In other sports news, the Vancouver Winter Olympics begin on an uncertain note when it is discovered that Vancouver apparently nobody realized this ahead of time is a seaside city with a mild climate, so there is no snow. This hampers some of the competition, as for example when the Latvian cross-country ski team gets bogged down in mud and is eaten by alligators. Despite these setbacks, the games are deemed a big success, at least by the Canadians, because they won in hockey
In Super Bowl XMLLMMXVIIX, the underdog New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts, setting off a celebration so joyous that people on Bourbon Street are still throwing up.
Speaking of celebrations, in...
...Democratic congressional leaders, responding to polls showing that the health-care bill is increasingly unpopular with the public, manage, with a frantic, last-minute effort, to pass the health-care bill, or at least a giant mass of paper that is assumed to be the health-care bill. This leads to a triumphant White House signing ceremony, the highlight of which is Vice President Joe Joe Biden dropping the f-bomb moments before being hustled off by aides to have an important meeting with somebody important.
Everyone at the ceremony agrees that the new law is historic and will become hugely popular with the American people once they have the opportunity to hear a few dozen more high-profile speeches about it from President Obama. But opposition is brewing in the form of the Tea Party movement, consisting of regular Americans who are fed up with costly big-government programs except for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They are determined to elect a new breed of representatives who are not career politicians, or even necessarily sane.
In international news:
• Greece asks the International Monetary Fund if it can borrow 17 billion euro for cigarettes.
• Somali pirates, becoming increasingly brazen, seize the Staten Island Ferry.
• Iranian hero space rodent Helmz 1 is captured attempting to scurry across the Lebanese border into Israel. Iran claims this is a peaceful mission, but the Israelis note that Helmz 1 is wearing a tiny backpack filled with enough explosives to in the words of one military analyst put somebodys eye out.
On a more hopeful note, on March 27 people in more than 4,000 cities around the world turn off their lights in observance of Earth Hour, saving an estimated 45 million megawatts of electricity enough to power one of Al Gores houses for nearly three days.
But the environment suffers a big setback in...
...when the Deepwater Horizon rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico after being struck by a runaway Toyota Camry. BP initially downplays the magnitude of the problem, claiming that the resulting oil leak is smallish and might go away on its own or even prove to be, quote, nutritious for oysters. Soon, however, large patches of crude oil are drifting toward land, and it becomes clear that this is a major disaster a challenge that we, as a nation, will have to meet, as we have met other challenges, with a combination of photo opportunities, lawsuits and tweeting.
Elsewhere on the disaster scene, Icelands Eyjafjallajökull (literally, many syllables) volcano erupts, sending huge clouds of ash into the atmosphere and forcing airlines throughout northern Europe to ground all flights. Greece, although not directly affected, announces that it will take six months off, just in case; France, as an added precaution, surrenders.