland Hurling Championship over defending champions Galway at Croke Park, Dublin, prompting the news report:
There once was a hurler from Limerick,
who won over someone at Croke;
He was then heard to boast
That Galway is toast
(I can’t finish this limerick, but everyone else is free to try.)
Sept 04: The FBI announces they have recovered Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz ruby red slippers, which were stolen 13 years ago. The FBI agents refused to click their heels together as being an unmanly move, but they would have found the shoes right away if they had.
Sept 04: WHO reports more than a quarter of people worldwide don’t get enough physical exercise to avoid major diseases. This is considered a General Disaster and outranks Major Diseases.
Oct 16: Canada legalizes the sale and use of cannabis, becoming the second country in the world to do so, after Uruguay in 2013. Canadians become even more mellow than they were before, to the extent that no one even goes to work.
Oct 19: The unmanned European-Japanese spacecraft, BepiColumbo, is launched on a seven-year journey to Mercury. The B.Columbo is outfitted with a wrinkled trench coat and will solve mysteries as it travels to Mercury.
Oct 23: World’s longest sea-crossing bridge, the Hong Kong Macau Zhuhai bridge at 55km, is opened by Chinese President Xi Jinping. As an American, I have no clue how long that is and I refuse to drive across it until I do. Plus, the name is the longest ever given to a bridge.
Oct 30: NASA’s Kepler mission ends after the spacecraft runs out of fuel. Elon Musk’s rechargeable spacecraft goes zooming by it, and then stops, because it doesn’t have an outlet to plug into in space.
Nov 01: NASA’S Dawn mission concludes after it runs out of hydrazine fuel. NASA is becoming a laughingstock among commuters.
Nov 6: Human longevity is less than 10% dependent on genetics, according to a study published in the journal, Genetics. The study is based on 400 million people from Ancestry.com. People everywhere sob in unison and give up alcohol and cigarettes because that is the go to way to live longer. They thought they could skate on their ancestors’ lifespans.
Nov 8: Azerbaijan woman who spent £16m in Harrods granted bail in UK after being arrested for suspected embezzlement under new laws. This appears to be a lot of money, and being a woman, I suspect that what she bought were extremely necessary items for her wardrobe.
Nov 14: Jewellery that belonged to French queen, Marie Antoinette, is auctioned off in Geneva, after not being seen for 200 years. She had hidden it in tiny cakes that were quite stale by the time they were found.
Nov 14: Astronomers announce the discovery of Super-Earth planet (3.2x bigger than Earth) orbiting the red dwarf, Barnard’s star, 6 light years away. Trump demands to become the president of the biglier planet.
Nov 26: NASA’s Insight probe successfully lands on the surface of Mars. There just happens to be a gas station at the corner of First and Third on Mars Boulevard.
Dec 3: Dutch court in Arnhem rejects a man’s request to legally be recognized as 20 years younger than his real age. People on dating sites everywhere protest this egregious ruling and are forced to stop touching up their selfies and lying about their age.
Dec 7: The U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union reports that, by the end of 2018, more than half – a full 51.2 percent – of the world’s population are now using the Internet. The other half have to watch porn the old-fashioned way: in darkened, mostly empty, movie theaters.
Dec 17: US poacher is sentenced, during a year in prison, to watch the film Bambi over and over again, as a punishment for killing hundreds of deer in Missouri. After the 20th time, the prisoner is a blubbering idiot and goes on a killing spree.
Dec 22: Trump shuts down the government once again in order to get funding to build a wall at the border. He likes the one that was made out of Legos, and construction begins after he goes shopping for lots and lots of Legos. The wall will be really easy to build, too, as the bricks just snap together. Mr. Trump volunteers to build it all by himself and refuses to share.
A migrant caravan of Weeble Wobbles from Guatemala roll over the border just ahead of the Lego trucks.