The Chinese attach a zodiac animal to each year. Americans are so much wiser; no one critter could sum up 2015. Instead, designate it …
The Year of the Drone: George Gershwin wrote “Someone to Watch Over Me” in 1926. I think he meant an angel, or a sugar daddy, not a snooping device that messes up flight plans and crashes into wires. A million drones were sold at Christmas. Scary. Give me an eavesdropping Tinker Bell any day.
The Year of the Donald: Trump has the same effect as rubbing itching powder into my back with a Brillo pad. He displays so many pathologies that his family doctor is a pathologist. Foremost is always being right, as when he said some “very respectable” people throw around the word “schlong.”
Sure they do, when telling filthy jokes. But I’m not surprised at this ignorance, also pathological, given his itty-bitty vocabulary, limited largely to “absolutely,” “fantastic,” “idiot,” “unbelievable,” “great” and “stupid.” But in the twilight of 2015, one ray of good news shone through: Fully 50 percent of Americans said they would be embarrassed if The Donald were elected.
The Year of the Gourmet Fast-Food Burger: Yet another oxymoron raises its aioli head. Cheese is now gouda or bleu, buns are brioche, mushrooms must be portabella, onion slices have become “strings.” And if the sauce doesn’t smack of horseradish, throw it back.
The Year of Stephen Curry: More ballet than bulldozer, at 6-foot-3 and under 200 pounds, Steph proves you don’t have to be LeBron-brute or belong to the Tats-R-Us team to be chosen Associated Press Male Athlete of the year or earn $11 million plus endorsements. I fondly recall watching him sink trifectas for Davidson against Duke and other N.C. teams.
The Year of Paul Ryan: Huh? Mark my words: 2015 will go down in history as the year House Speaker Paul Ryan opened his campaign for the presidency in ’20 or ’24. But lose the beard, please.
Year of the Pope’s Visit: So much has happened since Pope Francis’ rock-star tour in September, which went off without a hitch — thanks to monumental security and a warm, fuzzy feeling of entente. Remember His Holiness scooting around in that little Italian car? Call it a Fiat accompli.
The Good Gas Year: A gallon of gas costs less than a gallon of milk, so everybody went out and ordered a milkshake disguised as a hulking SUV, the auto industry reports. Maybe a tad shortsighted, since what goes down usually resurfaces.
The Year of Pro Football: Start with Deflate-gate, which led the news cycle for many weeks. Then, as one TV commentator put it, we’ve ceded our Sundays — previously a church day — to football. Not to mention Mondays and Thursdays. Not to mention the football-themed Viagra ad.
The Year of Domestic Terrorism: Mr. Trumped-up, you cannot ignore that almost all mass shootings on U.S. soil in 2015 were committed by non-Hispanic non-Muslims. Why, the perp who shot up Planned Parenthood holed up in Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, a stone’s throw from Billy Graham country. Where would you deport that shooter? Arkansas?
The Year of Wild Weather: Mega hot. Mega cold. Mega snow. Crocuses for Christmas. Drought. Floods. Water, water everywhere. Tornadoes out of nowhere. Landslides. Mudslides. Potholes and sinkholes. Isn’t anybody listening to Chicken Little? Certainly not the denier candidates.
The Year of the Cash Cow: Beef prices rose nearly 17 percent in 18 months. Consult a mortgage broker before planning rib roast or brisket. Inflation is blamed on drought. But really, would even a monsoon lower prices?
The Year of Electronic Overload: Now that our devices talk to each other, program each other, turn each other on and off, drive and park each other, even recharge each other, what use is the human touch? Pretty soon they will not only order pizza (with an emogi, of course) but chew it, swallow it, digest it and eliminate the detritus via a 3-D printer. The result: loss of skills. Cursive is already on the endangered list, like tying shoelaces was, post-Velcro.
The Year of the Matchmaker: The prestigious Pew Research Group reports that (yikes!) 11 per cent of American adults and 38 percent of those who are “single and looking” have consulted online dating sites or mobile dating apps. What happened to the Lonely Hearts Club? Sadie Hawkins Day? Strawberry socials? Strangers-on-a-train? Blind dates?
The Year of the Transgender: Too much information on Bruce Jenner’s morph to Caitlyn set the stage for Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar-buzz performance in “The Danish Girl.” Look, after playing Stephen Hawking, becoming a woman is a piece of cake. Make that apple pie.
The Year of the Chip: Credit card chips are a good thing, right? They deter fraud. So how come they’re hard to use, slow down transactions and often malfunction? I’m on my third Amex, and still trouble.
Predictions for 2016, the Year of the Monkey, are all over the map. Live or die, win or lose — it’s like playing Russian roulette at a Trump casino, with a pistol purchased at a gun show. Good luck — and hold on to your hats. Because, as the recently departed Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”