3: Oral Roberts tells his followers that unless they send him $4.5 million by the end of the month, God will turn him into a hypocritical money-grubbing slimebag.
5: In response to growing pressure from the United States, the government of Colombia vows to track down its major drug dealers and, if necessary, remove them from the cabinet.
8: The Federal Aviation Administration announces that, in response to a routine questionnaire, 63 percent of the nation's air traffic controllers stated that their primary career goal was "to defeat the forces of the Planet Wambeeno."
10: In the ongoing war against the federal deficit, the Reagan administration submits the first-ever trillion-dollar budget.
14: In New York City, officials of the Justice Department's Organized Crime Task Force announce that Anthony (Grain Embargo) DiPonderoso and Jimmy (Those Little Pins They Put in New Shirts) Zooroni have agreed to enter the Federal Nickname Exchange Program.
16: In his first press conference since 1952, President Reagan, asked by reporters to comment on persistent allegations that he is "out of touch," responds: "Thanks, but I just had breakfast."
18: The People's Republic of China announces that "Deng Xiaoping" means "Big Stud Artichoke."
21: The Audi Corp. is forced to recall 250,000 cars after repeated incidents wherein parked Audis, apparently acting on their own, used their mobile phones to purchase stocks on margin.
26: President Reagan tells Iran-contra scandal investigators that he "might have" approved the sale of arms to Iran.
28: In the Middle East, Syria has its name legally changed to "Jordan." A welcome calm settles over Beirut as the six remaining civilians are taken hostage.
30: In Washington, the Internal Revenue Service unveils the new, improved W4 form, which is such a big hit that the experts who thought it up are immediately put to work on developing a policy for the Persian Gulf.
FEBRUARY 1: A new policy requiring random drug testing of all airline pilots runs into a snag when nearly half of the Delta pilots are unable to hit the specimen bottle.
3: In the ongoing war against the federal budget deficit, Congress gives itself a pay raise.
4: The United States yacht Stars and Stripes recaptures the coveted America's Cup when the Australian entry, Kookaburra, is sunk by a Chinese-made Silkworm missile. The U.S. Sixth Fleet steams toward the troubled region with orders to "form humongous targets." Liberace goes up to the Big Candelabra in the Sky.
6: In a White House ceremony marking his 76th birthday, President Reagan attempts to blow out the hot line.
7: Famed Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward reveals that, in a secret hospital interview, dying entertainer Liberace revealed that Woodward's upcoming book, "Veil," would be "a real page-turner."
8: True item: Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sends out a letter telling lobbyists that for $10,000 apiece, they can attend monthly breakfasts with him.
9: Rep. Arnold LaTreece announces that for $15,000 apiece, lobbyists can kiss him on the lips.
10: George Bush announces that he is available for $12.50.
11: President Reagan tells Iran-contra scandal investigators that he did not approve of the arms sale to Iran.
15: George Bush reduces his price to $3.99, including the souvenir beverage mug.
17: In Colombia, police arrest Carlos Lehder for jaywalking and discover, during a routine search, that his pockets contain 1,265,000 pounds of cocaine. Lehder claims to have "no idea" how it got there.
19: Mario Cuomo announces that he doesn't want to be president and immediately becomes the Democratic front-runner.
20: George Bush announces that HE doesn't want to be president, either.
22: Andy Warhol goes to the Big Soup Can in the Sky.
23: Panic grips the nation as a terrorist group seizes 150,000 new, improved W4 forms and threatens to send them to randomly selected Americans through the mail.
26: Famed Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward reveals that, in a secret hospital interview, dying artist Andy Warhol revealed that Woodward's forthcoming book, "Veil," would be "available in bookstores everywhere."
24: President Reagan announces that he cannot remember whether he approved the sale of arms to Iran. In a quotation that we are not making up, the president tells White House reporters: "Everybody that can remember what they were doing on August 8, 1985, raise your hand."
25: White House reporters examine their diaries and discover, to their shock, that on Aug. 8, 1985, they approved the sale of arms to Iran. They are immediately arrested.
MARCH 3: Comedian Danny Kaye dies moments after granting an interview to Bob Woodward.
7: In the widening scandal on Wall Street, the heads of three major investment firms rob a liquor store.
11: Florida Gov. "Bob" Martinez, who ran for office on a platform of OPPOSING taxes, announces that he will SUPPORT the new tax on services, until it is passed, then he will call for a referendum so voters can vote AGAINST the tax, although he will campaign FOR the tax, but then he will change his mind and announce that he is calling a special session of the legislature to REPEAL the tax. Everybody naturally assumes that the governor is joking.
13: Noncandidate Mario Cuomo, carrying out his normal duties as governor of New York State, meets with the heads of state of England, France, Norway, Sweden and Germany.
15: A barge loaded with garbage sets out into the Atlantic under the command of explorer-author Thor Heyerdahl, who is seeking to prove his theory that South America could have been discovered by ancient mariners sailing from Islip, Long Island, in crude garbage barges.
18: The Southern Methodist University football team is suspended from intercollegiate athletics when NCAA investigators, after taking urine samples, determine that the school's leading rusher, majoring in communications, is a horse.
21: The IRS releases an even newer, simpler W4 form in response to complaints from a number of taxpayers, all of whom will be audited for the rest of their lives.
23: The SMU horse is drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs.
24: A place called "Chad" defeats Libya in some kind of war. This really happened.
27: In what is hailed as a major arms-race breakthrough, U.S. and Soviet arms negotiators in Geneva agree to wear matching outfits.
30: In an illegal industrial waste dump somewhere in Louisiana, lightning strikes two adjacent putrid pools of festering corrosive toxic slime, setting off a bizarre chain of chemical reactions that cause the pools first to bubble, then slowly, horrifyingly, to solidify and pulsate upward, gradually forming themselves into shapes that, in the ghastly light of the flickering electrical storm, appear almost human. "Hi!" they shriek cheerfully into the swampland emptiness. "We're Jim and Tammy Faye!"
APRIL 1: Speaking in unison, an estimated three dozen congressmen, all of them age 43, all of them blond and all of them named "Dick," announce that they are seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
3: In the Persian Gulf, Iranians attack the Islip garbage barge, but are driven off by courageous flies.
6: Noncandidate Mario Cuomo, in the pursuit of his normal gubernatorial duties, reaches a tentative pact with Soviet arms negotiators.
13: True Anecdote: In National League baseball action, the Atlanta Braves' Dion James hits a ball that would have been caught easily, except that in midair it strikes and kills a dove.
14: In Colorado, Gary Hart declares his candidacy for the presidential nomination, making the official announcement while standing in front of a dramatic backdrop of soaring mountains, towering pine trees and four Miami Herald reporters disguised as rhododendrons.
15: The lifeless body of Atlanta Braves player Dion James is found under an enormous mound of dove droppings.
16: President and Mrs. Reagan release their tax returns.
19: The IRS sends back the Reagans' tax returns, gently pointing out that you're supposed to fill them out.
22: Crack U.S. counterintelligence agents in Moscow begin to suspect that the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow, constructed by Soviet labor, might be bugged, when one of them sneezes in the ambassador's office and six chairs say, "Gesundheit."
26: Jack Kemp announces that he is running for president, pledging that, if elected, he will deepen his voice.
30: Following a lengthy and dramatic trial, a confused New Jersey jury awards custody of a 3-month-old boy to a 6-week-old girl.
MAY 2: Late at night on a quiet Washington street, four Miami Herald reporters emerge from a mailbox and confront Gary Hart. Knowing that the voting public does not wish to read squalid details about a candidate's personal life and would much prefer that the media focus on The Issues, the reporters question Hart relentlessly about his views on monetary policy.
3: Like a raging unquenchable forest fire, the Gary Hart story sweeps across the nation, as voters are consumed by a burning need to know more about the candidate's monetary views. Rumors abound that Hart, at various times in his career, may also have had views on a number of other issues.
4: The Hart story becomes so hot that issue-oriented Phil Donahue devotes a show to it, canceling the regular weekly appearance of the sex-change lesbian surrogate-mother nude-dancer ex-priests.
5: The Iran-contra hearings begin with Sen. Daniel Inouye doing his hilarious two-hour impersonation of a 78 rpm record being played at 33 rpm.
6: An angry Gary Hart is forced to withdraw from the race after word leaks out that The Washington Post has obtained documented evidence that he once proposed tying the prime rate to the Index of Leading Economic Indicators.
7: Citing alleged "bisexual activity," officials of the Assemblies of God Church vote to have Jim Bakker defrocked. Then they hastily vote to have him frocked again.
12: U.S. drug agents become concerned when aerial photographs reveal that several dozen Bahamian "islands" are in fact enormous piles of some kind of white powdery substance.
16: Rita Hayworth dies moments after confiding to Bob Woodward that his forthcoming book, "Veil," would be out "just in time for Christmas gift-giving."
17: The U.S. Navy frigate Stark is attacked by an Iraqi jet, which, under our extremely clear Mideast policy, causes us to prepare for violent confrontation with Iran.
29: Nineteen-year-old German Mathias Rust, flying a single-engined Cessna airplane, manages to cross 400 miles of Soviet airspace to reach Red Square in Moscow, where he narrowly avoids colliding with a Delta Air Lines flight en route from Pittsburgh to Cleveland.
30: Caspar Weinberger orders 5,000 single-engine Cessna airplanes.
JUNE 2: True Item: In the ongoing Iran-contra hearings, the committee learns that a country named "Brunei" contributed $10 million to help the contras, except Fawn Hall or somebody typed a wrong number, so the money ended up in the Swiss bank account of a total stranger. This helps explain why, despite all the elaborate assistance efforts with secret codes and passwords and everything, the only actual aid ever received by the contras was a six-month trial subscription to Guns and Ammo.
5: Another True Item: In Venice for the European economic summit, President Reagan, unaware that his words are being broadcast over an open microphone, tells a joke wherein God gradually reduces a gondolier's intelligence until the gondolier switches from singing "O Sole Mio" to "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling."
7: "Brunei" receives 314,324 urgent personal mail solicitations from TV evangelists.
8: In the most dramatic Iran-contra testimony to date, Fawn Hall, played by Farrah Fawcett, testifies that, as Justice Department investigators closed in, she and Oliver North stayed late in their White House basement office and "colorized" a number of classic black-and-white films.
13: After a highly controversial trial in New York, "subway vigilante" Bernhard Goetz is acquitted in connection with a subway shooting incident wherein he claims he was attacked by a gang of prominent Wall Street investors.
18: A survey of Florida residents reveals that their number one concern about the state is that "not enough people are walking around with guns." Alarmed, the state legislature passes a law under which all citizens who are not actually on Death Row will be REQUIRED to carry revolvers.
22: Fred Astaire dies in the arms of Bob Woodward.
24: In a ground-breaking experiment, medical researchers reduce a gondolier's intelligence to the bare minimum required to sustain life, and the gondolier says: "Everybody that can remember what they were doing on August 8, 1985, raise your hand."
29: In Wimbledon action, John McEnroe kills a line judge and is given a stern warning.
JULY 4: The Hormel company marks the 50th anniversary of Spam in festivities featuring a full-size, fully functioning suspension bridge constructed entirely out of the popular luncheon substance.
7: The central figure in the Iran-contra hearings, Lt. Col. Oliver North, becomes an instant national folk hero when, with his eyes glistening and his voice cracking with emotion, he courageously admits, before a worldwide television audience, that he is very patriotic.
9: Oral Roberts reveals that he can raise the dead. He is rushed to the White House.
11: The Iran-contra hearings reach their dramatic peak when Lt. Col. North, his eyes glistening and his voice cracking with emotion, makes a sweeping patriotic hand gesture and knocks over his bottle of Revlon Eye Glistener.
15: The giant Citicorp bank announces that it has agreed to forgive Mexico's $56.3 billion debt in exchange for 357.9 gazillion chickens.
18: In Hollywood, plans are formulated for a major motion picture based on the Oliver North story, starring Sylvester Stallone as North, Fawn Hall as herself and Helen Keller as the president.
21: The discovery of "superconductors" -- materials that offer no resistance to electricity even at relatively high temperatures -- creates a worldwide stir of excitement among the kind of dweebs who always had their science fair projects done early.
24: In the ongoing Iran-contra hearings, the committee hears two days of dramatic testimony from Mario Cuomo, who explains that he has decided to stay out of the presidential race so he can fulfill his obligations as governor of New York.
27: Officials at the National Zoo in Washington are saddened by the death of the tiny infant cub of rare giant pandas Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, who are described as "distraught" by their close friend Bob Woodward. Edwin Meese is linked to the Lincoln assassination.
30: In Moscow, the embassy spy scandal deepens when it is learned that for the past six years, the "wife" of the U.S. ambassador has in fact been four male KGB agents wearing what State Department officials describe as "a very clever disguise."
AUGUST 3: Political activist Donna Rice, in her continuing effort to avoid publicity, sells her story to ABC television.
6: As "Olliemania" continues to sweep the country, one of the most popular video arcade games in the country is a new one called -- this is true -- Contra. The way it works is, there are two soldiers on the screen, and when you put in a quarter, it never gets to them.
10: The U.S. space probe Meanderer II, after a journey of six years and many millions of miles, passes within 400 miles of the surface of Neptune, sending back dramatic color photographs of a Delta Air Lines jet.
16: On the 10th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, tens of thousands of fans gather in Memphis to hear Bob Woodward discuss his final moments with the bulging superstar. At the same time, thousands of other people gifted with "new age" consciousness celebrate the Harmonic Convergence by picking at their straitjacket straps with their teeth.
20: In Miami, alert Metrorail police arrest a woman for permitting her child to eat a Vienna sausage. Bystanders applaud this courageous law enforcement action by firing their revolvers into the air.
22: Rumors circulate that Gary Hart will reenter the presidential race. Johnny Carson places his writers on Full Red Alert.
25: In what is hailed as a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court decides, by a 7-2 vote, that you cannot count three oranges as one item in the express checkout lane "unless they are all in the same package."
27: Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn announces that he doesn't want to be president. Cuomo challenges him to a debate.
28: In the Persian Gulf, tensions mount as a U.S. gunboat engages in a scuffle with actor Sean Penn.
SEPTEMBER 1: The FAA, responding to consumer complaints, issues tough new rules under which airlines are required to notify passengers "within a reasonable period of time" if their plane has crashed.
2: In Washington, reporters notice that at some point -- possibly during a speech by Sen. Inouye, when everybody was asleep -- the ongoing Iran-contra hearings turned into the ongoing confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.
8: Researcher Shere Hite releases her scientific new book, "Men Are Scum."
12: In the ongoing hearings, Sen. Joseph Biden pledges to consider the Bork nomination "with total objectivity," adding: "You have that on my honor not only as a senator, but also as the prince of Wales."
17: The market-savvy McDonald's Corp., capitalizing on the popularity of the movie "Fatal Attraction," introduces a new menu item, Boiled McRabbits.
21: Professional football players go on strike, demanding the right to "have normal necks." Negotiations begin under the guidance of mediator Mario Cuomo.
23: Sen. Joseph Biden is forced to withdraw from the Democratic presidential race when it is learned that he is in fact an elderly Norwegian woman. On the Republican side, the spectacularly Rev. Pat Robertson announces his candidacy for president, buoyed by strong popularity among humor columnists.
28: Tensions ease in the Persian Gulf as a Delta Air Lines flight, en route from Boston to Newark, successfully lands on the U.S. carrier Avocado.
OCTOBER 8: Three hundred prominent law professors sign a petition stating that Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork has "a weenie beard."
15: In an effort to establish that she is not a bimbo, Jessica Hahn appears nude in Playboy magazine. We are pretty sure we must have made this item up.
19: In Norman, Okla., a renegade automatic bank teller known to its followers only as "The Leader" sends a message out on a special data transmission line to New York. Within seconds, Wall Street is gripped by the worst computer riot in history.
20: The Wall Street computers continue to rage out of control, threatening that if any attempt is made to subdue them, they will start electrocuting investment bankers. Tragically, it turns out that they are only bluffing.
22: As the stock market is brought under control, major brokerage firms run expensive prime-time TV commercials reassuring the public that this is a good time to get back into the market, prompting the public to wonder how come these firms didn't spend a few bucks last week to warn everybody to get the hell OUT.
23: The Senate rejects Bork. President Reagan, informed of this by his aides, angrily responds: "Who?"
25: The Senate Transportation Committee recommends that the federal speed limit should be raised on highways going through boring or ugly areas, so drivers can get through them quicker. "In Indiana, for instance," the committee says, "it should be 135 miles per hour."
29: The Minnesota Twins win the World Series. President Reagan, as is the custom, calls up manager Tom Kelly and nominates him to the Supreme Court.
NOVEMBER 1: In the ongoing heroic effort to trim the federal budget deficit, House and Senate conferees agree not to order appetizers.
7: Totally true item: The Miami Herald refuses to publish an episode of the comic strip "Bloom County" because it contains the quotation: "Reagan sucks." To explain this decision, The Herald runs a story containing the quotation: "Reagan sucks." Several days later, in response to a letter from an irate "Bloom County" fan, The Herald prints an explanatory note containing the quotation: "Reagan sucks."
8: Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, large chunks of his scalp falling off, angrily demands that the U.S. do something about "acid rain."
12: In continuing media coverage of the Character Issue, presidential candidates named Bruce (Dick) Babbitt and Albert (Dick) Gore Jr. state that they have tried marijuana, but no longer use it. "Now we just drink gin till we throw up," they state.
13: George Bush reveals that he tried to smoke marijuana, but nobody would give him any.
15: In their continuing heroic deficit-reduction efforts, House and Senate conferees agree to continue working right through their 2:30 racquetball appointment.
17: In Geneva, the final obstacle to a superpower summit is removed as U.S. negotiators agree not to notice the mark on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's forehead.
22: In ceremonies marking his retirement as secretary of defense, Caspar Weinberger is presented with a pen-and-pencil set, built by the General Dynamics Corp. for $352.4 million.
24: The city of Cleveland announces that it has developed tactical nuclear weapons, and does not wish to hear any more jokes.
29: The world financial community's faith in the U.S. economy is restored as heroic House and Senate conferees hammer out a breakthrough compromise deficit-reduction measure under which $417.65 will be slashed from the $13.2 million pastry budget of the Federal Bureau of Putting Up Road Signs With Kilometers on Them.
30: In a presummit public relations gambit designed to show that he is a normal human, Mikhail Gorbachev is interviewed by Tom Brokaw, who, clearly nervous, addresses the Soviet leader as "Premier Forehead Mark." In Washington, Gov. Mario Cuomo formally lights the national Christmas tree.
DECEMBER 1: For the first time, all 257 presidential candidates appear in a televised debate, which is beamed via satellite to a nationwide TV audience consisting of Mrs. Brendaline Warblette of Elkhart, Ind., who tells the press that, after viewing the debate, she leans toward "what's his name, Como."
2: In a widely hailed legal decision, the judge in the bitter divorce dispute between Joan Collins and Peter Holm orders them both shot. Mikhail Gorbachev appears on "Jeopardy."
5: In a cost-cutting move, financially troubled Eastern Airlines announces that its domestic flights will operate without engines. "Most of them never take off anyway," explains a spokesman.
8: In Washington, the long-awaited U.S.-Soviet summit meeting gets off to an uncertain start as President Reagan attempts to nominate Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to the Supreme Court.
9: The summit concludes on a triumphant note as, in the culmination of 10 years of negotiations between the superpowers, Gorbachev and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo sign a historic agreement under which both sides will move all of their mid- and short-range long-term strategic tactical nuclear weapons 150 feet to the left.
12: Michael Jackson, angered over persistent media reports that he has had extensive plastic surgery, strikes a People magazine reporter with one of his antenna stalks.
15: Under intense pressure from the U.S. to reduce the trade deficit, Japanese auto manufacturers agree to give their cars really ugly names.
18: Playboy magazine offers Tammy Faye Bakker a record $1.5 million if she will promise never, ever to pose nude.
23: Motor Trend magazine names, as its Car of the Year, the new Nissan Rat Vomit.
27: Oscar C. Klaxton, an employe of the U.S. Department for Making Everybody Nervous, wins a $10,000 prize for dreaming up the concept of a deadly "hole" in an invisible "ozone layer."
28: Cleveland declares war on "Chad."
31: The year ends on a tragic note as an Iowa farmer backs up his tractor without looking and accidentally kills an estimated 14 blond 43-year-old Democratic presidential contenders named Dick. Knowledgeable observers suggest, however, that this will have little impact on anything.