(OR: Some years , life really gets your goat.)

 

Well, it’s that time again: that time-honored tradition of examining those news stories that slipped through the journalistic cracks over the past twelve months.

As it seems to happen far too often, the year began in JANUARY in South Carolina, when lawmakers proposed legislation requiring students be taught an NRA gun rights course. Gun safety courses were not required, however, until the ratio of teeth-to-people improved. In Florida, George Zimmerman…actually…nevermind. A prominent Republican presidential candidate suggested that judges who promote equality should be removed from office. That candidate was Ben Carson, the sole black Republican in the field of 3,126 candidates. Gwynneth Paltrow got into hot…er…water, when she recommended that women bypass traditional medicine and simply steam clean their vaginas at home. Bissell has yet to call with a lucrative endorsement contract for Paltrow or her vagina. Millionaires and billionaires from around the world flew to Davros (the island, not the leader of the Daleks) in 1,700 private planes to discuss solutions to such global concerns as wage inequality and global warming. During a Republican rally event featuring candidates Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Scott Walker, Sarah Palin’s teleprompter broke mid-speech. Palin continued with her speech, and no one could tell any difference.

The fun shifted just slightly north in FEBRUARY when North Carolina newspaper The Lexington Dispatch was forced to run a correction that clarified to its readers that Barack Obama was not in fact the Antichrist. In an effort to cater to as broad a family dynamic as possible, a California drive-in theater showed The Spongebob Movie and 50 Shades of Grey on their adjacent screens, which can be seen together from any point in the lot. There are probably better ways to teach kids just how absorbent a sponge can be, however. Pete Carroll finally won a Super Bowl for the Patriots. The “Waste Management Phoenix Open” golf tournament lived up to its name when port-a-potties overflowed onto the course during the tournament, cementing the game’s reputation as a crappy way to waste a day. Montana State Representative David Moore tried to make yoga pants illegal because he found them too provocative, prompting opponents to suggest the new motto, “He’d walk a mile from a camel toe.” A poet in the UK organized a gathering for less-endowed men. The Big Small Penis Party was held to give its members a boost of self-confidence, and hopefully a pamphlet about Viagra. Waffle House celebrated 6 years of offering flowers and candles for tables celebrating Valentine’s Day, for couples who like their hashbrowns scattered, smothered, chunked…and covered with divorce papers. Rudy Giuliani found it hard to believe that anyone else was alive during 9/11, much less Barack Obama.

MARCH started with a lovely lesson in irony when an Australian man pulled an axe on his friend for not sharing a bag of Doritos. They live (and I am not making this up) in a town called Darwin. The focus of evolution’s main principal shifted quickly back to the States when, in Ohio, a man called 911 to report his wife had stolen his cocaine. In an effort to make putting fingers in ears and yelling “LALALALALALA!” an actual policy, Florida officials banned the use of the terms “global warming” and “climate change.” Disproving the notion that within plain sight is the best hiding place, a Nebraska man was fined by police when they found marijuana in his car, stored in a container stealthily labeled “not weed.” Police in Akron, Ohio were on the hunt for a man who shat on 19 cars. Yep. Pooped. It was not known if the culprit was a performance artist recreating golf tournaments. In the first positive dick move in history, a South African man received the world’s first penis transplant. Should the procedure ultimately fail, however, there is a support group in England accepting new members. An Akron woman – not related to anyone in Australia – stabbed her boyfriend for eating all of her salsa. In her defense, the spice had long been gone in their relationship.

APRIL got off on the wrong foot when a San Diego man’s bus pass was confiscated by alert police when he could not provide proof of his requiring a disabled bus pass…beyond being confined to a wheelchair. In an effort to thin the number of vermin on his property, A Georgia man shot an armadillo, and the bullet ricocheted off the armadillo, then a fence, and a porch chair before stopping in his mother-in-law’s back. She lived, the armadillo didn’t, and the man still claims the armadillo was his original target. The reputation of the San Diego police continued unchanged when the police detained a trespasser at a high school until the proper authorities could claim the seal, and return it to the zoo. In what can only be seen as a victory for inactive trolling, a Great Falls, Montana man was arrested after police tracked him down with his IP address after the fugitive clicked “like” on the county police’s Facebook page’s post featuring his wanted poster.

In anticipation of a MAY vacation, a man protested the airline overbooking his flight to Jamaica by removing all of his clothes in the terminal. No one was impressed by the North Carolina man’s…conviction. A hospital in China was under scrutiny after misdiagnosing a patient as three months pregnant because of a slight tummy bulge. The recipient of the diagnosis, a Sichuan male, was not punished at work for his pregnant pause. Ohio took the lead over the Carolinas in the WTFolympics when an Ohio teen was arrested by police at the scene of a crime when the teen returned to the scene to retrieve his hat. A male version of Hooters, “Tallywhackers,” opened in Dallas. I could add a joke, but I think it’s best if I just let it hang there.

JUNE started overseas when London police held a prolonged standoff with a venomous snake that turned out to be a lawn ornament. Continuing the network’s long tradition of just not understanding anything, NBC Sports President Mark Lazarus asked the NHL to demand players shave their beards during the playoffs. Oregon newspaper The East Oregonian, perhaps affected by the recent legality of marijuana, reported the Oakland A’s baseball team had debuted a new “amphibious” pitcher who could pitch with both hands. Texas police shut down the lemonade stand of two young girls because they weren’t following restaurant sanitation guidelines and had no permits. It is not known if these officers received the same sensitivity training as San Diego police. Rachel Dolezal proved that not every issue is easily black or white. A Jewish political action committee protested the SCOTUS decision on marriage equality with a long multi-day protest. In an impressive show of their dedication to the cause, the PAC hired a group of Mexican day laborers to hold their signs.

In JULY, Pope Francis was called upon by nuns in California to settle a dispute that was setting off fireworks as the nuns were trying to keep Katy Perry from purchasing an unused convent. Proving just how far we go to protect the ones we love, an audience member climbed onstage during a Broadway show to use an onstage outlet to charge his phone. Dan Boria of Calgary was forced to parachute to safety when his flight went awry after the balloons tied to his lawn chair carried him too high. The lawn chair will be missed. Confirming his Apprentice reality show may actually be the best way for him to pick staffers, Donald Trump offered Sarah Palin a place in his administration because, “she really is somebody that knows what’s happening.” A Dallas man shot at an armadillo in his yard. The bullet ricocheted and hit the shooter in the face. The critter is not related to the armadillo from Georgia or the shooter.

Humanity’s ability to show compassion for lesser beings reached new heights in AUGUST when a robot programmed to hitchhike, after successfully traversing Europe and Canada, was destroyed when it entered Philadelphia. Perhaps hoping to make sure it could again outdo Philly, a New York City judge approved the city’s request to terminate an employee for missing 18 months of work. The employee died in 2014 from cancer, but city officials were not diligent in contacting the employee or family in that time. A man was arrested for shoplifting steaks from a grocery store by storing them in his colostomy bag. He is from…South Carolina. A woman in New York City hid nearly $6,000 in cash in a new toaster oven, which her husband returned. She went to the store in a panic, but was told the clerks had turned the money over to her son. She has no son. A fourth man was killed in Spain during the season of public “Running of the Bulls” events, proving that bulls are creatures of habit, and men are creatures of stupidity.

SEPTEMBER took us once again across the pond when in England, a 61-year-old man held up a bank by taking advantage of modern computerized banking. He demanded the teller transfer 800 pounds into his account at the same bank. A five-way custody battle erupted between three individuals and two rescue groups after a chicken was detained by police for fowling up rush-hour traffic in California. Lost in the struggle were police interrogation records regarding why the chicken was crossing the road. Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards endured an arduous and angry interrogation by Congress that reminded voters why birth control is a good thing. Right-wing outcry over Doritos “Rainbow Chips,” which raised funds for the “It Gets Better” suicide prevention program, proved that the “Haterade” experiment had worked.

Following Pope Francis’ visit to Congress in OCTOBER, Pennsylvania Representative Bob Brady stole the Pope’s water glass, so that he could use the contents to bless his family and staff. Afraid of being wiped off the map by an angry deity, Blount County, Tennessee officials tried to pass a resolution rejecting marriage equality. Textbook publishers McGraw/Hill had to apologize after referring to slaves as “workers” and claiming the “workers” were simply “transported here to work on plantations.” The most fantastically absurd legislation to never make it out of committee was proposed by Florida Representative David Jolley (R) when he put forth a bill forcing Congress to work 40 hours a week. Burger King clearly misunderstood the notion that it’s healthier to go green when their Halloween Whopper turned diners’ poo green. A victory for narcissism happened in Florida when a woman broadcast a live-stream of herself driving home drunk. Police had little trouble tracking her down. New York City’s reputation for tight-knit families was on display when Jennifer Connell sued her 12yo nephew for breaking her wrist during an enthusiastic hug. Hoping to get any notice whatsoever, Playboy announced it would no longer publish nude pictures of women. A South Carolina man was arrested for calling 911 to complain his girlfriend refused him sex. The police statement was simply, “no, you can’t do that.” A Florida man was arrested for leading police on a dangerous high-speed chase. He denied the charges, admitting that his dog was driving. Proving that experience is the best teacher, a Seattle woman, who was doing very well on all of her driver’s education tests, failed the behind-the-wheel final when she drove the car into the school’s lobby. Subway settled a class-action lawsuit acknowledging their foot-long sandwiches were, in fact, only 11 inches long. To be fair, the company is run by men. An Indiana woman, while on a waterfowl hunt, was accidently shot by her hunting companion. The SPCNRA has not yet made a statement regarding the hunter’s companion, her dog…Trigger. Billionaire Sanford Weill rescinded a $20 million donation to struggling Paul Smith College when the college would not rename itself for the donor. Entrepreneurial spirit and parental rejection of hipster children crossed paths in New York when a Brooklyn woman began renting herself out for $40 an hour to hipsters to be their mom, offering shopping, laundry, and cooking services, and guilt-free maternal advice. No word yet on if she has rates covering her taking customers’ places at family gatherings.

With one year left before the next election, NOVEMBER started with members of Ben Carson’s advisory team stating publicly that Carson cannot grasp foreign policy. Apparently, he kept identifying Maryland as the Middle East. A Florida officer being honored for 100 DUI arrests showed up to the ceremony drunk. He was suspended, which gave him more time to plan a political career. Allergan, makers of Botox, and Pfizer, makers of Viagra, merged in a $160 billion dollar deal. Investors from both companies were excited for the deal, but only Pfizer investors visibly so. A Georgia college student forged paperwork to show he was arrested and in jail in order to convince college officials to allow him to retake a missed exam. For the forgery, he was arrested and jailed. And possibly given an Alanis Morrisette CD. Americans bought a record number of firearms on Black Friday. The only joke here is how little Americans value life.

As 2015 wraps up, the beginning of DECEMBER shifts our focus to the Midwest, where Norman, Oklahoma police received a bit of attention when an officer drove a suspect home instead of processing him. The suspect, a donkey, was cited for making an ass of itself. Albemarle County in Virginia shut down all of its schools after phone calls from parents raised concerns for the security of students and teachers after an assignment involving Muslim history and culture was given. Apparently the primary concern was that “learnin’ was happenin’.” The newly christened USS Milwaukee had to be towed to port just 20 days after launch due to a complete lack of propulsion. Seems they were using cheese to grease the engines. Closing out 2015, also known in the Lunar calendar as the Year of the Goat, an Oklahoma City man was arrested while engaged in intimate relations with…you guessed it…a goat. The man was expected to bleat guilty.

Good luck, 2016. You’re gonna need it.

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