Before we take a look at the serious issues facing Americans in 2015, we thought it would be a good idea to take a lighter look at the “significant” events of 2014.
January 2014 sees the introduction of an entirely new winter climate, the Polar Vortex, sponsored by Disney Studios in support of their new film, “Frozen.” To assist little girls in purchasing more dolls and doll paraphernalia than there are potato chips in circulation, Disney declares 2014 the year of the Polar Vortex. It decrees that temperatures in states above the latitude of Virginia will remain no higher than 14 degrees Fahrenheit until April. In January, somewhere in Europe, Latvia formally adopts the Euro and become the 19th member of the Eurozone. On hearing this, Eurozone President Jean-Claude Juncker comments, “We are happy to have Latvia as a new member. By the way, where is Latvia?” On this side of the Atlantic, Dick Cheney says, on Fox News, “I didn’t know about Latvia. We must attack Latvia, wherever it is, until Halliburton stock rises high enough to pay for my next heart transplant.” After the New Year, Colorado legalizes the sale of marijuana. Snack food purchases increase by 38% in one month. In “celebrity” news, Kim Kardashian asks networks for air time to seek public assistance in finding a missing jar of skin cream. Dennis Rodman visits North Korea to ask Kim Jong Un for the release of a pair of his former sneakers. Target reveals that 40 million credit cards compromised may actually have been as many as 70 million. David Koch and Donald Trump immediately volunteer to cover any losses if Obama will only attack Syria, repeal new health care laws, lower taxes on billionaires and reduce Social Security to a Christmas Savings plan.
The Ebola virus breaks out in West Africa, with deadly consequences for tens of thousands, evoking a worldwide sympathetic response. In Sochi, Russia, the XXII Winter Olympic Games are televised, evoking a similar response. NBC sportscaster Bob Costas is temporarily blinded by an airborne knish during a Olympic Village food-fight. Alternate “broadcaster-in-waiting” Sarah Palin offers to take over because, she says, “I could see from my porch that Costas was in trouble.” By February, most cities north of St. Louis were frozen solid, causing Disney to ask climatologists for a little global warming. Tens of millions, trying to get in out of the cold, make “Frozen” the highest grossing animated work not about killing, maiming, rape or auto theft. Defending the anti-climate change groups, Rush Limbaugh attacks Canada, saying that the polar vortex was actually, “an international plot created by Canadian CIA and George Clooney.” The Canadian Prime Minister refuses to respond until someone explains what “CIA” stands for. Russia annexes the Crimea. Canada refuses to annex Detroit, although Congress offers it free. Kim Kardashian recovers her skin cream and “America’s Most Wanted” returns to finding killers. General Motors announces the recall of 780,000 vehicles due to faulty ignition switches. Testifying before a Congressional committee, GM’s CEO Mary Barra, says, “Is that the little key hole near the steering wheel?” In February the “Bridge-gate” scandal comes to light. Some people say that Governor Chris Christie has knowledge of traffic being blocked from New York City on the George Washington Bridge. Refusing to testify or appear in public, Christie hides behind the Chrysler Building for three days.
Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappears over the Gulf of Thailand on a flight to Bejing, with 239 passengers on board. CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and Channel 45 in Waallooo, Arkansas maintain 24-hour coverage until no one can any longer remember “Flight 370,” or the country from which it departed or whether it was a movie starring Josh Brolin. Bill O’Reilly claims the disappearance is all Obama’s fault until he learns that he was actually looking at a 1927 film of Charles Lindbergh taking off from Roosevelt Field. Kim Kardashian brings out her new line of cosmetics, given its brand name by her fiancé Kanye West, “Good Shit.” Senator Rand Paul from the State of Kentucky, wins the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll for President. Second place goes to Governor Rick Perry of Texas and third place to a popular Eastern Lowland Gorilla named “Fenworth.” Pizza Chain, Sbarro, files for bankruptcy. “It has been tough,” a franchisee comments, “First we had to eliminate the cheese, then the toppings, one by one. Soon, we eliminated the tomato sauce. Eventually, people lost interest in salted bread.” Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew creates an international incident when he cannot stop laughing while introducing Chinese Vice Chairman, Wang Yang. A barge carrying a million gallons of oil collides with a ship in Galveston Bay causing a huge oil spill. On discovering that Houston public water has turned black, Texas Governor Rick Perry declares that petroleum will now be considered a “condiment.” Major League Baseball season opens with a game between Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamond Backs played in Sydney, Australia. Winning pitcher Clayton Kershaw says, “We thought we were on a flight to Phoenix for nachos, when a bunch of Aussies began buying us beer. The next thing I knew we were in Sydney and it was the fourth inning.” In late March, Nissan recalls one million automobiles. Citing the recalls by other auto makers, Nissan management says, “We’re not sure why. It just felt like the right thing to do.”
The militant Nigerian group, Boko Haram, kidnaps 276 young women whom Nigeria maintains are being held as sex slaves. Boko Haram management maintains this is merely an “outing” and promises to return the girls by Friday “before the streetlights come on.” When asked what he thinks should be done about Boko Haram, Senator Ted Cruz comments, “I’m not sure, but I like his music.” The “Bridge-gate” Scandal continues to make news as Governor Chris Christie is accused of having known about the delays to traffic in and out of New York City. Christie maintains the information may have fallen on the floor at his feet where he could not see it. Christie says that he will not discuss matters in which he does not believe, like political corruption or sugar-free muffins. Super Bowl XXVIII with 111 million viewers becomes the most watched event in television history with the possible exception of Kim Kardashian’s announcement of a new fragrance to her line of cosmetics. Again branded by her husband, Kanye West, this one is called “Real Good Shit.” Chrysler recalls 870,000 Chevrolets and Fords.
Monica Lewinsky releases a book on her affair with former President Bill Clinton, portions of which had previously appeared in “Cigar Aficionado” Magazine. Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra is called before a constitutional court but is released when no one can spell her name correctly. Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a law forbidding profanity at all cultural events. Asked to comment, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says “What? Son-of-a-Bitch!” Kim Kardashian and her husband Kanye West bring out a new French fragrance which they name “Merde.” The National Football League draft begins at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Several players resist the draft saying that they will move to Canada rather than play for Oakland or Jacksonville. Others say that they will play but will not tackle or block. Continuing its coverage of rumors about Malaysian Airlines flight 370, CNN reports that the plane may have been flown to New Jersey and hidden behind Governor Chris Christie. Christie says he makes no comment on absurd rumors about airplanes or the nutritional value of boiled vegetables. Following Chrysler’s lead, Nissan recalls one million Toyotas and ships them to Brazil.
CNN Reports that Flight 370 has been seen landing in Anchorage by members of the Palin family during a fistfight at a beer garden. Martin Kaymer of Germany wins the U.S. Open by six strokes. This is unusual only because Germany has only one golf course for 60 million people. Kaymer said that growing up as a golfer in Germany the hardest part was “waiting for your turn to putt.” Kim Kardashian and her husband announce their latest French perfume, “Mieux Merde.” Chicken King, Tyson Foods, buys Pork King, Hillshire Farms for $7 billion and twelve billion pounds of feathers. The professional basketball season, which had begun in 1998, finally ends but the results are inconclusive, as the playoffs have gone on so long that fans and players have forgotten the rules. When asked about the finals, the CNN director of sports says, “I think they are still going on somewhere in Malaysia.” The Supreme Court rules that closely held private corporations will not be required to include contraception in their health care plans. When asked what would happen to the increased number of unwanted children that might result, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia replies, “I assume they’ll be adopted by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.”
July introduces the “ice bucket challenge” a routine in which average people throw buckets of ice cold water onto unsuspecting individuals for donations to research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (ALS.) The countrywide events results in millions of dollars for ALS research and several hundred heart attacks. In New York City, a black man, Eric Garner, is accidentally killed by police in an unauthorized choke hold. Rudy Giuliani rushes to the scene to take credit, then rushes away from the scene to avoid blame, then calls “Saturday Night Live” volunteering to wear a dress again if they’ll appear to like him. The CIA admits that it hacked into the Senate Intelligence Committee’s files. Saxby Chambliss, Senator from somewhere south of Cincinnati, demands an apology, stating that this action is “illegal, unconstitutional, and erased all my lunch dates with lobbyists for the next six months.”
In August, Michelle Duggar, the mother of 19 or more children, famous for being on a reality television program asking the question: “Why in the hell would anyone have 19 or more children?” comes out against homosexuality. At a press conference to celebrate having come out of her latest anesthesia, she comments that homosexuality is merely an excuse for pedophilia, only “with more style points.” She leaves abruptly, she says, to discover “whatever happened to all those goddamned kids.” An unarmed young black man is shot in Ferguson, Missouri by a policeman. Local citizens demonstrate. Fires are set and looting occurs over several weeks. Rudy Giuliani rushes in to take credit or blame. Either, he says, is better than no notice at all. He is rejected by demonstrators, the leader of whom, says, “We actually would have let him participate but, frankly, none of us liked that dress.”
Serena Williams wins her 45th national Women’s Open Tennis Championship, beating some lady with a Polish name, and becomes the first U.S. Women’s Open champion to win the title while simultaneously talking on her cell phone. The National Football League suspends Baltimore Raven’s running back Ray Rice for punching his fiancé in the face. Rice claims that “I warned her about wearing that Kim Kardashian perfume, called ‘Good Shit.’ That ain’t no good shit. That’s real bad shit. Smell like a hog pen. Make me nauseous. So I hit her.” A young man named Omar Jose Gonzalez, apparently confused about his nationality, jumps the White House fence and runs towards the residence with a knife, an AK-47, a box of hand grenades, an anti-tank weapon and six cartons of cigarettes. He rings the doorbell but no one answers. Disarmed by the Chinese gardener, Gonzalez says that he merely wanted to see if the President would maybe trade him for any old basketball he had lying around.
Hilton Hotels sells the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel to the comically named Chinese Anbang Insurance Group but returns an hour later to try to sell it again. Stefan Hell, Eric Betzig and William Moerner share the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for “super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.” When asked what that is, Moerner replies, “No one really knows.” The San Francisco Giants win the World Series of baseball, defeating the Kansas City Royals. Most Valuable Player, Madison Baumgarner, pitches almost flawlessly, striking out every batter until video shows that he is actually standing ten feet closer to the plate.
In the November 4 elections, the Republicans take control of the House, Senate, thirty-one Governorships, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Graceland and the World Wrestling Federation. In celebration, Kim Kardashian sends a bottle of her new fragrance, “Unbelievable Shit,” to every Republican Congressman or Congresswoman. Two more states legalize marijuana and simultaneously reduce their state speed limits to 20 miles per hour. Walt Disney studios announces the next episode in the long-running “Star Wars” saga, which originated in an era when motion picture film was still being colored by elves in the forests of Sierra Madre. To be released in late 2015, it is entitled, “Star Wars, the Retirement Plan” and stars many promising, irrelevant young stars, plus the ghost of Alex Guinness, playing the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a skeleton dressed up as Harrison Ford, a hologram of Carrie Fisher as Princess Lea eating spaghetti, and a special performance by George Lucas as the grandson of Chewbacca—“Screwbacca.”
Early in December, the Senate Intelligence Committee releases a report on the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA in the period after 9/11, which states, among other things that “CIA detainees were tortured.” The report, entitled simply, “Duh!” says that no one in the Bush administration, with the possible exception of the night janitor in the West Wing, “Floyd,” knew anything about 9/11, had ever heard the word “Islam” or could spell “rendition” or “water-boarding.” In mid-December, Attorney General Eric Holder announces a plan to end racial profiling. Unfortunately, on his way home, he is pulled over by Washington D.C. police and beaten senseless. When passers by mention that Holder had his hands up in the air as high as he could get them, the police reply that “Yes…we thought he was reaching for a weapon.” In Canada, the Calgary Stampeders defeat the Hamilton Wild Cats to win the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup. The Royal Mounted Police are on alert for excesses in the Canadian traditional celebration which involves fans breaking beer bottles over their own heads. As the year closes, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West sell their line of fragrances to Sarah Palin for an undisclosed sum. A spokesman for Vogue Magazine says, “Oh, Palin disclosed the sum. But she said it in English, and we are still waiting for the translation.”