The annual tradition of facepalms, silliness, and snark continues!

 

South Carolina once again started JANUARY off with a bang when state senator Lee Bright proposed that teachers be armed with machine guns in school. Indiana Police chief David Councellor shot himself while trying out a gun in a gun shop, only the second time he had shot himself. Utilizing more conventional means to deal with people he didn’t like, an Oregon pimp sued Nike for not adequately warning consumers of the dangers of potential injury to one’s feet when using Nike shoes to stomp on people’s faces. A “celebrity” boxing match featuring George Zimmerman was cancelled when more people expressed offense at the match than wanted to punch Zimmerman. A London man was arrested and tried for performing sexual acts with a sheep in public. His defense hinged on the fact that he approached the sheep when the cows in the field turned him down. Pope Francis, with the aid of some local children, released two doves of peace which were immediately attacked by a crow and a gull. A petition to have Justin Bieber deported reached the required number of electronic signatures to trigger a response from the White House. Their response was to re-think their original response to the Death Star petition of 2013. An Alabama man robbed a pizza delivery driver by ordering two pizzas and having them delivered to his house, at which point he held up the driver at gunpoint. It did not take police long to find him.

The author of the Harry Potter series got FEBRUARY “Rowling” when she revealed that Ron really should have ended up with Hermione. The 17 people left on earth who had not read or seen the series screamed, “hey! Spoilers!” Maine police responding to a report of domestic violence instead found a pig that, squealing with delight, had been put into a pen with 5 sows in heat. Former Kroger employee June Ann Blocker of Kentucky bought a car to drive it into the storefront of the Kroger where she worked, which she had done in exactly the same way once before in 1999. South Carolina scored a hat trick in February when a woman was jailed for failing to return a rented video, a police officer shot a 70-year-old man at a traffic stop when the man reached for his cane, and the state legislature confiscated the funding to the College of Charleston after the college assigned Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home as reading. High marks for innovation were set when a San Francisco Girl Scout sold out of cookies when she set up her stand outside of a medicinal marijuana store. George Zimmerman, wearing a bullet proof vest because he feared for his safety, signed autographs at a Florida gun show. About 20 “fans” showed up, but it was not revealed how many of his fans wore hoodies.

MARCH began with a stunning victory for the arts when Adele Dazeem performed a rousing rendition of the winning original song “Get It Snow” at the Oscars. A Nigerian man was arrested for having relations with a goat, despite his insistence that the goat had consented. It is unknown if his email campaign to raise defense funds was successful. The Kentucky Baptist Convention took a shot at luring new members with free steak dinners and guns. A 5-year-old girl in upstate NY was placed on the wrong bus, so she spent the day at the wrong school by simply telling everyone that she was a new student. German customs officials intercepted 12 ounces of cocaine that was addressed to the Vatican, ensuring that the canonization celebrations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II would be a lot less interesting than planned. A Louisiana highway was shut down when a truck overturned, covering the highway in corn dogs. The driver clearly couldn’t cut the mustard. Gwynneth Paltrow announced over social media that she and husband Chris Martin were “consciously uncoupling.” She explained that it was different from divorce because it scores more in Scrabble.

APRIL went to pot quickly when a Texas woman was arrested after calling police to complain about the quality of marijuana she purchased from a dealer. Competitive eater Matt Stonie ate 100 marshmallow candies in two minutes to win an Easter-themed event, but hasn’t said a peep about it since. In an effort to boost flagging sales, McDonald’s announced an updated look for mascot Ronald McDonald that would hopefully be “less Gacy-like.” Police in Florida were able to track down a would-be robber when they examined his holdup note to find a completed job application on the back. An Indiana cat missing for five years was reunited with its owner, who has yet to get an explanation from the cat for its Russian prison tats.

Irony got MAY going when over 100 attendees to a Baltimore Food Safety conference got food poisoning. A woman called 911 when Subway put the wrong sauce on her flatbread pizza. Contrary to expectations, the woman was from North Carolina. A student at Quinnipiac called in a bomb threat to the school’s graduation ceremony to keep her parents from learning she had dropped out and was pocketing the tuition money. A Tolkien fan took LSD and dressed in chain mail armor before attacking a woman’s car with his sword. Officials were only surprised because the Portland, Oregon resident hadn’t attacked a food truck. A drunk man in Murfreesboro, Tennessee was arrested for sexually assaulting…an ATM. The bank has since changed its policies on deposits and withdrawals. A British man was arrested for robbing a jewelry store after police used his cellphone, which the thief left behind, to go directly to his house. A South Carolina EMT volunteer was arrested for using his emergency lights to get through traffic while delivering pizzas during his day job. France spent over 20 billion on new trains for the national railway. Unfortunately, officials forgot to make sure the new trains could fit through the tunnels in between the stations. Now former Sacramento Kings owner Donald Sterling was rewarded handsomely for his racism, and made an honorary citizen of South Carolina.

In JUNE, a church in Alabama had to quickly remove a billboard promoting their children’s school when people complained about the quote accompanying the advertisement, which was properly accredited to Adolf Hitler. In an effort to appeal to Hispanic voters in an upcoming Arizona election, blatantly white guy (and unfortunately named) Scott Fistler changed his name to Cesar Chavez. A former Goldman Sachs employee sued the company because his bonus was “only” $8 Million. The German press had to pussyfoot around a delicate story when an American student had to be rescued from a giant stone sculpture…of a vagina. A Minnesota burglar was quickly arrested because he logged in to his FB account during the robbery and forgot to log out.

Another month started off with a bang when in JULY a Pennsylvania woman was shot in the leg during a demonstration of a new holster at a gun show. Bill Hillmann, one of the authors of Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona, celebrated the publication of his book by running with the bulls in Pamplona…and getting gored. A Virginia man claimed a previously unclaimed area of land between Egypt and Sudan and declared himself King, so that his daughter could be a princess. Manuel Noriega sued a videogame maker for using his likeness without permission for a Call of Duty game. A minor-league baseball manager fielded a plan to expand awareness of pancreatic cancer by getting colonoscopy on the South Carolina ball field during the seventh-inning-stretch.

AUGUST came in like a lamb when police searched 18 hours for an escaped lion, only to arrest a South Carolina man for calling in an hoax. Metta World Peace, nee Ron Artest, changed his name to The Pandas Friend [sic] after signing a contract to play basketball in China. A story that produced less buzz than expected was the discovery of some 50,000 bees living in the ceiling of a woman’s New York home. A North Carolina man was arrested by police after a 9 month search when he signed up for a doughnut eating contest that was sponsored by police. The 12 residents of Cormorant, MN, elected a dog, 7-year-old Duke, to the mayor’s office.

SEPTEMBER started off on an high note when a Florida couple rapeled down the side of their hotel after getting married. Guests were concerned that after “taking the plunge” literally, how the couple would react to questions about when they would have a bun in the oven. The New York Times issued a correction when an article referred to Dick Cheney as “Former President,” even though it answered a lot of questions about the Dubya presidency. A man was arrested for breaking into a Massachusetts home to cook corn. When praised, the arresting officer blushed and replied, “Aw, shucks.” A Northern California nudist colony was accused of stealing water from a nearby stream. Charges were not filed, however, because police really didn’t want to know how they carried the water back to camp. A skunk was rescued from a beer can in Ohio, prompting denials from Miller Brewing that the source of their signature flavor had been discovered. Sarah Palin’s efforts to start a new Family Fight Club reality show failed miserably. A young woman in Columbia (the country, not South Carolina, surprisingly) was rushed to an hospital with severe stomach pains. Doctors found the root of the problem, a small potato inserted as birth control that had literally taken root.

Oddly, OCTOBER started off with a scare when a flight from New York to Charlotte was delayed when a number of live crabs escaped their container in the cargo hold, and officials had to wait for Samuel L. Jackson to round them up. A New Jersey library thought it was getting “we confirm all things twice” engraved in Latin on the new library’s wall. Instead, “Nos Secundus Coniecto Omnia” translates to “we second-guess everything.” The engraver also got the Roman numerals representing the year wrong. A Michigan Funeral Parlor began offering a drive through option, but only for mourners who decline to super-size their grief. A polar bear was caught breaking into a home in Alaska. The bear allegedly wanted to see if it could, in fact, see Russia. 18 tons of Crisco was stolen en route to a Florida grocery store. Authorities hoped Florida residents could find other sources for their sunscreen. Pittsburgh won a contest to find the country’s “ugliest accent,” but no one is yet able to understand the city’s response. A naked Oregon man was chased by police, and captured when the pants he stole during the chase tripped him up.

New Yorkers hungry for odd news in NOVEMBER were not disappointed when a man was arrested at a DWI stop by New York police when the man tried to eat his test results. In an effort to “break the internet,” noted philosopher Kim Kardashian bared her backside (again) for a magazine cover. Unfortunately, Kardashian was unsuccessful because people were people were too busy watching the European Space Agency landing a probe ON A FRICKING COMET! Twelve tons of frozen turkeys spilled onto a California highway after a tractor trailer flipped over. Witnesses said it was the most flipped birds on the highway since they were last in Jersey. It was anything but a Beautiful Day for U2 singer Bono when he broke his arm during a park bike ride after his personal jet lost his luggage. Recovery of his possessions has been difficult since all the streets have names. The Polish town of Tuszyn repealed a plan to name a playground after Winnie the Pooh because the bear possesses an “unclear gender” and dresses immodestly. They are apparently considering naming the playground for Kim Kardashian. An Oregon police dog was fired for poor performance, and not because of rumors that he was acting like a bitch.

For those who liked to get high, DECEMBER was a downer when Pizza Hut announced that it would not import the chain’s Australian menu item, Doritos Crust Pizza, to the States. The daughter of Korean Air’s chief executive forced one of the airline’s planes to land when she threw a tantrum because of the method by which she was served nuts. “That’s how we always serve you nuts” was the attendant’s defense. Technicians from a laboratory on the Austin campus of the University of Texas realized that 100 brains were missing, only 28 years after the fact. Sony engaged in a unique promotion strategy for their new comedy, “The Interview.” A pair of carjackers in Florida were caught almost immediately after their heist because they couldn’t drive a stick shift. South Dakota pulls out of its planned “Don’t Jerk and Drive” safe driving campaign, despite record interest in driver’s education classes from teens. The year closed out where it began, when South Carolina Sheriff Wayne DeWitt was arrested for a DUI Hit-And-Run, and in keeping with South Carolina tradition, his arrest is not expected to hurt his re-election chances.

One of my regular customers is the epitome of a “Mansplainer,” or as the wonderful Shing Yin Khor calls them, Condescending Asspricks.  Today, he came in with a few of his equally intelligent buddies to scare away paying customers.  While on my way to work, I started reimagining the Hall and Oates classic “Maneater,” in my own style.  I present to you a new song, sung to the tune of the Hall and Oates original.

 

MANSPLAINER
Sung to the tune of Hall and Oates’ “Maneater.”

He’ll always come out to spite
The mean and angry type
Nothing is right, I’ve heard him here before
Spouting and baiting
Ooh, he’s hitting on you but his eyes are towards the floor
So many have had to see
What he thinks you’re wanting to be
The man is a child, a he-gnat tamed by the purr of a fancy car
Money’s his matter
If he’s in it for love
You’d better run very far

(Oh here he comes)
Watch out girl he’ll chat you up
(Oh here he comes)
He’s a Mansplainer
(Oh here he comes)
Watch out girl he’ll chat you up
(Oh here he comes)
He’s a Mansplainer

I would if I were you
I know what he can’t do
He’s a silly man, he could wrongly explain your world a lot
Mindless his patter
Ooh, his brain’s not all there but abiding him’s an art
 
(Oh here he comes)
Watch out girl he’ll chat you up
(Oh here he comes)
He’s a Mansplainer
(Oh here he comes)
Watch out girl he’ll chat you up
(Oh here he comes)
He’s a Mansplainer

Ooh,
Oh here he comes
Here he comes
Watch out girl he’ll chat you up
Whoa here he comes
(Watch out)
He’s a Mansplainer
Oh here he comes
(He’s a Mansplainer)
Ooh, he’ll chat you up
(Oh here he comes)
Here he comes, he’s a Mansplainer
(Oh here he comes)
(Watch out)
He’ll only come out to spite, ooh
(Oh here he comes)
Here he comes
He’s a Mansplainer
(Oh here he comes)
(He’s a Mansplainer)
The man is a child ooh
(Oh here he comes)
Here he comes
Watch out girl, watch out girl
(Oh here he comes)
Oh, watch out, watch out, watch out, watch out
(Oh here he comes)
Yeah yeah he’s a Mansplainer
(Oh here he comes)
(He’s a Mansplainer)
He’s spouting and baiting ooh
(Oh here he comes)
Oh he’s a Mansplainer

As I write this, the internet is losing its mind over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s defeat in a primary to a Tea Party candidate while something important seems to be happening in a basketball game.

Thankfully, we as a nation seem to have moved on from the unwanted distraction of another shooting, this time in an high school in Oregon.

Luckily, we are able to tell just how unimportant this latest shooting actually is, thanks to the silence of the NRA.

In fact, the only shooting of consequence in the past week took place in Seattle, where a brave student managed to subdue the attacker and prevent further loss of life.  I know this because the NRA told us so:

The Oregon shooting occurred at the same time a company in Oklahoma announced it was to begin selling bulletproof blankets for students to cover themselves with in the likely event of another school shooting.

Lockdown drills happen as often, if not moreso, as fire drills in schools across the country.

Failed politicians and wanna-be celebrities tell the grieving family of victims that their child’s life is not more valuable than their right to own firearms.

Men and women are sent to fight over oil-filled deserts in faraway countries so arrogant old white folks can continue to drive status symbols.

In short, America is broken.

And there’s no point in trying to fix it.

We value money more than life itself, and don’t seem to give a damn.  America is run by a system that claims it is humanitarian and Christian despite fostering hatred in its laws and a death penalty as punishment.

We bully the world under the guise of freedom, and bully our citizens under the guise of patriotism.

My daughter is learning through societal mores that she should be ashamed to be a woman, and that whatever attention a man pays her – up to and including rape – is what she deserves.

My wife is fighting with an assisted living facility because they are scared, well, to death that if my mother-in-law dies in their facility because she had the audacity to want to chew her food that we will sue them.

A young woman receives rape threats because she voiced her opinion over a comic book cover.

A young man feels that because a couple of girls won’t go out with him, he is within his right to grab a firearm and shoot any woman he can find.

Be it white mice, an unseen deity, or simple happenstance, whatever created this world can stop bothering now.

We’ve screwed it all up.

The world is broken.

Society is broken.

We have become so mind-numbingly selfish that we simply don’t care anymore about the person sitting next to us or in the next room…city…country.  They aren’t us, so clearly they are the enemy.

If we decide that everyone else should go to hell, logic would suggest that we are all going there together.

And I think we’ve reached that point.

The world has been doomed by our own arrogance and total lack of compassion and empathy.

I have spent most of my life tilting at windmills in the simple hope that the world, and its citizens, will get better.  Will treat each other better.  Will be worth fighting these battles over.

And…

We’re not.

It’s getting harder and harder to think of these things as momentary societal hiccups.

Society is collapsing at an alarming rate, and we’re all too busy talking about celebrities’ downtime to notice.

And…

I’m glad.

There aren’t many truisms in life that are actually true, but there is one that does seem close:

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

I can only hope that it’s within my lifetime, but the worse it gets, the closer we are to a real revolution.

A revolution where we stop killing each other over things that just don’t stack up to the value of a single human life.

A revolution where people who simply want to hunt deer with a rifle aren’t represented by psychopaths who replace their manhood with weapons of ridiculous power.

A revolution where a woman, a man, a transgender, a homosexual, a queer, and a pansexual are unequal only in their mailing address.

A revolution where Christians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, *all* religions, don’t agree…and everyone is fine with it.

A revolution where the best line from a stupid movie is the leading life philosophy of all people, and we really are excellent to each other.

A revolution…

That actually happens.

Ball’s in your court, humanity.

I can’t fight this one alone.

But if I have to…

I’m gonna try.