Magazine
    Next Score View the next score

    Globe Magazine

    Dave Barry’s year in review: Good riddance, 2018!

    Who’s got the bigger nuclear button? And other highlights of another ridiculous year.

    Midterm madness, White House musical chairs, fun with foreign policy, airline outrage, and the fallout from the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss. (Trump and Putin from AFP/Getty Images; Daniels, Mueller, Kavanaugh, and Cohen from Getty Images; Kim from KNS; Belichick by Jim Davis/Globe Staff; Globe staff photo illustration)
    Midterm madness, White House musical chairs, fun with foreign policy, airline outrage, and the fallout from the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss. (Trump and Putin from AFP/Getty Images; Daniels, Mueller, Kavanaugh, and Cohen from Getty Images; Kim from KNS; Belichick by Jim Davis/Globe Staff; Globe staff photo illustration)

    We can summarize 2018 in two words: It boofed. We’re not 100 percent sure what “boofing” is, despite the fact that this very issue was discussed in a hearing of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. All we know for certain about boofing is that it is distasteful and stupid. As was 2018. In spades.

    What made this year so awful? We could list many factors, including natural disasters, man-made atrocities, the utter depravity of our national political discourse, and the loss of Aretha Franklin. Instead, we’ll cite one event that, while minor, epitomizes 2018: the debut of Dr. Pimple Popper. This is a cable-TV reality show featuring high-definition slo-mo close-up videos of a California dermatologist performing seriously disgusting procedures on individuals with zits the size of mature cantaloupes. You might ask, “Who on earth would voluntarily watch that?” The answer, in 2018, was: MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. That is the state of our culture.

    Is there anything good we can say about 2018? Only this: It got us out of 2017. As you recall, we, as a nation, spent all of 2017 obsessing over 2016: the election, the Russians, the e-mails, the Mueller probe, the Russians, the Russians, the Russians. . . . So when 2018 finally dawned, we were desperately hoping for change.

    Advertisement

    It was a new year, a chance for the nation to break out of the endless, pointless barrage of charges and countercharges, to move past the vicious, hyperpartisan spew of name calling and petty point scoring, to end the 24/7 cycle of media hysteria, to look forward and begin to tackle the many critical issues facing the nation, the most important of which turned out to be . . .

    Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
    The day's top stories delivered every morning.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    . . . The 2016 election. Yes. We could not escape it. We were like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, except that when our clock radio went off, instead of Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You Babe,” we awoke to still MORE talk of Russians and e-mails; MORE childish semiliterate presidential tweets about FAKE NEWS and Crooked Hillary; MORE freakouts by cable-TV panelists predicting that — forget about the previous 300 times they made the same prediction — THIS time impeachment was IMMINENT, PEOPLE. IMMINENT!!

    Meet the new year: same as the old year.

    So at some point during 2018, normal, non-Beltway-dwelling Americans simply stopped paying attention to current events. Every now and then we’d tune in to a cable-TV news show to see what kinds of issues our nation’s elite political/media class were grappling with, and we’d see a headline like “PORN STAR STORMY DANIELS: TRUMP DIDN’T USE A CONDOM.” That was when Dr. Pimple Popper started to look pretty good.

    So we’re very glad that 2018 is finally over. Once again we’re on the cusp of a new year, another chance for change. And once again, we find ourselves feeling stirrings of hope — hope that the coming year really will be better. Why do we feel this way? Why, despite all our past disappointments, do we believe things really can improve? Because we are morons, apparently.

    Advertisement

    So let’s not get too excited about 2019. Our emotional state, going forward, should be hopelessness leavened with despair, as we can see when we look back at the grotesque boof-a-palooza that was 2018, starting with . . .

    JANUARY 

    . . . which sees world tensions rise when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un states that he has a nuclear-missile launch button on his desk. This leaves US commander in chief Donald Trump with no viable military option but to fire up his Random Capitalizer App and tweet “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger more powerful one than his,” thereby leaving no doubt as to which leader is more secure regarding the size of his button. In an apparent effort to reassure everyone on his mental state, the president also issues a tweet in which he describes himself as “genius . . . . and a very stable genius at that!” Which is EXACTLY HOW VERY STABLE GENIUSES TALK, OK??

    The intellectual level of the national discourse soars even higher when it is reported that, during an Oval Office meeting on immigration reform, the president referred to some poorer nations as “sh*tholes.” This upsets many people, especially the frowny panelists of CNN, who find the word “sh*tholes” so deeply offensive that they repeat it roughly 15 times per hour for a solid week.

    Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that shortly before the 2016 election, President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels so she would keep quiet about an alleged act of executive outreach with Trump in 2006. Cohen responds that “President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence, as has Ms. Daniels.” So that settles THAT.

    A congressional squabble shuts down the federal government for three days, but what with the intense media focus on the sh*thole and porn star issues, hardly anybody notices.

    Advertisement

    The residents of Hawaii experience an exciting Saturday morning when they receive the following message on their phones from the state’s Emergency Management Agency: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Seventeen extremely tense minutes go by before Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, gets the word out on social media that it’s a false alarm. Asked later about the delay, he says — we are not making this quote up — “I have to confess that I don’t know my Twitter account log-ons and the passwords.” This statement arouses powerful feelings of longing among high-level Trump advisers. The fiasco leads to the resignation of the head of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, who immediately accepts a position as director of pet transportation for United Airlines.

    Speaking of emergencies, in . . .

    FEBRUARY

    . . . with yet another government shutdown looming, Congress, whose irresponsible spending practices have put the nation on the road to fiscal disaster, faces a choice. It can either: 1) Continue to spend huge amounts of money that we don’t have, or 2) Not. After much late-night drama, Congress agrees on a compromise deal under which it will continue to spend huge amounts of money we don’t have. This display of leadership solves the budget problem permanently until March.

    PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: A general view of the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images
    The opening ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, in February.

    On the Stormy Daniels front, Michael Cohen acknowledges that he did, in fact, pay $130,000 to the porn actress, but that he used his own money and the Trump campaign had nothing to do with it and it was all totally legit. So that settles THAT.

    In sports, the 2018 Winter Olympic Games get underway in PyeongChang, South Korea, with a historic opening ceremony highlighted by the release of 25 doves, which are immediately shot down and consumed by the North Korean men’s biathlon team. In domestic sports, the Eagles defeat the Patriots to win their first Super Bowl, and huge crowds of joyous Philadelphia fans celebrate by destroying downtown Boston. No, that would actually make sense. In fact the Philadelphia fans spend the night destroying their own city, then head home for a hearty breakfast of Tide Pods.

    Speaking of classy behavior, in . . .

    MARCH

    . . . Secretary of State Rex Tillerson learns that President Trump has fired him when, during an official visit to Africa, he is ejected from his State Department plane at 35,000 feet. No, seriously, Tillerson learns of his firing via a presidential tweet, which says: “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!” So midair ejection would actually have been more dignified.

    Speaking of air travel: United Airlines, which received some unfortunate publicity in 2017 when it “reaccommodated” a 69-year-old man by dragging him, bleeding and screaming, off his flight, has an eventful week involving traveling dogs (these events actually happened):

    On Monday, a United attendant on a Houston-to-New York flight orders a passenger to stow a bag containing a French bulldog puppy, Kokito, in the overhead bin. This does not turn out well for Kokito.

    On Tuesday, a German shepherd named Irgo, which United was supposed to fly to Kansas City, instead gets flown to . . . Japan! Meanwhile, a Great Dane that United was supposed to fly to Japan winds up in Kansas City. It is probably a good thing that both of these breeds are too large for the overhead bin.

    On Thursday, a United Flight from Newark to St. Louis is diverted when United realizes that a dog that was loaded onto the plane was supposed to go to Akron, Ohio.

    Responding to public outrage over these incidents, United Airlines issues an apology, but sends it to the wrong e-mail address.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson waves goodbye after speaking aat the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. President Donald Trump fired Tillerson and said he would nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him, in a major staff reshuffle just as Trump dives into high-stakes talks with North Korea. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson waves goodbye after speaking at the State Department in Washington in March.

    Speaking of incompetence: Congress averts yet another government shutdown by passing, with President Trump signing, a bill under which the government will — prepare to be shocked — spend a truly insane amount of money that it does not have.

    With the spending problem addressed, Washington then turns to more pressing matters, specifically the Stormy Daniels crisis, which escalates when Ms. Daniels files a lawsuit to invalidate her nondisclosure agreement on the grounds that Trump didn’t sign it. This issue dominates the news cycle, especially on CNN, which puts Daniels’s extremely outgoing lawyer, Michael Avenatti, on every CNN news program. He also handles weather and sports updates.

    Abroad, the Russian news agency TASS reports that Vladimir Putin, who campaigned on the theme “A Vote For Putin Is A Vote For Not Dying Under Mysterious Circumstances,” has been declared the winner of the 2018 Russian presidential election, as well as, in the interest of efficiency, the 2024 and 2030 elections.

    In entertainment news, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, seeking to atone for the 2017 envelope fiasco, return to the Academy Awards stage and triumphantly announce that the winner of the Oscar for best picture is Gone With the Wind. Fortunately, by then nobody is watching.

    The fiascos continue in . . .

    APRIL

    . . . when the abandoned Chinese space station Tiangong-1, which has been anxiously watched by scientists as its orbit decayed, plunges back to earth and, in a worst-case outcome, fails to land on attorney Michael Avenatti, thus enabling him to continue appearing on CNN more often than the Geico gecko.

     President Trump, faced with — among other problems — a continuing immigration crisis, increased Russian aggression in Syria, and a looming trade war with China, launches a barrage of assault tweets at what is clearly the biggest threat to the nation: Amazon. Trump is forced to back down when the retail giant threatens to suspend the White House’s Amazon Prime membership and cancel delivery of a large order placed by the Defense Department, including six nuclear submarines, two aircraft carriers and a missile-defense system with a five-star average review rating from other nations.

    Responding to alleged Russian infiltration of Facebook and massive breaches of user data, the Senate Committee of Aging Senators Who Cannot Operate Their Own Cellphones Without the Assistance of Minions holds a hearing intended to answer such probing questions as:

    What IS Facebook, anyway?

    Where does it go when you turn off the computer?

    Is there a print version?

    Is Facebook the one with the video of a cat riding on a dog?

    How the heck do you get a cat to do that, anyway?

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the Senate judiciary and commerce committees on Capitol Hill on April 10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
    Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a Senate panel in April.

    Abroad, the big news is a historic summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. In what observers see as a major breakthrough, Kim agrees to sign a letter of agreement explicitly acknowledging, for the first time, that he has exactly the same hairstyle as Bert, of Bert and Ernie.

    In sports, Patrick Reed wins the Masters Tournament, prompting jubilant Eagles fans to celebrate by destroying what little is left of Philadelphia.

    Speaking of celebrations, in . . .

    MAY

    . . . the biggest story by far is the wedding of American ex-actress Meghan Markle to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, who is in the direct line of succession to the British throne behind Prince Louis of Cambridge, who is behind Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, who is behind Prince George of Cambridge, who is behind Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, who is behind Charles, Prince of Wales, who is 70 but any year now could get his shot at becoming the anachronistic ceremonial figurehead of one of the world’s most second-rate powers. With the stakes so high, the media giddiness level soars to DEFCON 1; the wedding cake alone gets more media coverage than Africa and global climate change combined.

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony in Windsor, England, near London, on May 19, 2018. (Ben Birchhall/pool photo via AP)
    Ben Birchhall/pool photo via AP
    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in May.

    In other international developments, hopes for a summit meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Trump soar when North Korea releases three American prisoners, only to be dashed when North Korea refuses to accept, in exchange, Stormy Daniels. Later in the month, hopes soar again when North Korea announces that, as a good-faith gesture, it has destroyed its Punggye-ri nuclear test facility, only to be dashed again when satellite imagery of the explosion reveals that what the rogue nation actually blew up was a 2006 Hyundai Sonata.

    Meanwhile, Trump announces that the United States will withdraw from the 2015 multination nuclear deal with Iran on the grounds that 1) it is deeply flawed, and 2) he does not own any golf courses there.

    In entertainment news, Roseanne Barr sends out a tasteless, idiotic tweet and immediately has her network show canceled, thereby illustrating a key difference between being a sitcom star and being president of the United States.

    In sports, the wettest Kentucky Derby in history is won by the favorite horse, Justify, after the rest of the field is eaten by sharks.

    Speaking of eating, in . . .

    JUNE

    . . . President Trump flies to Quebec to attend the G7 summit. Hopes that the meeting will produce a historic agreement on global climate change, or at least a nice group photo, are dashed when, during dinner, Trump becomes embroiled in a heated policy disagreement with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom over the issue of ketchup.

    From Canada, the president flies to Singapore for the on-again, off-again, now-on-again historic summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. This meeting is more productive, ending with the two leaders signing a letter of agreement in which North Korea promises to think seriously about denuclearizing, in exchange for the formula for pumpkin spice latte.

    On the domestic front, the president is forced to reverse his administration’s policy on separating immigrant children from their parents in response to a widespread and passionate international outpouring of criticism from his wife, Melania. Trump insists, however, that he remains “as committed as ever to protecting our borders by building a purely imaginary wall.”

    In other domestic news, Senator Chuck “The Human Bandwagon” Schumer, citing studies showing that every living American adult except Mitt Romney has tried pot, introduces a bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and, quote, “create a massive bureaucracy tasked with wasting millions of dollars on things like bong-safety regulations.” The legislation would also create a trust fund under which a percentage of the federal tax revenue raised from marijuana sales would be set aside specifically to purchase Cheez-Its.

    In sports, the World Cup soccer tournament opens in Moscow with a beaming Vladimir Putin looking on as the host Russian team coasts to a 5-0 victory over a Saudi Arabian team whose players appear distracted by the presence directly behind their bench of what the Russians insist is a “strictly ceremonial” tank.

    Speaking of ceremony, in . . .

    JULY

    . . . President Trump continues to have exciting foreign-policy adventures, starting with a trip to Brussels for a NATO summit, which gets off to a rocky start but settles down once the president’s advisers are able to communicate to him, via frantic hand signals, that NATO is actually our side. From there the president travels to Britain, where he has tea with the queen and makes what he later tells the press is “a very generous offer, believe me, VERY generous” for the crown jewels.

    Then it’s on to Finland for a summit meeting with Vladimir Putin. At a press conference afterward, the president tells reporters that Putin — and if we can’t trust Vladimir Putin, who can we trust? — “strongly” denies interfering in the 2016 US election. Trump adds that he, personally, sees no reason why Russia would interfere. This comes as a surprise to the US intelligence community and pretty much everybody else with the IQ of cottage cheese or higher. After a firestorm of criticism, Trump clarifies his remarks, explaining that he actually meant to say that he sees no reason why Russia WOULDN’T interfere. Thus the pesky issue of the 2016 election is finally laid to rest.

    U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin give a joint news conference following their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018. (Mikhail Metzel/Tass/Abaca Press/TNS)
    TNS
    President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a press conference in Helsinki in July.

    In domestic news, the president nominates Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Accepting the nomination, Kavanaugh says: “If confirmed by the Senate, I pledge to give full and fair consideration to every case brought before me. Also every keg.” For their part, Senate Democrats release a statement promising to “consider Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications in good faith and with open minds,” adding, “obviously we are lying.”

    In state news, Colorado state legislators, fired up by the Chuck Schumer decriminalization bill, unanimously vote to legalize marijuana, only to be informed that marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2012. After enjoying a hearty laugh, the legislators unanimously vote to order 300 large pizzas.

    In sports, France defeats Croatia to win the World Cup. Jubilant Eagles fans, with nothing left in Philadelphia to destroy, lay waste to Delaware.

    Speaking of defeats, in . . .

    AUGUST

    . . . a Virginia jury finds former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty of tax evasion, bank fraud, and having a name that can be rearranged to spell “Fart Upon Lama.” Only minutes later, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty in New York to various charges, including arranging hush-money payments in 2016 to Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal “at the direction of a candidate for federal office” who is not named but was obviously Bernie Sanders. No, seriously, the candidate was obviously Trump.

    Some of the hush money was reportedly paid by the company that owns the National Enquirer at the direction of its CEO, whose name — we swear we are not making this up — is David Pecker (which can be rearranged to spell “David Pecker”). The Manafort/Cohen story gets massive coverage on CNN and MSNBC, with hordes of joyful panelists celebrating the now-inevitable impeachment of Trump by dancing around the studio singing “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead.” For its part, Fox News presents a timely investigative series on preventing salamander-transmitted diseases.

    In a coordinated nationwide response to Trump’s repeated attacks on the press, sternly worded editorials rebuking the president are published in more than 300 newspapers, with a combined editorial-page readership estimated at nearly 14 people. For his part, CNN’s Jim Acosta courageously confronts White House press secretary Sarah Sanders over this issue, despite the very real risk that he will have to feature himself prominently in his report on this harrowing incident.

    In business news, Apple becomes the first publicly traded US company to be worth $1 trillion, thanks to its shrewd business model of constantly coming out with costly new products that require costly chargers that are completely different from all the costly Apple chargers you already have, and sometimes spontaneously mutate overnight in such a way as to require even newer and costlier Apple chargers.

    Speaking of electricity, in . . .

    SEPTEMBER

    . . . Washington is atingle with a level of excitement that can only result from a clash of two high-voltage personalities: Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who both have served in the Senate since shortly before the Big Bang. The committee holds two hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the second devoted to explosive allegations contained in a letter that was delivered back in July to Senator Feinstein, who, what with one thing and another, failed to mention it until September. The nation watches, riveted, for more than seven hours as Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, deliver emotional testimony, at the end of which the nation has learned the following facts:

    1) The senators have no idea what, if anything, actually happened.

    2) Nor do they care.

    3) The truth is utterly irrelevant to them.

    4) Brett Kavanaugh really likes beer.

    - In this Sept. 23, 2018, file photo, Tiger Woods celebrates after on the 18th green after winning the Tour Championship golf tournament in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)
    Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP/File
    Tiger Woods celebrates after winning the Tour Championship in Atlanta in September.

    In other political news, The New York Times publishes an anonymous op-ed column allegedly written by a “senior administration official” who is harshly critical of President Trump. Despite intense pressure, the Times refuses to reveal the author’s identity, although linguistics experts see a possible clue in the fact that the column twice refers to Trump as “my husband.”

    Meanwhile, the president addresses the United Nations General Assembly, declaring that his administration “has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” The audience reacts with laughter, which the president’s advisers assure him is how world leaders traditionally show respect. Fox News confirms this.

    In sports, Tiger Woods wins the PGA Tour Championship, his first tour win since 2013. The Maryland National Guard is called out to defend Baltimore from the advancing army of jubilant Eagles fans.

    Speaking of wins, in . . .

    OCTOBER

    . . . the Senate approves the Kavanaugh nomination by a vote of 50 to 48, with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski voting “present” and Chuck Schumer voting “extra cheese.”

    The New York Times,in a major investigative story, asserts that Donald Trump amassed much of his fortune through “dubious tax schemes,” including a $723 million deduction in 1993 for what was described in Trump’s federal tax return as “croissants.” Trump denounces the Times story as FAKE NEWS, asserting that the deduction “was actually for a range of pastries.” Fox News confirms this.

    Tension mounts when explosive devices are mailed to high-profile Trump critics, including Barack Obama and the Clintons. After an intensive nationwide manhunt, federal authorities arrest a man who has been living and driving around in a van plastered with images clearly broadcasting the message I AM A DANGEROUSLY CRAZY PERSON, but since he was doing this in South Florida, nobody noticed.

    An already bad month gets exponentially worse when a gunman shouting anti-Semitic epithets opens fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue. It is an atrocity so horrific, and so shocking, that nearly three minutes pass before people start using it as a club to bludgeon those with whom they disagree politically.

    In sports, the nation rejoices as, for the ninth consecutive year, some team other than the New York Yankees wins the World Series. Atlanta is evacuated when troops are unable to halt the relentless advance of jubilant Eagles fans.

    The Boston Red Sox celebrate after Game 5 of baseball's World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Red Sox won 5-1 to win the series 4 game to 1. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
    The Red Sox win the World Series in Los Angeles in October.

     Speaking of looming menaces, in . . .

    NOVEMBER

    . . . the nation braces for what political analysts agree will be the most important midterm elections since the dawn of time. Voters prepare for the big day by binge-watching Netflix, because regular TV has turned into a gushing sewer of political attack ads apparently created by and for dimwitted 4-year-olds.

    President Trump hits the campaign trail to warn voters that if Democrats are elected, there will be nobody to protect the nation from a deadly caravan of alleged Hondurans moving relentlessly toward the US border at approximately the speed of a senior golf foursome. This caravan, according to the president, contains gang members, diseases, diseased gang members, Middle Easterners, spies, and diseased Middle-Eastern spy gang members carrying what Trump claims — and Fox News confirms — is “a 200-foot-long atomic switchblade.”

    For their part, the Democrats appeal to voters with a three-pronged message:

    PRONG ONE: The Democrats are the party of fairness, diversity, and inclusion.

    PRONG TWO: Anybody who disagrees with the Democrats about anything is Hitler.

    PRONG THREE: But more racist.

    -- AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2018 -- Aerial view of Honduran migrants heading in a caravan to the US, as the leave Arriaga on their way to San Pedro Tapanatepec, in southern Mexico on October 27, 2018. - Mexico on Friday announced it will offer Central American migrants medical care, education for their children and access to temporary jobs as long as they stay in two southern states. (Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP)GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images
    Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images
    A caravan of Hondurans fleeing their country for the US crosses a bridge in southern Mexico.

    The election goes smoothly, except of course in Florida, which should seriously consider outsourcing all of its government functions to a competent organization, such as Montana. As usual the most confused county in Florida is Broward, which to this day is not 100 percent certain how it voted in Dewey vs. Truman. Nationwide, however, it is clear the voters have given the Democrats control of the House while leaving the Republicans in control of the Senate, thereby guaranteeing that for the next two years Congress will accomplish nothing, which may well be what the voters intended.

    The day after the election Jeff Sessions resigns as attorney general upon learning that his office has been relocated, in what the White House describes as a “security measure,” to the men’s restroom of a Kwik Mart in Frederick, Maryland.

    Meanwhile, the ongoing saga that is The Jim Acosta Story, Starring Jim Acosta As Jim Acosta, takes a thrilling turn when Jim gets into a dramatic struggle with a White House intern over a microphone. The Trump administration, always looking for ways to make a stupid situation even stupider, suspends Jim’s press pass and releases a video that somebody apparently doctored to make it appear more violent by splicing in the shower scene from Psycho.

    Speaking of violence: The president, addressing the question of whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had knowledge of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi Consulate by agents of the Saudi government, releases a statement, which he apparently typed with his own thumbs, stating, quote, “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” So that settles THAT.

    Abroad, intelligence satellite photographs reveal that 16 construction projects in North Korea — which the North Korean government claims are going to be Chipotle restaurants — in fact are missile bases. North Korea insists that these will be used “only for delivery orders.”

    As Thanksgiving approaches, two turkeys — named Peas and Carrots — are summoned to the White House, where the president, in keeping with a lighthearted Washington tradition, appoints them to high-level posts in the Justice Department. Two days later he fires Peas over what insiders describe as “policy differences.” Within minutes, Peas is hired as a political analyst by MSNBC.

    Meanwhile, the American people observe the Thanksgiving holiday by reflecting on their many blessings, then assaulting each other over consumer electronic devices that are imperceptibly better than the ones they already have. While this is happening, the federal government releases a report warning that climate change will have a catastrophic impact on the nation’s future, but because of all the sweet Black Friday deals, nobody notices.

    The month concludes on a positive note as NASA’s $850 million InSight space-probe lander, after a six-month interplanetary journey covering 301 million miles, touches down on the surface of Mars. It was supposed to go to Venus, but NASA used navigational data provided by United Airlines. Speaking of mistakes, in . . .

    DECEMBER

    . . . President Trump heads to Argentina for the G20 summit, which consists of the G7 nations plus Russia, China, India, Argentina, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, Indonesia, Microsoft, the Corleone family, Gryffindor, and LeBron James. Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in an effort to end the escalating trade war, which is caused by China deliberately making cheap products that Americans want to buy. The two leaders reach an agreement under which Trump will hold off on imposing $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese goods, in return for which China will purchase a new Chevy Volt, nearly doubling that vehicle’s annual worldwide sales. In response, the Dow soars, only to plunge again when financial analysts learn that China declined the premium floor-mat option.

    On the ever-changing personnel front, Trump announces that his nominee to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general is “an excellent lawyer, I forget his name at the moment, but he’s terrific, believe me.” Fox News confirms this. To replace Nikki Haley as UN ambassador, the president chooses Heather Nauert, but only after his advisers are able to convince him that Katniss Everdeen is a fictional character. Replacing John Kelly as White House chief of staff is Wayne Newton.

    Meanwhile, in a devastating blow to the US humor industry, Michael Avenatti announces that he will not run for president.

    Reliable rumors swirl around Washington that special counsel Robert Mueller is about to do some major thing that, while not specified in the rumors, will definitely mean the downfall of Trump and THIS TIME IT IS REALLY HAPPENING, PEOPLE. In anticipation of this event, CNN unveils a special panelist desk that is the length of a regulation basketball court, providing the capability to have an unprecedented 170 panelists sitting side-by-side expressing outrage simultaneously, and bringing CNN one step closer to the day when it has more panelists than actual viewers.

    All this happens as congressional Democrats prepare to take control of the House of Representatives, where they plan to implement an ambitious agenda focused on the number one concern of the American people, which of course is . . . the 2016 elections!

    In a disturbing display of US vulnerability to cyberattacks, Russian hackers briefly gain control of NOEL666, the supercomputer that churns out the hundreds of virtually identical Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, and cause it to broadcast a movie titled You Better Watch Out, in which the male and female lead actors, instead of falling in love and getting married, become psychotic from eating tainted fruitcake and savagely murder their entire village with sharpened candy canes.

    In a more positive story, NASA’s interplanetary InSight lander proves to be a technological success and an inspiration to all Americans, distracting us from our petty political squabbles and uniting us in admiration of the stunning pictures it transmits back to Earth from the Martian surface, including a remarkably clear image of what a NASA spokesperson says “appears to be a large mound of uncounted ballots from Broward County, Florida.”

    The month ends on a troubling note when one of North Korea’s newly constructed Chipotle restaurants launches a ballistic missile carrying what military analysts say is a 3-ton tactical beef burrito, which travels 4,600 miles before splashing into the Pacific just off the coast of Oahu, producing a tidal wave containing potentially dangerous levels of tomatillo chili salsa. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency attempts to broadcast a text warning, but because of what an agency spokesperson says is “human error,” the message actually sent to all of the state’s residents reads HAPPY NEW YEAR.

    Here’s hoping that the wish expressed by this erroneous HEMA message comes true. We would truly love for 2019 to be a happy year. Or at least a better year than 2018 was. It has to be better, right? How could it possibly be worse?

    Please, put down the Tide Pod.

    Dave Barry writes for the Miami Herald, though he no longer produces a weekly column. Send comments to magazine@globe.com. Follow us on Twitter @BostonGlobeMag. Get the best of the magazine’s award-winning stories and features right in your e-mail inbox every Sunday. Sign up here.