DON’T ASK WHY- Some ‘fat’ highlights of the year we finished

Thinking about years past is kind of like looking at an old photo album. In all the pictures you see, you are overwhelmed by the fact that you used to be SO skinny, and you ultimately become depressed because of how bad you look now.

Well, here’s a friendly reminder that last year was just as fat as this year.

(Some of the items below are actually completely true.)

* * *

Jan. 12-NASA launches the Deep Impact space craft that will eventually crash into a comet. On this mission, NASA hopes to find what is inside a comet, the building blocks of our universe and Elvis Presley.

Jan. 18 -The Airbus A380 prototype makes its debut in France. It is seven stories high and can seat 555 passengers. Among the amenities on board are bars, gift shops, gymnasiums and little peanut packages that are less than 10 years old.

Jan. 20 -President George W. Bush is sworn in for his second term and was able to get through his speech without saying “edumication.”

Feb. 6-Super Bowl XXXIX was watched by millions of viewers. Unfortunately, no one actually knows who won because all anybody cared about was whether Janet Jackson would make a reappearance.

Feb. 21-The world becomes aware of the avian influenza, also know as the bird flu. Doctors and scientists predict that a global outbreak of a human-susceptible version of the virus could begin, turning everyone into chickens. Millions laugh until their dentures fall into their laps.

Feb. 26-Police arrest Wichita serial killer Dennis Rader, or “BTK, ” causing KAKE News producers to wet their pants in excitement.

March 4-Martha Stewart is released from prison after serving five months for lying to investigators about a stock sale. She will spend another five months in house arrest at her $16 million estate. How much bad luck can one woman have?

March 24-The names of three new species of slime-mold beetles are published in an issue of the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. They are named after George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld (Note: I am not making this up.).

April 1-A Japanese company reveals its newest product: Ghost Radar. The gadget is designed to alert the user when a ghost happens to be present.

April 19-White smoke is seen coming from the Sistine Chapel, symbolizing either the election of a new pope or that the college of cardinals is having a barbecue.

Also, the U.S. government announced a new food pyramid. “Our main idea,” said one official, “is to make eating healthier even more confusing.”

May 31-Deep Throat is revealed to be none other than Richard Simmons.

June 13-Michael Jackson admits to his lawyers that he is guilty, and is immediately acquitted of all charges.

June 14 -Dennis Rader tells his lawyers that he’s guilty, too.

June 15-Michael Jackson celebrates his freedom by getting a new nose.

June 17-Mahathir Mohamad, former Malaysian prime minister, announces the formation of an International Emergency Committee for Iraq. The main purpose of this committee is to ensure fair trials for Saddam Hussein, former members of the Ba’ath Party and anyone else whose name sounds like gibberish.

July 4-NASA’s Deep Impact project successfully hits the targeted comet. An unexpected revelation exposes an old Osama Bin Laden hideout inside.

July 19-For the first time in years, the White House and thongs appear in the same controversial news headlines. However, last time the stories were about Monica Lewinsky.

July 20-ABC Family premieres its new reality TV series, “Venus and Serena: For Real.” But nobody cares.

July 26-NASA shuttle Discovery launches into outer space. During takeoff, a chunk of foam is seen flying off the craft. “Fortunately,” said a NASA representative, “it was only part of a Styrofoam cooler that contained the crew’s supply of Tang.”

Aug. 29-Hurricane Katrina storms through the Gulf Coast, causing billions of dollars of damage.

Aug. 30-Everyone is pretty darn sure it’s the president’s fault.

Aug. 31-Gas prices continue to hit record highs. Some parts of the country pay more than $3.50 per gallon. “Don’t worry,” said a Texan oil well owner, “we’re not doing too bad down here.”

Sept. 6-California legalizes same-sex marriage. “What’s the big deal?” asked one couple. “It’s not like God intended for only man and woman to get married.”

Oct. 1-Federal enforcement of the National Do-Not-Call Registry begins, restricting telemarketers to only call during the dinner hour.

Oct. 2-The “Salmon-30-Salmon,” a giant 737 jet plane painted to look like a fish, is unveiled to promote the fish industry in Alaska. Terrorists immediately begin plans for a fish fry.

Oct. 15-Iraqi citizens vote on a draft constitution for their country. “Our goal,” said a U.S. representative, “is to make it easier to understand than ours.”

Nov. 22-High school student Michael Sessions, 18, is sworn in as mayor of Hillsdale, Mich.

Dec. 16-Jessica Simpson files for divorce from her “Newlywed” costar Nick Lachey. One of Simpson’s publicists announces later that MTV will premiere its new television series next fall entitled “Newlydivorced.”

Dec. 25-Americans aren’t exactly sure what is celebrated today…. But they’re pretty sure it used to contain the words “merry” and “Christmas.”

UFO: On occasion, the ransom paid for a kidnapped victim is tax-deductible. So save your receipt.

Don’t ask why.

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