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By Staff | Jan 1, 2016

Despite such earth shattering news as Ben and Jennifer breaking up, our planet managed to complete another circuit around the sun. As the old year rides off into the sunset on its surgically altered pony, we should pause to reflect and say adios.

The year began with Deflategate, which sounds like an incident involving the Goodyear blimp and a barbwire fence. But, no: it was about footballs that were apparently suffering from ED.

Deflategate gave rise to some memorable quotes, such as when New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said, “When I pick those balls out, I don’t want anyone touching the balls after that. I don’t want them rubbing them.”

The Super Bowl was an important event at our house. But it wasn’t as important as Downton Abbey was to my wife, so we alternated between watching the struggles on the gridiron and the struggles of the Crawley family.

In entertainment news, the universe of Star Wars fans became fixated by rumors about a purported teaser trailer for the new Star Wars movie, “The Force Awakens and Begins to Produce Gigatons of Official Licensed Star Wars Merchandise.”

More than a third of the internet’s bandwidth was tied up due to these rumors.

This spring, a momentous event took place in our family when our youngest son got married. The main downside of this affair was the fact that I had to put on a suit and a tie.

I’m glad they took lots of photos because it isn’t often that I get gussied up. The next time I’m asked to attend a formal affair, I’m going to obtain a life-sized print of a photo taken at the wedding and hold it up in front of me.

The wedding dance was a thoroughly enjoyable and extremely festive soiree. My wife and I even “cut a rug,” with me putting on the sort of dance moves that are normally associated with R2D2.

As summer temperatures soared, the internet was set ablaze by a video that was purported to be a few frames of Chewbacca in the new Star Wars teaser trailer. But the gossip proved false when the video was revealed to be a clip of The Grumpy Cat.

Tragedy struck the poultry industry when avian influenza swept across the Midwest. Millions of turkeys and chickens had to be disposed of before they could fulfill their destinies of being delicious dinner guests.

At the height of the avian influenza crisis, eyewitnesses reported that beloved Sesame Street icon Big Bird was grabbed by four men in dark glasses and stuffed into a black SUV that swiftly drove away.

A USDA spokesman later announced that Big Bird had been put into super-secret triple quarantine “strictly as a precautionary measure” and that the acclaimed avian was in no danger.

The spokesman had no comment when asked about the sudden and unexplained uptick in the federal government’s strategic yolk reserve.

The year’s biggest news in science was the historic flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons space probe. It took several hours for NASA to download each photo from New Horizons, a process that was greatly slowed by “certain people obsessively watching teaser trailers for a certain movie, if you know what I mean,” said a NASA spokeswoman.

Famed astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson – who led the drive to have Pluto downgraded from “planet” to “Disney character” – kicked a hornet’s nest when he stated in a National Geographic video that the starship Enterprise “would simply wipe its (word meaning keister) with the Millennium Falcon.”

Star Wars fans, enraged that anyone would imply that another pretend universe might be superior to their pretend universe, formed a huge nerd herd to protest.

Some brandished light sabers which were, in reality, cardboard tubes that once held Christmas wrapping paper. The tubes had been coated with dayglo paint and the protestors made light saber sounds with their mouths.

The new Star Wars movie was finally screened as the year drew to a close. It has proven to be such a hit that even those who didn’t particularly like the flick are lining up to see it again.

We should be safe from any new Star Wars teaser trailers for a year or so. Although we will probably soon be deluged by video clips for new Star Trek movie that will be released next summer.

I will close with a vague yet tantalizing hint regarding a recent major development in the world of highbrow literature.

Let’s just say that it involves combining the words, “Dear County Agent Guy” and “2016 book tour.”

Happy new year.

Live long and prosper and may the Force be with you.

Nelson is a freelance writer from Volga, S.D. Reach him by e-mail at jjpcnels@itctel.com.

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