Don’t ask about this year-end review


Ten years ago, there was a lot of talk about a little thing called the Y2K Bug. Remember?

Everyone thought the entire world would come to a grinding halt at the turn of the century due to this computer glitch. And so, when midnight struck, the world was completely shocked to see…. Nothing.

We’ve been through a lot in this first decade of the new millennium. But I think we’ve also been through a lot just in this past year. And because of this, we’ve learned a lot, too. (For example, the Nobel Prize committee has learned that it can apparently get away with handing out prizes for merely breathing.)

I have also learned a lot in 2009, and I’ve shared a lot of that new knowledge with you in this column. So let’s take a stroll back through this past year’s Don’t Ask Why to see how much smarter we all are.

In January, I describe an incident at in which I wish I would have had a snappy comeback when I inadvertently took someone else’s shopping cart at Wal-Mart. (Sir, if you’re reading this, I hope you enjoyed those Oreos.)

Later in January, I wrote a geologically embarrassing article that discussed both an interterm class I was taking at Tabor College (Earth Science) and a recent trip to the Kansas Underground Salt Museum and mine in Hutchinson.

This was a very educational month for me, and I learned a lot about rocks. However, we had to take everything our salt mine tour guide, Matt, said with a grain of salt.

February had a grim start when the nation was going nuts about salmonella poisoning in peanuts. I wrote a painfully punny “news” article about Planter’s Mr. Peanut, who was acting a little squirrelly.

I personally had a poor start to February when I failed to fall asleep to have my wisdom teeth removed. Three sedative doses later, I still remember an obscenely large amount of the teeth-removal process.

March offered a bit more hope when I wrote about placing corporate sponsorships onto natural disasters to help the economy.

I based this idea off of holiday football games: the AT&T Cotton Bowl, Citi Rose Bowl, FedEx Orange Bowl, etc. A few ideas I came up with were the Oreck Vacuum Tornado, Slim-Fast Famine and the Speed Stick Drought.

March ended with the fear that my dirty laundry—having ruminated in a tight suitcase during a two-day drive from the West Coast—would spring out and attack me. Luckily, I barely escaped with my life and had to have that suitcase burned.

In April, I may have overstepped my columnist boundaries, and I learned that when you ask an uncomfortable question, you get a silly answer. To be fair, I know “the other party” believed that they understood what they thought I said, but I’m not sure they realized that what they heard is not what I actually meant.

In May we learned that it is possible to take something as serious as the H1N1 virus and turn it into a “Horton Hears a Who” spoof. (“And so, one by one, the people soon found the flu was no reason for them to feel downed. They agreed with Horton, because after all the scare was a tale, no matter how tall.”)

In June, I offered another suggestion for helping the economy: taxing people who do the right thing.

This was inspired when President Barrack Obama signed a bill that basically would punish credit card holders who paid on time more than those who didn’t.

So I offered, among others, The Please and Thank You Toll and the Turn Signal Tax.

But at the end of the June I saw my tax-payer dollars at work when I was pulled over for rolling through a stop sign in someone else’s vehicle without my driver’s license. To make matters worse, after putting the vehicle in park, I impulsively took off my seatbelt.

July offered the great opportunity to almost sing with the Beach Boys.

I was asked to perform Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” at the Lions Club International Convention in Minneapolis, Minn., where I sang for an audience of about 10,000 people.

As for the Beach Boys, I sang on the same stage as them—albeit several hours later—and used the same microphone as lead singer Mike Love.

In August I bid a fond farewell to my 1994 teal Camaro, Max.

Max, along with his car bra, was the inspiration for several Don’t Ask Why columns.

In late September, with rehearsals for Tabor’s fall musical fully in swing, I discussed my lack of coordination. “Lord,” I prayed, “I know you made me in your own likeness. But are you really that uncoordinated?”

In November we learned that a new car only means new problems. Owning a 2006 Dodge Stratus named Dante, I had hoped that my automotive worries would be over. But in that column I whined about my horn not working and my headlights being too bright.

Perhaps I should mention that Dante is now currently in surgery for a problem bad enough that Chrysler offered to go halfsies on the repairs. The joy just never ends….

And finally, in December we learned that if you must go shopping on Black Friday at least put on some decent pants.

So that was 2009 for me. Here’s to a new decade and a new Nobel Prize committee.


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