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Spoofs & Satire

Credit: Pascal

This Will Be the Year That Was

If you can’t wait to find out what 2015 will bring—from John Galliano’s Cosby sweaters to Jenny McCarthy getting polio—wait no longer. (Spoilers ahead.)

January

New York magazine declares 2015 the Year of the Unpaid Intern, then later recants, admitting unpaid interns ran the story after forcing the masthead out of the building to get them coffee.

President Obama signs a bill creating the Dept. of Star Wars Protection, with the power to veto any and all footage from The Force Awakens ahead of its December 2015 premiere. Disney and Lucasfilm point out that the movie is already in post-production. “People,” says the president, “this is too important to screw up. Consider yourselves in post-post-production.” Hundreds of policymakers form dozens of committees.

Environmental lobbyists finally kill the Keystone XL pipeline by convincing the Republican majority in Congress that terrorists could be piped from Canada into the US at high speeds.

February

A Sesame Street special featuring new character Sgt. Ferguson fails to heal any racial divides.

Unilever develops sprayable New Baby Scent, which realtors and home stagers purchase by the gallon, further driving up housing markets nationwide.

New England Patriots cornerback Darelle Revis throws a brick at a nightclub mirror. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell releases a statement: “This incident, while unfortunate, is a reminder that Darelle is a real competitor, and may have been upset over that enormous, game-changing interception he missed in last month’s conference championship. The NFL apologizes to the real victims here: Patriots fans everywhere.”

March

Designer John Galliano courts another controversy by changing the theme of his Paris Fashion Week show to Cosby sweaters.

The price of oil drops so low that people on Facebook start performing gasoline bucket challenges.

Just as Germany declares it has found no evidence of US wiretaps on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phones, Canada announces its own investigation into wiretaps of government officials. The State Dept. does not react. Canada threatens sanctions if any evidence should surface. No reaction. Canada hints that any details of super-secret meetings with scary countries are no one else’s concern. The State Dept. rolls its collective eyes and pretends to issue dubious-sounding denials.

North Korea cyber-attacks adult film company Vivid Video after Kim Jong Un grows suspicious that so many people in the films “wanted him.”

April

The price of oil drops so low that people on Facebook start performing gasoline bucket challenges.

Stem cell reprogramming tests fall victim to hacking, as human hearts cloned at Oregon Health and Science University appear with the word “4chan” on the aorta.

Leading chefs open a thrilling new vista on the culinary experience by infusing their dishes with viruses. Crispy squab with c. difficile reduction is a smash at L’Arpège in Paris. At New York’s Ivan Ramen, Chef Orkin twists his ramen noodles into a double helix to represent the DNA bacteriophage within. Good Morning America samples an apricot pseudo-chlorotic leaf spot virus over rabid endive. Master sushi chef Jiro Ono disdains complexity and serves a squid with herpes.

May

The backlash against Malala Youssef begins, as the Nobel Peace Prize laureate goes on to win the Mother Teresa Award, the Confucius Peace Prize, induction to the Knights of Malta, the World’s Ugliest Dog contest (for her terrier Babca), Big Brother 17, and the Oscar for Best Sound Editing.

DW Griffith’s classic film Intolerance is remastered on BluRay for the new 24k HDTV with an image so clear that viewers are able to see ripples whenever Lilian Gish is silently farting.

The Venn diagram of baby names and dog names becomes a complete circle.

June

NFL linebacker Mario Williams is caught on video cooking an endangered leatherback turtle. Roger Goodell releases a statement: “The league will not investigate this matter, as there is a possibility, however slim, that this is simply a contract negotiation tactic on the part of Mr. Williams’s agents. The NFL may not involve itself in negotiations between a player and his team. We wish Mario and the alleged turtle well in their pursuits.”

Denmark asserts its claim on the North Pole by constructing a floating bike lane along the Arctic Circle.

Vladimir Putin shows up unannounced in restaurants in New England, ordering plate after plate of crabcakes, then sending them all back with a disdainful sweep of his finger.

New evidence confirms that you do not, in fact, believe what these 15 former child stars look like today.

July

As a PR stunt, an upcoming movie about the leaked Sony production emails has its own production emails leaked on a set of limited-edition Burger King plastic cups.

Rumors from the Dept. of Star Wars Protection indicate a hive of infighting. Scenes are hashed and rehashed to death, script pages are flung, threats are issued, tearful screaming matches occur daily, cast and crew are subjected to invasive searches. The president’s eye twitches every time the department is mentioned. Despairing fans stage a mass carbonite (liquid nitrogen) freezing of their collectibles.

Denmark asserts its claim on the North Pole by constructing a floating bike lane along the Arctic Circle.

August

Snoop Dogg faces charges that he is laundering stolen Sumerian artifacts through his non-profit youth football league. On the same day, Roger Goodell announces Snoop will perform in the NFL’s opening day concert festivities. “Yes, I’m aware of what’s happening with the youth league,” Goodell says during a press conference, “and it’s too bad about the timing, but this was around long before that. We can’t let every back-page news item impede our very complex business. Any relevant questions?”

In addition to the fission and fusion of atoms, a new form of energy is discovered based on the “will they/won’t they” tension between two nuclei.

All the anti-vaccinators’ children get polio. But they recover. They just have it long enough to cause their parents wrenching, ironic pain and suffering. You know what, forget it—Jenny McCarthy gets polio.

September

The virus-in-food trend is declared officially over when TGI Friday’s adds the Smoked Salmonella Surprise to their menu and Doritos starts selling bags of Hanta Habanero Jack. Elite restaurateurs move on to food grown over Native American burial grounds.

Chanel and Ubisoft sue each other for using the same slow, dirgey piano cover of “Karma Chameleon” in a commercial.

Veterans’ hospitals begin admitting victims of internet comment boards.

Researchers at MIT become the latest victim of stem cell hacking when they produce a cloned goat that can only bleat Rick Astley songs.

October

Celebrating after a touchdown, Packers running back Eddie Lacy does the Lambeau Leap and knocks over his pregnant girlfriend. Roger Goodell immediately tweets, “There are private boxes! Don’t want to get leaped on, don’t sit in the endzone seats! Guess ‘pregnancy brain’ is a real thing after all.”

The arcane FBS ranking system chooses Islamic State as the visiting team in the Orange Bowl.

Protestors begin appearing with shirts reading “KEEP GOVT. HANDS OFF OUR STAR WARS” and “THANKS EMPEROR OBAMATINE.” Justice Antonin Scalia insinuates that torture may not be out of the question for anyone—including elected officials—who besmirches the franchise any further.

The New Yorker goes smugless; sales plummet.

November

Pope Francis adds quinoa to the Holy Trinity, now the Holy Quaternity. “It is truly miraculous,” he says. “Look how many pushups I can do.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center releases its annual list of least-wanted Nazi war criminals, including Hans “Clown Prince of the SS” Knecht, the Pigeon Butcher of Heidelberg, Gerhard von Attentionhör, Leni Riefenstahl’s key grip, Fritz Loosbowels (aka Der Poopwaffe, defiler of witness boxes), Adolf Notanazi, San Diego podiatrist Marty Bormann, Reichsminister of Alchemy Karl Steinholz, Sidney Poitier, members of anti-Semitic interpretive dance corps Glitterfussen, and Fleet Admiral File Not Found.

Hallmark stores record a huge profit from sales of Christmas wrap with tile prints of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s frowning face above the phrase, “What a waste of paper.”

December

The arcane FBS ranking system chooses Islamic State as the visiting team in the Orange Bowl. It loses to Virginia Tech 31-24.

North America finally sees the new Star Wars film—together. They arrive humbly, as in a pilgrimage. After months of tortuous discourse and outrage, they are spent, resigned to whatever fate has in store. But from the first frame, they feel a glow within. Later, they will describe the action unfolding on-screen as a tangible cure for many ills, but during the film itself, they forget they are corporeal. The special effects are unique and inspiring, not jolting or distracting. The editing is elegant and grounded. The characters have unprecedented depth and, yes, soul. The layers of story seem as natural as the creation of the universe, and just as rich; attempts at finding a beginning or end are both pointless and essential. Children let their parents hold their hands as families enthuse about an experience that will grow with them over time. The President gathers with some of his bitterest enemies to celebrate a victory over partisan politics. “How…?” implores Ted Cruz, casting his hands about. “I guess… the Force was with us,” says President Obama, drifting off to sleep in an easy chair.

New NFL commissioner Malala Youssef receives a spontaneous burst of applause at her first press conference. She mimes a forward pass, her face a beacon of optimism.

biopic

TMN Contributing Writer Michael Rottman lives like a lord in Toronto. His miscellany has appeared in print in The Fiddlehead, Grain, and Opium, and online at Yankee Pot Roast, Cracked, News Groper, and McSweeney’s. More by Michael Rottman