Let’s take a look back at this dumpster fire of a year, shall we?
Even before the whole coronavirus mess started, the year was already in a complete shambles. Murder hornets had arrived in the U.S. from Asia and the entire continent of Australia was on fire. Iran declared war on two of our military bases and then shot down a commercial airliner, and the U.S. House of Representatives attempted to impeach the president. When that failed, they impeached the murder hornets instead. All of that was overshadowed, of course, by the tragic news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were quitting the royal family. Iran then declared war on the royal family and released murder hornets in a London scone factory to show they were serious.
We all started hearing more about something called COVID-19 that either gave you the sniffles or killed you instantly. Then things really got bad when a man named Bad Bunny in a bedazzled silver trench coat and a white napkin on his head actually performed alongside real singers at the Super Bowl halftime show. NASA astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth after a record 328 days in space, saw the Super Bowl halftime show, and immediately returned to the international space station. Shortly afterward, a movie called "Parasite" swept the Oscars, further validating Christina’s decision.
In a monetary signal of what was to come, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst single-day point drop ever of over 2000 points. Americans responded by investing heavily in toilet paper. The WHO (both the band, and the World Health Organization) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic after hearing the news that Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive in Australia. They also tested positive for third-degree burns since the entire continent was still on fire. The NBA suspended its season, announcing in a statement, “We’ll be damned if we’re going to play basketball while one of our nation’s most cherished actors is sick AND on fire.”
The Dow fell another 2,300 point after the U.S. released the Netflix documentary, Tiger King. All remaining sports canceled their seasons, including Broadway shows, but the most telling sign of how bad things had become was the closure of Mount Everest, leading many people to say, “Huh?”
The Dow set another single-day point drop record at 2997 after the news that bars in New York were closing. Apparently, all the stock traders just ran out of the building to check if that was really true.
School stopped happening at school and began happening, rather poorly, in our living rooms.
The U.S. government, in an attempt to make everyone feel better about living room school, sent us all a bunch of money. Every single penny was spent purchasing toilet paper. Grocery store bag boys were revered as being brave, “essential workers,” leading most police, fire, and medical professionals to say, “Huh?”
The entire world began to learn how to use Zoom video conferencing. No one has figured out the mute button as of yet.
George Floyd died while being restrained by Minneapolis police officers, sparking worldwide protests against anti-black racism, police, and/or police procedures. Sadly, massive rioting, looting, and arson followed, leading the legitimate protesters to probably ironically wish there were more police around.
Toilet paper sales skyrocketed as reports came in that North Korea had cut off communication with South Korea after destroying the Inter-Korean Liaison Office. South Korea responded by saying, “Oh, wow. No kidding? We didn’t even know we still had that office. OK, best of luck, guys.”
Living room school mercifully ended for the summer.
In the clearest sign of the rapidly approaching apocalypse, rapper Kanye West announced his candidacy in the 2020 presidential election. Americans responded by continuing to hoard toilet paper.
Appalled by Kanye’s announcement, or by the price of his tennis shoes, God began earthquake, hurricane, and fire season. Rightfully so, Los Angeles was the first area targeted.
America finally got some good news as we learned that beloved Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reached a net worth exceeding $100 billion, becoming only the third centibillionaire, alongside Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. We also learned that between them, those three men own 100% of the toilet paper manufacturing businesses worldwide, so it all started to make sense.
A rare thunderstorm from remnants of Tropical Storm Fausto ignited hundreds of wildfires in California in a record number of lightning strikes. This was, thankfully, coupled with a record-breaking heat wave. As most of California burned and the rest of the state choked on the smoke, we got some more good news; Apple Inc. became the first U.S. company to be valued at over $2 trillion. And they did it without owning any toilet paper manufacturing!
Not to be upstaged, shortly after the Apple announcement, Jeff Bezos became the first person in history to have a net worth exceeding $200 billion, spurred, no doubt, by Amazon.com toilet paper sales. Ever the comedian, Mr. Bezos was quoted as saying, “With toilet paper, I make money on both ends.”
With a second heat wave, California set a new record for the area of land destroyed by wildfires. Oregon, not wanting California to have all the fun, had over 10% of the state’s population evacuate their homes due to their own wildfires. Meanwhile, hurricane Sally brought catastrophic flooding to the southern US after making landfall, prompting Californians and Oregonians to unanimously wish they had hurricanes for the first time ever. Rioting continued in Portland, Oregon, presumably because it was the one part of the state not on fire.
President Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and entered quarantine, where he tweeted, “This disease is great. It’s huge. Everyone is talking about it. It’s going to be big. We’re excited about it. Everyone is talking about it. It’s going to be huge.”
Rumors flew that Halloween would be canceled due to the pandemic, and/or a massive shortage of toilet paper for mummy costumes. Children across the United States logged into their parents’ Amazon accounts and bought their own candy. As a result, Jeff Bezos became the first quazadrillionaire.
With hair salons still shut down, and the resulting lack of tax revenue from their historically honest and accurate tip reporting, the national debt surpassed $27 trillion for the first time. Apple was quoted in an official statement as saying, “Sorry, we really can’t help. We only have $2 trillion. That’s not going to cover it. Did we mention we were worth $2 trillion? Yeah, it’s no big deal.” Jeff Bezos was heard clearing his throat in the background.
Meanwhile, Pizza Hut filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after closing 163 restaurants; a move that baffled economists since marijuana is legal in so many states now. On the marijuana front, protesters in Portland, Oregon, knocked over a huge statue of Abraham Lincoln, apparently forgetting why they had been protesting since May.
In yet another clear sign of the looming apocalypse, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the 2020 World Series, their first in 32 years. While Dodger fans blindly celebrated, the rest of us fully understood that this “season” was a total joke and the “World Series” didn’t actually count, but whatever.
To round out the month of October, as Americans celebrated a sterile and boring Halloween with Amazon candy, Typhoon Goni made landfall in the Philippines, becoming the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in history, prompting the world to ask, “What the hell is the difference between a hurricane, a typhoon, and a cyclone?”
In response to five months of continuous Portland rioting, Oregon naturally became the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of narcotics, including heroin, cocaine, and LSD. In an effort to revitalize Pizza Huts around the nation, voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, Mississippi, and South Dakota voted to legalize marijuana.
The world waited on the edge of their seats as Edith Montgomery, the eighty-six-year-old Nevada state election clerk, counted the entire state’s presidential ballots by hand at her dimly-lit card table. The process was further slowed by her breaks for Ensure and regular naps. Many, many naps later, by both Edith and the two presidential candidates, the election was decided for Joe Biden. President Trump immediately tweeted, “This disease is great. It’s huge. Everyone is talking about it. It’s going to be big. We’re excited about it. Everyone is talking about it. It’s going to be huge.”
With the election chaos behind us, we were free to focus on the really important story that Elon Musk overtook Bill Gates to become the second richest person in the world, with a net worth of $127.9 billion, behind only Jeff Bezos. Bezos immediately put out a statement saying, “Why are we even focusing on these guys? I’m worth more than both of them combined, pretty much. The only person I’m not richer than is Apple!”
Spurred by the good news on the Musk/Gates/Bezos front, the Dow increased by 500 points to surpass 30,000 for the first time, so I guess all the record-breaking losses weren’t really that big a deal after all???
Since the COVID vaccine was taking too long, the House of Representatives instead passed a bill, known as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, to decriminalize recreational cannabis at the federal level. On an unrelated note, every statue of anyone has finally been knocked down.
Days later, Russia began mass vaccination against COVID-19 with the Sputnik V candidate. We are not making that name up. The vaccinations went ahead despite having only been tested on one monkey, which later died. The world is not hopeful for Russia, since the CDC confirmed that Sputnik V is literally just a syringe full of vodka.
It took all year, but 2020 didn’t end without COVID cases finally being reported in Antarctica, the last continent to report infections. They are currently awaiting Sputnik V, but plan to drink it.
And against all odds, the year of 2020 – a four-digit number that has become synonymous with anything that is going poorly – is ending on a good note. Perhaps in a move to shore up worldwide morale, Nepal and China have finally officially agreed on Mount Everest's actual height, which is 8,848.86 meters. (58,944 feet, 3 inches). Jeff Bezos immediately purchased it. It remains unclear if it has reopened to hikers yet.
Good riddance to 2020. Let’s all raise a cold glass of Sputnik V, and welcome in 2021. Cheers!
See you soon,
Copyright © 2020 Marc Schmatjen
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