Once again, as everyone else looks back, this column looks forward. Therefore, here’s the Year in Preview:
JANUARY: Frustrated by their inability to secure A-list performers for the inauguration of Donald Trump, the inauguration committee is saved at the last minute when Vladimir Putin sends a delegation consisting of the remaining members of the Red Army Chorus, the Bolshoi Ballet, and pop groups Plazma and Code Red. “Is least Putin could do,” the Russian president announces over Twitter, “considering.”
FEBRUARY: Former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton emerges from seclusion on Feb. 2, sees her shadow and retreats again, thus signaling that we will have at least six more weeks of winter.
MARCH: After the sudden and unexpected retirement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Trump announces his nomination for her replacement: former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Palin immediately announces her support of overruling not only Roe v. Wade, but also New York Times v. Sullivan, Marbury vs. Madison, and Kramer v. Kramer. When reporters point out that the last one is actually a fictional 1979 movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, Palin angrily tells them that “real Bible-readin’ gun-clingin’ Americans are tired of your coastal-elitin’ fake-newsin’ p.c. flibberdefloo, always talkin’ about your so-called Hollywood facts, you betcha.” Palin’s confirmation hearing is delayed as the Senate searches frantically for a translator.
APRIL: House Speaker Paul Ryan announces his plans for Medicare reform. Controversy ensues when it’s discovered that the bill mostly consists of funding to put the ailing elderly on ice floes in the Arctic and letting them drift away to die. Ryan defends the plan by saying, “The American people are tired of political correctness and want bold solutions to the Medicare crisis, so long as those solutions involve more tax cuts for wealthy people. This plan accomplishes that.”
MAY: President Trump announces that he’s canceling plans to put abolitionist heroine Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. Instead, Trump promises a “big, beautiful new currency” with the face of his daughter Ivanka on the 20, sons Eric, Donald Junior and little Barron on the 5, 10 and 50 respectively, wife Melania on the 100, and daughter Tiffany on the quarter. The visage of Trump himself will be on the newly announced $3 bill. The motto on the back of the bills will be changed from “In God We Trust” to “Suck It Up, Buttercup.”
JUNE: Energy Secretary Rick Perry announces that the Department of Energy has been disbanded. “I’m not sure how it happened, but I showed up for work yesterday and it was gone. Yay me.” Later, it’s revealed that Perry had actually just forgotten where the department was and gone to the wrong building.
JULY: Speaker Ryan’s Medicare plan is derailed when scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are unable to locate any Arctic ice floes due to global warming. Congress responds by banning the use of the words “global warming” and any mention of “ice floes” in official documents before leaving town for their summer recess.
AUGUST: Unable to come up with a plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t cause 20 million Americans to lose insurance coverage, President Trump announces via Twitter that “Obamacare is gone. It’s called Trumpcare from now on. Problem solved. Trump = awesome!”
SEPTEMBER: Undaunted by the failure of his Medicare reform plan, Speaker Ryan unveils his plan to reform Medicaid in a bill titled “The Let the Poor Die Act of 2016.” Ryan responds to criticism with a terse statement: “Political correctness. Bold solutions. Tax cuts for the wealthy.”
OCTOBER: Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway is appointed head of a new government agency called “Department of Truth.” She issues a statement that “Obamacare never existed. Also, there were never any promises by President Trump to build a wall, lock up Hillary Clinton, or drain any swamp. Any and all evidence to the contrary is hereby declared ‘fake news’ from the ‘unfair liberal media’ and should be ignored.” Unprecedented Earth tremors in the area of Oxfordshire, England, are investigated by geologists and found to be the result of writer George Orwell spinning like a turbine in his grave.
NOVEMBER: Trump takes to Twitter to proclaim, “We should all give thanks that we can say ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ again. Go Trump!” Puzzled Americans note that we never stopped.
DECEMBER: In accordance with ancient prophecy, the Elder God Cthulhu arises from his resting place beneath the sea to begin his millennia-long reign of madness, chaos and violence. He takes one look at the world, goes “Dang, looks like you folks beat me to it,” and goes back to sleep beneath the waves.
Buckle up, buttercups. It’s gonna be another weird one.
Happy New Year!
Dusty Rhoades lives, writes, and practices law in Carthage.