Meanwhile the economic outlook remains troubling, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a rare press conference, consumes an entire bottle of gin. Things are even worse in Europe, where Moodys announces that it has officially downgraded Greeces credit rating from poor to rat mucus following the discovery that the Acropolis has been repossessed.
On the political front, the field of Republican contenders considering running for presidential nomination continues to expand with the addition of Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Gary Johnson, all of whom pose a serious threat to gain traction with the Gingrich voter. Donald Trump reveals that he, too, is considering running for president, spurred by a sincere and passionate desire for attention. Trump makes headlines when he appears to side with the birther movement, questioning whether Obama is in fact a natural-born U.S. citizen. Under growing pressure to respond, the White House finally releases a certified copy of a long-form birth certificate that appears to prove conclusively that Donald Trump is Belgian. Also, biologically female.
Meanwhile the troubled musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark suffers yet another setback when the actor playing Peter Parker, the young man who develops superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider, is bitten by an actual radioactive spider. Unfortunately, instead of superpowers, he develops a world-class case ofdiarrhea, which makes for what the shows producers describe as some audience unpleasantness during the flying scenes.
But the month ends on a joyous note as millions of TV viewers around the world watch Prince William and Catherine Middleton, two young people widely hailed for their down-to-earth likability and common touch, get married in a wedding costing the equivalent of the gross domestic product of Somalia.
Speaking of joyous, in
the big story takes place in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden, enjoying a quiet evening chilling in his compound with his various wives and children and porn stash, receives an unexpected drop-in visit from a team of Navy SEALs. After due consideration of bin Ladens legal rights, the SEALs convert him into Purina brand Shark Chow; he is then laid to rest in a solemn ceremony concluding upon impact with the Indian Ocean at a terminal velocity of 125 miles per hour.
While Americans celebrate, the prime minister of Pakistan declares that his nation (a) is very upset about the raid, and (b) had no earthly idea that the worlds most wanted terrorist had been living in a major Pakistani city in a large high-walled compound with a mailbox that said BIN LADEN. As God is my witness, states the prime minister, we thought that place was a Wal-Mart.
In domestic affairs, Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals that he fathered the child of a member of his household staff; incredibly, he does not follow this up by announcing that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination.
Herman Cain, however, does enter the GOP race, promising to reach out to as many... No, wait, lets rephrase that: Promising to take firm positions on No, sorry, how about: Promising to appeal to a broad OK, never mind. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty also announces his candidacy, but winds up withdrawing from the race about midway through his announcement speech when he realizes that his staff has fallen asleep.
Meanwhile, followers of Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping prepare for the Rapture, which Camping has prophesized will occur at 6 p.m. on May 21. But the fateful hour comes and goes without incident, except in New York City, where, in yet another setback for the troubled production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the entire cast is sucked through the theater ceiling, never to be seen again.
As the month draws to a close, a Twitter account belonging to Anthony Weiner a feisty, ambitious Democratic up-and-comer who managed to get elected to Congress despite looking like a nocturnal rodent that somehow got a full-body wax and acquired a gym membership tweets a link to a photograph of a pair of briefs containing what appears to be a congressional member rarin to filibuster, if you catch my drift. This member immediately captivates the nation, although, surprisingly, President Obama fails to deliver a nationally televised address about it.
The drama continues to build in
when Weiner denies that he sent the photo, although he admits he cannot say with certitude whether the member is or is not his. He finally confesses to sending the photo, and, as the pressure on him to resign becomes overwhelming, he is left with no choice but to declare his intention to seek the Republican presidential nomination.
No, Im kidding. Weiner resigns and takes a full-time position in the private sector admiring himself in the mirror.
Meanwhile the Republican field does in fact continue to grow as Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, the late Sonny Bono and somebody calling himself Jon Huntsman all enter the race, bringing the Republican contender total to roughly 125.
In Washington, Congress is under mounting pressure to do something about the pesky federal debt, which continues to mount as a result of the fact that the government continues to spend insanely more money than it actually has. Congress, after carefully weighing its three options stop spending so much money; get some more money somehow; or implement some combination of options one and two decides to go with option four: continue to do nothing while engaging in relentlessly hyperpartisan gasbaggery. Incredibly, this does not solve the debt problem.
The economic crisis is even worse in Europe, where the Greek government sends out an e-mail to everybody in its address book claiming it was mugged in London and needs its friends to wire it some emergency cash so it can get home. This prompts Moodys to change Greeces credit rating to, quote, a word we cant say, but trust us, its worse than rat mucus.
But perhaps the months most disturbing development takes place in the Middle East when Iran, which is believed to be close to developing nuclear weapons, test-fires 14 missiles, including some capable of threatening U.S. interests, as becomes clear when one of them plunges through the theater roof during a matinee performance of the troubled musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
Speaking of disturbing, in
the eyeballs of the nation are riveted on Orlando, where Casey Anthony is on trial on charges of being an attractive young woman who is definitely guilty of murder according to millions of deeply concerned individuals watching on TV. The trial becomes an obsession for hundreds of people who are not in any way connected to the victim, Caylee Anthony, but are so distraught over her death that they feel compelled to travel to Orlando and lurk around the courthouse expressing anguish, as opposed to doing something that might actually help one of the many living children who are at risk but who, unfortunately for them, are not featured on TV. In a shocking verdict, Anthony is acquitted of murder and set free, only to be attacked outside the courtroom and have large clumps of her hair yanked out by outraged prominent TV legal harpy Nancy Grace.
Speaking of drama: In Washington, as the deadline for raising the federal debt limit nears, Congress and the Obama administration work themselves into a frenzy trying to figure out what to do about the fact that the government is spending insanely more money than it actually has. After hours of intense negotiations, several walkouts, countless press releases and of course a nationally televised address by the president, the Democrats and the Republicans are finally able to announce, at the last possible minute, that they have hammered out a historic agreement under which the government will continue to spend insanely more money than it actually has while a very special congressional committee A SUPER committee! comes up with a plan, by a later date, that will solve this pesky problem once and for all. Everybody involved heaves a sigh of relief and basks in the feeling of satisfaction that comes from handling yet another crisis, Washington-style.
But things are not so rosy in Europe, where the debt crisis continues to worsen with the revelation that Greece has sold the naming rights to itself, and will henceforth be officially known as the Republic of Burger King. In response, Moodys lowers Greeces bond rating to the point where it is no longer represented by words or letters, just a brownish stain on the rating document.
In England, the News Corp. media empire comes under scrutiny for alleged phone hacking when an investigation reveals that calls to Queen Elizabeths private mobile number are being answered by Rupert Murdoch speaking in a high-pitched voice.
On a positive note, NFL owners and players are finally able to settle their dispute, thereby averting the very real danger that millions of Fantasy Football enthusiasts would be forced to develop lives.
Speaking of threats, in
Standard & Poors makes good on its threat to downgrade the U.S. credit rating, noting that the federal government, in making fiscal decisions, is exhibiting the IQ of a turnip. Meanwhile Wall Street becomes increasingly jittery as investors react to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Bernankes surprise announcement that his personal retirement portfolio consists entirely of assault rifles.
With the stock market in a steep nosedive, economic growth stagnant and unemployment relentlessly high, the White House, moving swiftly to prevent panic, reassures a worried nation that President Obama will once again be vacationing on Marthas Vineyard, where he will recharge his batteries in preparation for what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney promises will be a real humdinger of a nationally televised address.
In political news, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces that he will seek the Republican nomination with a goal of restoring the fundamental American right to life, liberty, and a third thing. But the early GOP leader is Michele Bachmann who scores a decisive victory in the crucial Ames, Iowa, Straw Poll, garnering a total of 11 votes, narrowly edging out Ron Paul and a heifer named Widget. In what will become a pattern for GOP frontrunners, Bachmanns candidacy immediately sinks like an anvil in a duck pond.
Abroad, a wave of riots sweeps across England as thousands of protesters take to the streets of London and other major cities to strike a blow against racism and social injustice by stealing consumer electronics and designer sneakers.
As the end of the month nears, a rare 5.8-magnitude earthquake, with its epicenter in Virginia, rattles the East Coast, shaking buildings from South Carolina to Maine but causing little damage, except in New York, where a theatrical set depicting a building topples over onto the cast of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. The producers, determined to escape the bad luck that has haunted the current theater, move the entire production to New Jersey, which, unfortunately, turns out to be directly in the path of Hurricane Irene.
Speaking of disasters, in
the worsening European debt crisis worsens still further when Italy, desperate for revenue, establishes a National Tip Jar. As markets plunge, the International Monetary Fund, seeking to prevent worldwide investor panic, announces that it will henceforth be supplementing its income by selling Herbalife.
In domestic news, President Obama returns from his Marthas Vineyard getaway refreshed and ready to tackle the job he was elected by the American people to do: seek re-election. Focusing on unemployment, the president delivers a nationally televised address laying out his plan for creating jobs, which consists of traveling around the nation tirelessly delivering job-creation addresses until its time for another presidential getaway.
Meanwhile on the Republican side, Herman Cain surges to the top of the pile with his 9-9-9 plan, which combines the quality of being easy to remember with the quality of being something that nobody thinks will ever actually happen. Seeking to regain momentum, Rick Perry also comes out with a tax plan, but he can remember only the first two nines. Adding spice to the mix, Mitt Romney unexpectedly exhibits a lifelike facial expression, but is quickly subdued by his advisors.
In what is seen as a sign of public disenchantment with the political process, voters in New Yorks 9th Congressional District, choosing a replacement for disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner, elect Anthony Soprano, despite the fact that he is a fictional character and not even Jewish.
Disenchantment is also apparent in New York Citys Zuccotti Park with the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a gathering of individuals who seek to focus the nations attention, laser-like, on the problems of income inequality, greed, corporations, student loans, hunger, mortgages, health care, deforestation, unemployment, political corruption, racism, gender discrimination, lack of tents, consumerism, global climate change, banks, poverty, people wanting to tell other people where and when they can and cannot drum, fossil fuels, showers, immigration, animal rights, Internet access, capitalism and many other issues that will not be resolved until people finally wake up, get off their butts and start seriously engaging in long-term urban camping.
As the month draws to a close, an anxious world looks to the skies, as a NASA satellite weighing more than six tons goes into an uncontrolled reentry, breaking into fiery pieces that hurtle toward earth but fortunately come down at sea, where they do no damage other than sinking a passenger ship that had been chartered for a recuperation cruise for the surviving cast members of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
The downward trend continues in
which sees yet another troubling development in the world economic crisis when an International Monetary Fund audit of the 27-nation European Union reveals that 11 of the nations are missing. Also, states the audit report, the nation claiming to be Slovakia is in fact Belize using a fake ID. Meanwhile in Greece, thousands of rioters take to the streets of Athens to protest a tough new government austerity program that would sharply reduce the per diem rioter allowance.
In Arab Spring developments, Libyan strongperson and lunatic Moammar Gadhafi steps down and receives an enthusiastic sendoff from his countrymen, who then carry him, amid much festivity, to his retirement freezer.
On the domestic protest front, Occupy Wall Street spreads to many more cities, its initially vague goals now replaced by a clear sense of purpose as occupiers focus on the single issue that is most important to the 99 percent: bathrooms. Some cities seek to shut down the protests, but the occupiers vow to remain until there is a reawakening of the national consciousness. Or, winter.
Attorney General Eric Holder announces that the FBI has uncovered a plot by Iran to commit acts of terror in the United States, including assassinating the Saudi ambassador, bombing the Israeli embassy, and most chillingly providing funding for traveling productions of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
On the political front, Sarah Palin announces that she will not seek the Republican presidential nomination, noting that the GOP field is already funny enough.
In technology news, Apple releases the iPhone that comes after the iPhone 4, which was rumored to be named the 5, but which instead is named talk about innovation the 4S. It is of course a huge hit with Apple fans, who, upon purchasing it, immediately form new lines outside Apple stores to await the next breakthrough iPhone, preliminarily rumored to be named the 4.7.
In sports, one of the most exciting World Series in history is won by some team other than the New York Yankees.
Humanity reaches a major milestone as the United Nations estimates that the population of the Earth has reached 7 billion people, every single one of whom sends you irritating e-mails inviting you to join something called LinkedIn.
The month ends on a tragic note when Kim Kardashian, who only 72 days earlier had a fairy-tale $10 million wedding to the love of her life, professional basketball player whatshisname, files for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences in height. Also, she states in the filing documents, I am a total slut.
Speaking of fairy tales, in
the congressional Supercommittee, after months of pondering what to do about the fact that the federal government is spending insanely more money than it actually has, announces that, in the true can-do bipartisan Washington spirit, it is giving up. This means the government will continue spending insanely more money than it actually has until 2013, at which time there are supposed to be automatic spending cuts, except Congress would never let that happen, and even if it DID happen, the federal government would still be spending insanely more money than it actually has.
Undaunted, Democratic and Republican leaders move forward with the vital work of blaming each other. As it becomes clear that Congress will do nothing, a visibly frowning President Obama delivers a nationally televised address in which he vows to, quote, continue reading whatever it says here on the Teleprompter.
Speaking of the many benefits provided by the federal government: As Thanksgiving approaches, the Department of Homeland Security, having apparently handled all the other terrorist threats, issues a warning, including a scary video, on the dangers of: turkey fryers. I am not making this item up.
Abroad, the worsening Greek economic crisis forces Prime Minister George Papandreou to resign, leading to the formation of a new coalition government headed in what some economists view as a troubling sign by Bernie Madoff.
In domestic politics, the Republican party is rocked by polls showing that 43 percent of all likely voters nearly 55 million people claim to have been sexually harassed by Herman Cain. With Rick Perry stumbling and Mitt Romney continuing to generate the excitement level of a dump fire, the GOP frontrunner becomes none other than that fresh-faced, no-baggage, anti-establishment Washington outsider Newt Gingrich!
Speaking of extraterrestrial phenomena: astronomers watch closely as an asteroid 1,300 feet across hurtles extremely close to Earth. Incredibly NASA calls it a one in a billion chance the asteroid fails to hit anyone or anything connected with Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
In business news, GM, responding to fears that the Chevy Volt might be prone to catch fire, issues a message to the six American consumers who have actually purchased Volts, assuring them that the car is completely safe and should never be parked near buildings. American Airlines files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but assures its passengers that normal flight operations will remain just as screwed up as before.
The month ends on a reflective note as Americans pause to observe Thanksgiving very much as the Pilgrims did in 1621, by pepper-spraying each other at malls.
Speaking of pausing, in
Herman Cain announces that he is suspending his presidential campaign so he can go home and spend more time sleeping in his basement. This leaves the Republicans with essentially a two-man race between Gingrich and Romney, which means its only a matter of time before we start hearing the name Bob Dole.
The U.S. Postal Service, facing huge losses, announces a cost-cutting plan under which it will start delivering first-class mail to totally random addresses. The resulting savings will enable the USPS to continue providing every American household with a minimum of 145 pounds of junk mail per week.
Meanwhile, in a vindication for the Department of Homeland Security, alert passengers aboard a United Airlines flight foil an apparent terrorist attack when they subdue a man attempting to deep-fry a turkey in economy class. After the plane makes an emergency landing, the man is removed by federal agents, who confirm that he was carrying not only cranberry sauce, but enough stuffing to choke a buffalo.
Abroad, the member nations of the European Union, in a last-ditch effort to avoid an economic meltdown, announce that they are replacing the euro with a new unit of currency, the pean, the exchange rate for which will be linked to the phases of the moon. The goal, according to the EU announcement, is to cause American tourists to become even more confused than they already are. The plan starts paying dividends immediately as a pair of elderly ladies from Indianapolis purchase two croissants at a Paris cafe for six peans and wind up leaving the equivalent of a $3,780 tip.
The economic outlook is also brighter in Washington, where Congressional leaders, still working night and day to find a solution to the problem of the federal government spending insanely more money than it actually has, announce that they have a bold new plan: They will form another committee. But this one will be even better than the Supercommittee, because it will be a SuperDUPERcommittee, and it will possess what House and Senate leaders describe, in a joint statement, as magical powers.
So the nation is clearly in good hands, and as the troubled year finally comes to an end, throngs of New Years revelers, hoping for better times to come, gather in Times Square to watch the descent of the famous illuminated ball, followed by the rise of what appears to be a mushroom cloud from the direction of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
But theres no need to worry: The president is planning a nationally televised address. So everything will be fine. Happy New Year.