Highlights of 2009

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The year 2009 gave us the nation’s first African-American president, more failing economy, healthcare legislation, and the continuation of two wars.

President Obama promised us “Change we can believe in,” but that ended up becoming one of the fastest dying campaign slogans of all time. The new pitch phrase might be, “The ACORN didn’t fall far from the President’s tree,” just ask Brian Lamb, CEO of C-Span.

The President’s Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones, was one of the top suppressed news stories of the year. Say what you will about FOX News and Glenn Beck, but they unearthed a multitude of questionable behavior regarding Jones, a Marxist and 9/11 conspiracy hack who wanted to sabotage our economy through radical shifts in the law regarding the environment.

We had Kate plus Eight minus Jon, swine flu, Elin teeing off on Tiger and the Falcon Heene “Balloon Boy” hoax.

Now, let me tell you about some of the stories you might have missed in 2009.

Climate change was another big theme in 2009. To save water and electricity in Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez urged people to stop singing in the shower. With enemies like that, who needs friends?

A man’s sweat smells different when he’s sexually aroused, noting research saying women can tell the difference between the smell of sexual sweat and the regular sweat, according to The Journal of Neuroscience. So, if you come home and your wife slaps you, maybe she knows something.

Another study involving hundreds of children showed the more a child was spanked the lower his or her IQ score ranked with others their age four years following the initial intelligence test. (I knew it was my mother’s fault.)

Latreasa Goodman called 911 to report a fast food emergency, which was the local McDonald’s was out of Chicken McNuggets. Goodman was arrested.

Mr. Dana Hanna put his new wife through Twitter hell by tweeting during their wedding ceremony. Before he kissed the bride he tweeted, “Standing at the altar with @TracyPage where just a second ago she became my wife! Gotta go, time to kiss the bride.” Too bad the minister had already issued the call for anyone knowing why the two should not be wed much earlier in the ceremony.

A German student was thrown off a train for riding without a ticket. In a fit of aggression, he stuck his backside against the window at railway staff, but his pants got caught in a train door. He nearly died mooning the train as he was dragged half-naked along the platform, out of the station and onto the tracks before the train stopped, becoming the literal butt of the joke.

Not to be outdone, a drunken French teenager, on his way back home from the Saint Nolff music festival, narrowly escaped death after falling asleep on a railway track, slumbering undisturbed as a high-speed train roared over him. As the train sped over the drowsy 19-year-old, it left only a few grease stains on the back of his coat.

The engineer attempted to stop the train in vain. Police and fire fighters were called to the scene, finding the young man fast asleep.

We had the only day in our lifetime where it reached the 12th hour, 34 minutes and 56 seconds on the 7th day of August 2009, aligning the numbers “123456789,” and we forgot to notice.

Some superstitious people reported the moment was significant, but they did not know why.

Many New Age authors grew rich as concern mushroomed over a calendar used by ancient Mayans running out in 2012, predicting the end of our world (It works well in the global warming circles). There was even a doomsday movie released entitled “2012.” The current descendants of the Mayans are annoyed by the whole thing and say their ancestors’ calendar is not high on their worry list.

Ben Southall, winner of the Best Job in the World competition, was awarded the job of “caretaker” of beautiful Hamilton Island off of Australia. But the so-called “best job” was upended when Southall, stung by a deadly Irukandji jellyfish (a tiny, translucent and extremely venomous creature), was hospitalized.

Southall discovered even the best jobs are accompanied by the progressive symptoms of fever, headache, lower back pain, chest tightness and high blood pressure.

Comedian Stephen Colbert, host of the faux conservative television news show “The Colbert Report,” urged his viewers to use a write-in option for a NASA naming contest involving a new International Space Station module. He amassed 230,000 votes ... and won. Stodgy NASA refused to go along, later naming a space station treadmill after Colbert.

The Queen of England said she’s heading for the poorhouse and needs the government to double her income. Can foreclosure of Buckingham Palace be far behind? Will Prince William need to pick up a pizza delivery route?

But nothing is worse than this one. Retired Molson employees lost out on the free beer allotment that was part of their pension. Retirees of the Canadian brewer who were accustomed to receiving six dozen bottles a month are being dropped to a mere dozen bottles a month. In five years, they will have to pay for their own beer. What’s the use of living?

Happy New Year!

[Steve Brown is the former mayor of Peachtree City. He can be reached at stevebrownptc@ureach.com.]

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