2011 brought disaster, conflict, no Thai food | Humor

As part of a liberal press conspiracy, The Beachcomber asked us to review the past year and highlight events they were too timid to discuss.

“One of you is a county employee,” said the email, “you should be used to taking heat.” At least that’s how we remember it. We accidentally deleted the message.

2011 was notable for natural disasters and human conflict. The world saw earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, drought and wildfires. Dictators fell, nations threatened bankruptcy and Kim Kardashian’s marriage failed after 72 days.

January opened with the beginning of the “Arab Spring” revolt. Meanwhile in Arkansas, thousands of blackbirds mysteriously died, leading to claims that Republicans revolting over Obamacare were “pulling the plug on Polly.”

In February, residents of Vancouver, Wash., sighted a UFO and two aliens, one of whom said he was late for a VMICC meeting, and the Two Wall Gallery became famous when the owner disagreed with the curator’s artistic preferences.

This led to more conflict in March, with an effort to remove a member of the VMICC board, the Rossers going to war with the park district and dirt bikers going to war over access to the Maury Island Marine Park.

At the same time, parts of Japan were inundated with seawater when a massive earthquake and tsunami struck. Effects of the shaking were felt even in sleepy Burton, where the coffee stand was accused of making lattes with “too much foam.”

Foam also flowed in London pubs during April, when Kate married William in a small ceremony for family and close friends. Like many, we enjoyed the opulence on the big screen after slogging through the mud in our fancy dress and muck boots.

Speaking of muck, in May President Obama fulfilled a campaign promise when Navy Seals witnessed the death of Osama bin Laden by lead poisoning.

Also in May, the Supreme Court OK’d warrantless searches (prompting a raft of searches for no reason at all) and Bill Ptacek, King County Library Systems director, announced that all libraries except Vashon’s would be removing their surveillance cameras to avoid charges of spying. “On Vashon, we’re not going to be caught unaware of community sentiment next time we move,” an official said.

June signaled the beginning of the wacky season (summer was months away), with the statewide “What’s up your butt?” campaign highlighting colon cancer prevention. Vashon responded with a “What’s that stinky ooze in your yard?” campaign, and a woman in Oregon acquired a British accent after having dental surgery (diagnosed as “Foreign Accent Syndrome”).

By then, most had figured that the end of the world (predicted for May 21) was not going to save us from such nonsense. California preacher Harold Camping revised the date to Oct. 21, citing a “math error.”

July coincidently marked the end of the shuttle missions and the beginning of planning for the new Vashon Allied Arts arts center. Some arts center opponents noted that significant savings could be gained if VAA did away with the booster rockets.

But the most important thing that happened in July was the announcement that a Thai restaurant is coming to town! Upon hearing the news, 20 Islanders lined up at the former site of Homegrown. Ten of them were still waiting in August, when census results showed Vashon to be home to the most same-sex couples with no access to a Thai restaurant.

It was about then that summer arrived on Vashon, ending after two days, and a man in Sweden tried to split atoms in his kitchen (“Foreign Delusions Syndrome”).

Meanwhile, earthquakes occurred in Colorado and Virginia. A damage report in Colorado said (really) that a “resident reported being thrown onto his wife while sleeping.” If that’s not enough excitement, Libyan rebels took control of Gadhafi’s compound and found pictures of — you guessed it — Harold Camping.

September opened with Tom Bangasser becoming a media mogul, and then not, and three Island businesses sold nuclear weapons, or maybe tobacco, to teenagers. Shortly after, two TSA employees (with “Foreign Underwear Syndrome”) were reprimanded for asking passengers to take off their knickers during screenings.

In October, the school district noticed the Homecoming dance was scheduled for Yom Kippur and the band concert was scheduled for Dec. 25. October was also the month that the Occupy (your town here) Movement got rolling. Three people and their dogs occupied KVI Beach, but left when one of the dogs stepped on a broken beer bottle.

In space news, a German satellite crashed into earth, leaving a trail of beer and polka music, and the “seven billionth” baby was born somewhere on the planet. Sadly, the end of the world came in October for Steve Jobs, but not for the rest of us.

November found the line at Homegrown had dwindled to four diehards. There was economic turmoil in Greece and Italy (because they also have no Thai food), and Penn State had some kind of personnel issue that the university president advised us not to discuss.

This brings us to December, when the elves and the homeless were booted from town. Herman Cain was also booted after 23 women complained, two of whom had married him. Mitt complained because Herman got so much attention simply for having multiple partners, and Newt couldn’t understand why that was a problem.With impeccable timing, NASA announced the discovery of the largest black hole outside of Congress.

Despite these disturbing trends, we’ll close by wishing you the best for 2012 and by quoting Steve Jobs’ last words, which we hope describes your future: “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”


— Greg and Margaret Wessel live on Vashon, where they closely follow the news.


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