“Things ain’t what they used to be and probably never was.” – Will Rogers

This time of year, we’re always tempted to say how terrible the past year has been. But let’s face it, if you’re reading this, you’re doing a lot better than Leonard Nimoy. Or Marjorie Lord, remember her? She was Danny Thomas’s TV wife in “Make Room for Daddy”. Back then, almost all the TV dads went to work in a suit, but nobody I knew as a kid had a dad who did that. Also, they were always hiring plumbers and electricians to fix stuff. In my neighborhood, your dad fixed everything. Or if he couldn’t, some friend of his from the mill would do it. Anyway, don’t feel sorry for Marjorie. Ninety-seven ain’t bad. We always had a little thing for Angela Cartwright, and she’s still around. So really, it wasn’t such a bad year, was it? Let’s have a closer look at it to see if we’re missing anything:

Calvin Hobbes 02

January – The year didn’t get off to such a good start. Islamic extremists shot up the offices of a French magazine, “Charlie Hebdo,” killing twelve people. Determined to show firm resolve in the face of terrorist provocation, Secretary of State John Kerry, overruling recommendations by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shocked military experts by unleashing singer James Taylor to perform “You’ve Got A Friend” to a stunned international audience. This really happened. Meanwhile, upon learning that the terrorists intend to ban beer and kielbasa, the Idler called for a tactical nuclear strike. This is also when the “Inflate-gate” story broke. Weird month.

February – Another Super Bowl that the Steelers never got close to, it became famous for Seattle’s boneheaded goal-line pass play late in the 4th quarter. Since it was an extraordinarily stupid and untimely play, and one that cost them the game, there was a lot of speculation that the machiavellian Bill Belichick must have surreptitiously inserted it into the Seahawks’ rotation directly from the Steelers’ playbook. The halftime show featured someone named Katy Perry who rode in on a tiger and then flew around the stadium on a trapeze. At least that’s what it looked like we wrote on a cocktail napkin at Duke’s.

March – Alert Munhall officials decided to investigate certain minor discrepancies in the borough’s finances after Detroit fiscal officials were seen driving past the borough building pointing and laughing. In the NCAA men’s basketball finals, lots of extremely tall young fellows ran and jumped around dunking a basketball. Upon learning of the administration’s planned agreement with iran allowing for continued enrichment of uranium, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted an invitation to address a joint session of Congress and devoted the majority of his speech to posing the rhetorical question, “What are you, nuts?” Secretary of State John Kerry responded with a press conference assuring the Israelis that their Air Force could easily defend against any Iranian threat, concluding with a performance by Elton John of his classic, “Benny and the Jets.”

April – Buccos, baby. There were some early questions, such as “How can we replace multimillionaire catcher Russell Martin?” Answer: Venezuelan paisano Francisco Cervelli. Also, the starting rotation looked terrific and the pen looked deep.

May – Bud Dupree turned out to be a pretty good linebacker for a guy who sounds like someone you’d have a mint julep with at the Kentucky Derby. Golson’s a pretty fair D-back. No Bells or Polamalus, though.

June – Sharp-eyed Munhall officials become suspicious when they learn that the borough checking account is overdrawn by $230,000  and resolve to get to the bottom of this discrepancy right after the regularly scheduled best-out-of-three-falls intra-council wrestling match.

July – August – September – 53 / 35 at the All-star break. If it weren’t for the loathsome, disgusting Cardinals, you know? We were 96 / 63 at the end of September and 98 / 64 for the season.

October – November – December – Bucs get skunked by the hot pitcher again, this time shut out by Arrieta of the Cubs. Great season, but this is getting old. In response to a murderous terrorist attack on Paris civilians, Secretary of State John Kerry vows to fly in Roberta Flack to sing “Where is the Love?” UFC governing bodies refuse to sanction a match between Munhall Councilmen after their application check bounces.

Happy New Year!

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com  Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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