January 1 The New Year begins on a hopeful note as joyous freedom-loving Germans tear down the Berlin Wall. In college football, the University of Miami wins the national championship, causing the collapse of 17 savings and loan institutions that had bet on Notre Dame.
2 Joyous freedom-loving Germans hastily rebuild the Berlin Wall after discovering that it contains a major sewer line. 4 In Panama, strongman Manuel Noriega is arrested on drug charges after a "sting" operation in which he was videotaped smoking crack cocaine in an apartment with 27,000 undercover U.S. troops. 5 True item: A Northwest Airlines flight, en route from Miami to Minneapolis, is forced to land in Tampa after an engine falls off in midair as a result of a problem caused by a leaking toilet. 8 Elvis quietly turns 55. 10 The Federal Aviation Administration orders that all commercial airline flights must carry a licensed plumber. 12 In the Union of Fewer and Fewer Soviet Socialist Republics, secession movements break out in Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldavia and Lithuania. The American Heart Association announces that oat bran tastes like mulch. 18 Gullible Washington Mayor Marion Barry is tricked into smoking crack by slick undercover agents who tell the mayor that it is "candy." 19 Congress, responding to a national crisis, creates a new Cabinet-level post, Secretary of Deciding Which Long Distance Phone Company You Should Get. 20 True item: The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. develops a new cigarette, called "Uptown," designed specifically to be marketed to black people. 21 In the worsening savings and loan crisis, experts announce that, because of newly discovered problems, cleaning up the mess will require every man, woman and child in the United States to pay $20,000 in cash by Wednesday afternoon. 27 Captured Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is brought to Miami and placed in the Maximum Security Suite at the Hotel Inter-Continental. 29 The Federal Aviation Administration, responding to concerns over passenger health, bans U.S. airlines from serving food. 31 True item: An official of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration tells the Baltimore Sun that, in an effort to get high, people have been licking cane toads, which secrete a hallucinogenic and sometimes deadly chemical. The official notes that this is a difficult crime to prosecute: "If you had a toad, we would have to prove you were licking it on purpose, or you had given it to someone to lick on purpose." February 1 The first McDonald's opens in Moscow and is very successful, although the customers, unfamiliar with American fast-food procedures, have to be shown how to turn the used containers into litter. 2 In Pennsylvania, a popular Groundhog Day tradition is reenacted as "Punxsatawney Phil" pokes his sleepy head out of the ground and is liberated by animal-rights activists. 4 In Miami, a riot breaks out in Manuel Noriega's maximum-security hotel suite when the former Panamanian strongperson's mini bar runs out of brie. 6 In the worsening savings and loan crisis, experts announce that, because of newly discovered problems, cleaning up the mess will require every man, woman and child in the United States to immediately come up with $100,000 plus a 15 percent gratuity. 7 British surgeons successfully transplant a cheeseburger from the stomach of a 47-year-old woman to that of a 19-year-old man. In Washington, crafty undercover agents trick Mayor Marion Barry into licking a toad. 9 Alleged mafia kingpin John Gotti is acquitted by a New York jury that apparently was deeply impressed when Gotti's lawyer, in a dramatic closing argument, chain-sawed the heads off of 12 randomly selected dolls. Paul McCartney turns 70. 11 Donald Trump informs the press that he is leaving his wife, Ivana, so that he can spend more time with himself. Stocks fall. 12 U.S.-government-sponsored TV Marti starts broadcasting toward Cuba in an effort to trick the Castro regime into purchasing billions of dollars worth of useless merchandise from the Home Shopping Network. 13 In the Soviet Union, secession movements break out in Armenia, Malaria, Amnesia, Anemia, Pennsylvania, Lusitania and Gardenia. 14 The U.S. Postal Service, which loses $4 million a day, announces that it must raise the price of a first-class stamp to 30 cents so it can pay for all those TV com- mercials telling you how efficient it is. 15 In Beverly Hills, animal-rights activists liberate Zsa Zsa Gabor. 16 A dispute between professional baseball team owners and players results in the cancellation of spring training, posing a grave threat to the nation's spit supply. 18 True item: President Bush, in his national drug control strategy, requests $6.5 million for an Agriculture Department program to study the malumbia moth, which, in its caterpillar stage, eats the coca leaves used to produce cocaine. "This is quite a voracious caterpillar," states an Agriculture Department official. 19 Donald Trump spends a weekend with himself in Hawaii. "Best sex I ever had!" he reports. 20 Security is tight as President Bush and three Latin American leaders go to Colombia for a drug summit. 21 In an upset that shocks the boxing world, heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is knocked out by actress Robin Givens. At the drug summit, President Bush and three Latin American leaders announce that they are "very happy" and wish to order a pizza. 22 Ronald Reagan, in videotaped testimony for the trial of his former national security adviser, John Poindexter, clears up some lingering questions about the Iran-contra scandal by revealing that to the best of his recollection, Iran "is a country located near Europe or possibly France." CBS suspends Andy Rooney for doing a commentary devoted entirely to toe lint. Neighboring nations ask the drug summit to keep the noise down. 23 Reagan's press office releases a clarification stating that the former president meant to say "or possibly Sweden." The drug summit concludes on a positive note as President Bush and three Latin American leaders issue a joint statement declaring that if you stare at a candle for several minutes, you see some "really incredible" colors. 25 Millions of bottles of Perrier are pulled out of stores worldwide when a chemical analysis reveals that it's nothing but water. 26 Financially troubled Eastern Air Lines reaches an agreement with its creditors under which it will give them back 50 percent of their luggage. March 1 The war on drugs suffers another setback when, as a result of a typing error, the Agriculture Department, instead of breeding the coca-eating malumbia moth, starts breeding the gazoombia moth, which eats fax paper. 2 Ivana Trump announces that she is unhappy with the terms of her prenuptial agreement, under which she would receive the children, a house and Connecticut. Concerned New Yorkers donate canned goods. 4 The Republic of Mauritania attempts to secede from the Soviet Union, only to be informed, in a strongly worded rebuke from Mikhail Gorbachev, that it is located in Africa. 5 True item: Cardinal John O'Connor reveals that twice in the past year, New York City priests have performed exorcisms to cure people possessed by demons. The cardinal does not mention George Steinbrenner by name. 11 Another true item: Vice President Quayle, in Chile to represent the entire United States, sends a Secret Service agent into a souvenir shop to purchase an anatomically correct Indian statuette that, when you pull its head back, becomes very masculine, if you get our drift. 15 Political confusion deepens in Haiti when a tourist from Akron, Ohio, wanders into the palace during Coup Hour and is accidentally declared President for Life. 16 Vice President Quayle is reported to be suffering from neck pains. His office denies rumors that Marilyn has been pulling his head back. 17 In Washington, a security foul-up at the Agriculture Department results in the escape of several million gazoombia moths. In the ensuing rampage, the hungry insects destroy an estimated 750,000 pounds of vital government fax documents, or nearly a third of the daily federal output. Stocks soar. 18 True item: U.S. officials admit that a billion-dollar U.S. spy satellite, which was launched in February to spy on the Soviet Union, has malfunctioned and will soon crash, possibly on the Soviet Union. 22 True quote from George Bush, Leader of the Free World: "I do not like broccoli, and I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it, and I'm president of the United States, and I'm not going to eat any more
broccoli." 28 In Washington, undercover agents trick Mayor Marion Barry into sitting on a "whoopee cushion." 30 True item: NASA delays the space-shuttle mission that will launch the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope because of -- we swear we are not making this up -- gnats on the payload doors. "The Hubble is so sensitive," a NASA spokesperson says. "They've got very strict conditions." 31 President Bush compares broccoli to Hitler. April 1 The U.S. Census Bureau mails out 100 million census forms, 87 million of which are addressed to a single household in Albany, N.Y. 2 In a major coup for U.S. intelligence, a U.S. spy satellite successfully penetrates a Soviet Politburo meeting through the roof. Unfortunately, the satellite is destroyed upon impact. Fortunately, the meeting is also being broadcast on CNN. 5 In the worsening savings and loan crisis, experts announce that, because of newly discovered problems, cleaning up the mess will require every man, woman and child in the United States to eat a live iguana. 10 Donald Trump, fueling rumors that his financial empire is in trouble, stars in a "No Excuses" jeans commercial. 15 In New York, Imelda Marcos goes on trial on charges of stealing several Philippine islands, which she allegedly concealed under her skirt. 21 In New York City, junk-bond king Michael Milken pleads guilty to fraud and is ordered to pay a fine of $600 million, which he obtains by selling his watch. 22 Joining in the celebration of Earth Day, R.J. Reynolds introduces a new cigarette, "Planet." 23 The U.S. Census Bureau celebrates Thanksgiving. 24 NASA again delays the launch of the extremely sensitive $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope because of barbecue sauce on the lens. 27 The Food and Drug Administration announces that whatever it said about cholesterol in last week's cholesterol announcement was probably wrong. 30 A team of Boston University medical researchers reports that you can make better armpit noises if you wet your hand first. May 1 True item: An animal-rights activist reveals that the Navy has a top-secret project to mount .45-caliber guns on the snouts of trained dolphins for use against enemy frogmen. 3 The Soviet Union, in a major step toward developing a Western-style economy, begins producing junk bonds. A Japanese industrialist pays $117 million for Vincent van Gogh's undershorts. 7 A pair of armed dolphins escapes from the Navy and holds up a supermarket, making off with 300 pounds of frozen mullet. 9 The "multiple personality" legal defense is ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court in a 137-76 vote. 14 Congress, despite strong lobbying efforts by the National Rifle Association, bans private ownership of aircraft carriers. 15 The Coca-Cola Co. introduces a "MagiCan" promotion in which cash and prize certificates will be ejected from special cans, supplied by a NASA contractor. 17 The Coca-Cola Co. hastily cancels the MagiCan promotion after several cans eject prizes at upwards of 200 miles per hour. 18 Arkansas and Texas are ravaged by the worst floods in decades, prompting a concerned R.J. Reynolds Co. to introduce a new cigarette, "Torrent." 22 In a move with ominous implications, the Iraqi army buys up the entire stock of unused Coke MagiCans. 26 In a shocking season finale to the popular TV series "Twin Peaks," viewers learn that Laura Palmer was killed by Bart Simpson. 30 The Bush administration renews China's preferential trade status after the Chinese government, responding to criticism of its human-rights policies, agrees to shoot civilians with a smaller caliber of bullet. June 3 In the worsening savings and loan crisis, experts announce that, because of newly discovered problems, cleaning up the mess will require all U.S. citizens to get scorpions tattooed on their butts. 5 Resolving a complex case in which seven couples are claiming custody of a child resulting from an artificially inseminated egg that was a frozen embryo through four divorces and was incubated in two surrogate mothers, a judge rules that the child should be raised by wolves. 10 True item: A pilot is sucked halfway out of a British Airways jet at 23,000 feet when a windshield blows out. Crew members cling to his ankles for 15 minutes while the copilot lands the plane safely. 11 The British Civil Aviation Authority orders all pilots to be equipped with ankle handles. 12 A spokesperson for Universal Studios acknowledges that "a few bugs need to be ironed out" of the company's new Orlando theme park after the King Kong ride, designed by a NASA contractor, eats a Nebraska woman. 14 Donald Trump, continuing to deny that he is in financial trouble, sells his hair. 17 A federal judge in Fort Lauderdale rules that 2 Live Crew's lyrics are obscene and, in an unexpectedly harsh sentence, orders the group to appear on "Geraldo" AND "Donahue." 19 True item: The Air Force acknowledges that it paid Pratt & Whitney $999 apiece for special pliers that install clips on airplanes. A Pratt spokesperson says: "They're multipurpose -- not only do they put the clips on, but they take them off." An Air Force spokesperson says: "Perhaps $999 was a bargain for this item after all." These are real quotes. 25 A shocked President Bush reveals that he has discovered a large federal budget deficit and taxes might have to be increased after all. Everyone is just stunned. 27 NASA begins to suspect that there might be a little problem with the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope when it starts transmitting extreme close-up photographs of a sticker that says "REMOVE THIS STICKER BEFORE LAUNCHING TELESCOPE." 30 Japan, under intense pressure from U.S. manufacturers to open its borders to American products, agrees to purchase 100 million barrels of acid rain. July 1 NASA, plagued by continued fuel leaks, announces a plan to wrap the space shuttle Discovery in a 1.5-million-square-foot paper towel. 3 Imelda Marcos is cleared of shoplifting charges and tearfully orders the district attorney shot. 4 True item: President Bush spears his palm while cleaning a fish. 5 The Soviet Communist Party Congress, continuing the movement toward Western-style democracy, accepts $135,000 from banker Charles Keating. 7 The Supreme Court rules 9-0 that if it hears another word about flag-burning, it's going to puke. Vice President In Training Dan Quayle, attempting to clean a fish, spears the Norwegian ambassador. 9 In the annual Forbes magazine list of the world's wealthiest individuals, the No. 1 ranking goes to a guy named Bud who knows how to fix transmissions. Donald Trump fails to make the list, but does appear in the magazine as part of a Rogaine ad. 10 Neil Bush indignantly denies allegations that his being George Bush's son had anything to do with the fact that he was named to the board of directors of the now-insolvent Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan despite not knowing squat about banking. 11 The Air Force pays Pratt & Whitney $2,784 apiece for a revolutionary light switch that not only turns the light on, but also turns it off. 16 As a wave of patriotic fervor sweeps the nation, Nebraska becomes the 27th state to approve a constitutional amendment that would prohibit Roseanne Barr from singing the national anthem. 17 Exxon announces that the notori- ous tanker Valdez will return to service under a new name, the "Baby Seal." 19 In Yorba Linda, Calif., thousands gather for the dedication of the Richard M. Nixon presidential library and birth cave. In a sad day for baseball, Pete Rose, convicted of failure to pay taxes on gambling income, is named to the board of directors of the Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan. 22 NASA, hoping to salvage the Hubble Space Telescope project, announces plans to launch Rex, the $1.1 billion seeing-eye satellite. 27 Showing great social awareness, the PGA announces that it will no longer hold golf tournaments at country clubs that own slaves. 28 In a news development that receives more publicity than world hunger, Connie Chung announces that she wishes to become pregnant. 30 Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent, exercising his authority to protect the best interests of baseball, has George Steinbrenner fed to weasels. Maury Povich is treated for exhaustion. 31 This would have been a good day to sell your stocks. August 2 Iraq invades Kuwait, setting off worldwide panic as thousands of oil company executives pour into Ferrari dealerships. President Bush, determined to show that he is not being handcuffed by the crisis, continues fishing and golfing. 3 In the worsening savings and loan crisis, experts announce that, because of newly discovered problems, cleaning up the mess will require every man, woman and child in the United States to donate "at least one kidney." 8 A massive multinational buildup gets under way in the Persian Gulf, with the United States providing troops, ships, planes, weapons and huge quantities of supplies; Western Europe providing potato salad; and Japan chipping in with some real nice sun visors. 10 As the rapid U.S. buildup continues, more than 100,000 TV camera crews arrive in the Persian Gulf to do stories about how hot it is. In a moving show of support, R.J. Reynolds introduces a new cigarette, "Buildup." President Bush, determined to show that he is not being handcuffed by the crisis, goes sky diving. 14 Violence flares in the Saudi desert as camera crews for the "Today" show and "CBS Morning News" get into a fight over who will televise Private 1st Class Buford Hectorman saying "hi" to his mom. President Bush, determined to show that he is not being handcuffed by the crisis, accepts a role in "Police Academy XVI." 16 After a series of embarrassing failures, NASA heaves a sigh of relief as the space probe Magellan, paying big dividends, sends back pictures proving that Venus contains rocks. 18 True item: A government audit shows that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has paid benefits to more than 1,200 deceased persons, including 100 who had been deceased a decade or more. The department says it will do something about this. 20 Another true item: Three former Northwest Airlines pilots are convicted of flying drunk. 21 The Department of Veterans Affairs sends out new forms that recipients are to fill out and return if they have reason to believe they are deceased. 23 Neil Bush indignantly denies allegations that his being George Bush's son had anything to do with the fact that he was named president of General Motors. continued on page 26 BARRY continued from page 24 25 In Reno, Nev., members of the rock group Judas Priest go on trial on charges that their music caused two suicides. Chrysler announces that it will put air bags on Lee Iacocca. 26 The U.S. Census Bureau launches an intensive, house-by-house survey of selected neighborhoods in Lima, Peru. The jury in the Judas Priest trial asks the judge if it can have some cyanide. 30 Saddam Hussein appears on "Arsenio." September 1 Three former Northwest Airlines pilots are convicted of flying naked. 7 Neil Bush indignantly denies allegations that his being George Bush's son had anything to do with the fact that he was named admiral of the U.S. 7th Fleet. 10 The U.S. government accepts delivery of the brand-new, $320 million edition of Air Force One, which was completed nearly two years late because of problems with the horseshoe pit. 14 Concern is once again focused on the quality of American schools when the U.S. education secretary releases a report that turns out to have been copied verbatim from the interior secretary's report on offshore drilling. 17 Gen. Michael Dugan, the Air Force's top officer, is fired after revealing the top-secret, highly sensitive strategic fact that if there's a war with Iraq, the Air Force would drop bombs on it. Previously, everybody had thought that submarines would be used for this purpose. 20 In yet another setback for the space program, NASA acknowledges that Rex, the $1.1 billion seeing-eye satellite, has run off and made wee-wee on Jupiter. 22 Continuing its dramatic movement toward a Western-style economy, the Soviet Union decides to become an Amway distributor. 23 The Motion Picture Association of America announces a new movie rating, C-17MCTEDTPWTL, which means "Children Under 17 Must Close Their Eyes During the Part With the Llama." 24 A Cincinnati art museum and its director go on trial on obscenity charges after exhibiting a group of U.S. political campaign commercials. 26 Fun-loving U.S. ally China opens the 11th annual Asian Games with a dramatic ceremony featuring 250 bombers performing the spectacular Political Dissident Drop. 29 True item: The best-selling nonfiction book in the United States is Millie's Book, which was "dictated" by the president's dog. The proceeds are to support literacy. Really. 30 The vice president's office an- nounces plans to publish Dan's Book. October 1 True item: The Goodyear blimp is forced to land after being attacked and punctured by a radio-controlled airplane. 2 President Bush compares Saddam Hussein to broccoli. 3 After 45 bitter years of separation, East and West Germany unite to form a single nation, chastened by the past, hopeful for the future. 4 Germany invades Poland. 5 Oprah Winfrey, fueling rumors that she has regained much of the weight she lost in last year's much-publicized diet, is attacked by a radio-controlled airplane. 7 Washington rejoices as top federal brains finally produce a federal budget package, although critics question some of the revenue assumptions, such as that government scientists will develop a method for turning ketchup into gold. President Bush states that he is "very happy" with the budget package, adding that he is "strongly opposed" to it. 10 In the worsening savings and loan crisis, experts announce that, because of newly discovered problems, cleaning up the mess will require every man, woman and child in the United States to watch every episode ever made of "The Love Boat." 12 Congress fails to approve the budget package, forcing the government to close down and creating the specter that federal checks will not be mailed to millions of needy, fearful, dependent savings and loan institutions. 14 The eyes of the international chess community focus on New York City, where Soviet-born chess champion Gary Kasparov prepares for what is expected to be another classic match against James "Buster" Douglas. 15 True item: An aide to Sen. Claiborne Pell claims that he and some psychologists spent hours listening to tapes of President Bush's speeches played backward, and detected the word "Simone." The aide notifies the Defense Department, "in case it is a code word that would not be in the national interest to be known." 16 Defense Department security experts, just making sure, listen to all of Vice President Quayle's speeches backward and conclude that they make "a lot more sense." 17 NASA, declaring that the Hubble mission may not be such a disaster after all, reveals that the orbiting telescope has sent back photographs confirming astron- omers' suspicions that the moon is "shaped like a big ball." In the continuing federal budget crisis, President Bush says he opposes higher taxes. 19 In championship chess action, the opening match ends in a draw when Gary Kasparov attempts a daring Queen Rook Gambit, only to see the wily James "Buster" Douglas lunge across the table and grab both of the champion's Ring Dings. In the continuing federal budget crisis, President Bush says he favors higher taxes. 20 Mikhail Gorbachev wins the Nobel Prize for Best Bald Male Vocal. President Bush agrees to debate himself on taxes. 21 True item: The House of Representatives, in its ongoing battle to reduce the pesky federal budget deficit, approves a farm bill that includes $500,000 to make a tourist attraction out of Lawrence Welk's childhood home. 22 In an impressive performance, President Bush trounces himself in the tax debate by pointing out that "You're no Walter Mondale." 23 In a move widely hailed by ecologists, McDonald's announces that it will start using biodegradable hamburgers. 26 Mikhail Gorbachev is forced to return the Nobel Prize when the Nobel committee learns that he was lip-syncing. 30 Neil Bush indignantly denies allegations that his being George Bush's son had anything to do with the fact that he was named king of Spain. November 1 The College Board, responding to complaints that the SAT tests are culturally biased, announces that test-takers will no longer be required to identify Barry Manilow as "the King of Soul." 2 In the worsening savings and loan crisis, experts announce that, because of newly discovered problems, cleaning up the mess will require every citizen of the United States to become the personal love slave of a man named "Snake." 3 Drug czar William Bennett resigns after a routine airport security check reveals that his briefcase is full of toads. 6 In midterm elections, the voters, clearly fed up with the incompetence, corruption and rampant hypocrisy of the incumbents, reelect them. 8 President Bush, reinforcing the American commitment to remain in the Persian Gulf until the job is done, orders an additional 250,000 high-level White House aides to come up with the real reason that we are there. 9 Over the heated objections of Manuel Noriega's attorneys, CNN broadcasts a tape of the deposed Panamanian strongperson performing "My Way." 11 The Senate ethics committee learns that the "Keating Five" owes more than $17 million in library fines. 13 In the CNN-Noriega tape dispute, the Supreme Court shocks First Amendment advocates by ruling that the deposed Panamanian strongperson was lip-syncing. 23 In a historic summit agreement that eliminates the last irritating remnant of the Cold War, George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev sign a treaty under which the two sides will jointly execute comedian Yakov Smirnov. Best Western stocks soar. 27 Margaret Thatcher resigns as British prime minister following published reports that her hair is made out of fiberglass. Britain forms an entirely new government in roughly the amount of time it takes the U.S. Congress to declare National Celery Month. 28 The ex-press secretary to Barbara Bush reveals that Millie's Book was actually dictated by a ghost dog named Booger. December 1 The U.S. Commerce Department, denying claims by some economists that the nation has entered a recession, quietly sells its furniture. 2 The Soviet Union, in yet another major step toward developing a Western-style economy, opens a savings and loan institution. 7 In the ongoing deficit-reduction effort, Congress approves $13.1 million to build a tourist attraction at the birthplace of Led Zeppelin, including a 190-foot-tall Codpiece Tower. 9 The U.S. space program suffers yet another setback when the Hubble Space Telescope is rammed by the Exxon tanker Baby Seal, which is off course by an estimated 275 vertical miles. 10 Romania, taking its first tentative steps toward Western-style democracy, broadcasts the Willie Horton ad. In Washington, the "Keating Five" are arrested for jaywalking. 14 Three former Northwest Airlines pilots are convicted of flying with an unauthorized sheep in the cockpit. The president of Chile, visiting the United States, buys an anatomically correct statuette of Dan Quayle. 18 The Soviets, lacking the know-how necessary to operate a modern, Western-style economy, announce that their savings and loan is making money. 23 Neil Bush indignantly denies allegations that his being George Bush's son had anything to do with the fact that he is named "Neil Bush." 27 Calvin Klein develops a new fragrance, called "Scumbag," designed specifically to be marketed to executives of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The "Keating Five" rob a liquor store. 28 The Magellan space probe sends back photographs proving that the surface of Venus has a number of U.S. census takers. 29 Experts inform a Senate committee that, because of newly discovered problems, cleaning up the savings and loan mess will now require the obliteration of all life on the planet. So there is a silver lining after all. And you have yourself a Happy New Year.