Relax. It's not necessarily the flu making you confused and feverish. Could be spatter from that big, thick, juicy, new, improved Civil War infecting the Republican Party. Yes, again. The Rebs inside the Reds are rebooting themselves for the umpteenth time over the past few election cycles. Have to assume these self-proclaimed frugal guys purchased their huge caches of defibrillators and CPR paddles in bulk. "CLEAR!"
Change may emanate from the top, but in a blast from nearer the rump of the totem, Karl Rove announced the formation of a brand new Super PAC. It's the first of what might be called the Super Duper PACs. And a mere foreshadow of the Holey Moley The Hell is That Super Duper PAC to be unveiled immediately following the midterms. Initial reports have the man known affectionately as Turd Blossom and Bush's Brain calling his Frankenstein fund-raising monster the "Conservative Victory Party."
Hey! You! Yes, you. Sorry. Just trying to get your attention to impart an important warning here. For the next couple weeks, it's imperative all you good folks out there stay alert and keep your wits about you. Remove the earbuds, no texting while walking, and you'd be well-advised to brandish a stainless steel umbrella on the street because it's awards season and golden-plated statuettes are being tossed about like manhole covers during an underground methane explosion. We've made it through the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, with the Grammy Awards and Oscars right around the corner, so this seems the perfect time to weigh in with the barnacle on the belly of the awards ship: the 15th annual Will Durst Political Animal Awards.
THE BEST IMPRESSION OF REANIMATED HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN AWARD: And the winner is... oh, forgive me, that's right, we're all winners here. The award goes to Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell.
BEST DIRECTION OF A COMEDY: To Mitt Romney's campaign manager, Matt Rhoades.
THE HE SHOULD SWITCH TO DECAF AND REALLY SOON AWARD: Vice President Joe Biden.
COLLATERAL DAMAGE AWARD: Still picking shrapnel out of his widow's peak, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.
THE CLOCK IS TICKING LOUD ENOUGH TO PIERCE EARDRUMS ON A COUPLE DIFFERENT CONTINENTS AWARD: Three-way tie! Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Bashar al-Assad.
And so we bid a not-so-fond farewell to the bow of another large unwieldy year as it sinks slowly over the horizon wobbling unsteadily towards the graveyard of memory. And cheers erupt from we folks on shore waving the double-handed "L for loser" sign above our heads. "So long. See ya. Don't let the door slam you in the butt on the way out. And if you got any brothers or sisters, don't give them this address."
Normally there's some small sense of nostalgia for a departing annum. An iota of regret for the calendar discarded. Not this one. Getting through the past 12 months was like navigating a Black Diamond ski run in roller skates with the wheels rusted shut. While wearing a crib. It was an oil-soaked pelican of years. The Year of Living Stupidly. Had the same connection to constructive change that Vladimir Putin has to the editorial board of Crochet Monthly. The Chinese need a new Zodiac sign: Year of the Flatulent Weasel.
But in the interest of keeping this particular piece of puffery positive it might be best if we confine our remarks to reflecting on the good that emerged from 2012.
First a disclaimer: The Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2012 should not under any circumstances be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2012. They are as different as red satin cummerbunds and Liar's Dice. Duck liver and Spanish moss. Matched pearl necklaces and motorcycle handlebars.
For those of you itching to point out that some stories, especially those involving death, destruction, devastation and disaster are not proper subjects for this sort of fanciful folderol -- way ahead of you. Totally agree. Exactly why the Aurora, Colo. movie theater massacre, Hurricane Sandy, Jerry Sandusky and the movie John Carter failed to make the cut.
Also left off the list are a few of the fiendishly frivolous footprints despoiling the sands of this annus horribilis such as Lindsay Lohan's continuing struggles with sobriety, that curious craze called Gangnam Style, the introduction of the iPhone 5 and Facebook's roller-coaster IPO.
That said; here they are, the key stories from the past year providing the purest opportunities for major mocking and scoffing and taunting as determined by the executive council of the Comics, Clowns, Jesters & Satirists Union. Me.
10. Donald Trump. Assumes figurehead post of Birther Movement. Then refuses to shut up all year long, including several embarrassing tweets on Election Day. An ever-gushing political comedy material fountain with all the grace and elegance of tumbling dumpsters.
Seriously? Both political parties talking pre-emptive smack barely a week after the election. Partisan politics? Again? So soon? Not even time to catch our breath? For crum's sakes, give it a rest, you guys. Besides, shouldn't you be out on recess? After all, it's Thanksgiving. Yes. Already. The earliest Thanksgiving possible. That's what happens when November first is on a Thursday. Merchants are dancing the happy dance. Shoppers too. Retail workers, not so much. Black Friday Creep seems destined to devour Halloween.
To be perfectly honest, a four-day weekend devoted to food, family and football might be the perfect prescription distraction to help us through these rebuking times. So here's a couple rough examples of what a middle-aged, round-headed political comic counts as blessings over folded hands before performing a perfectly executed triple somersault into the gravy boat.
Barack Obama: Second-term promises much bigger knock-down, drag-out fights with the Republican House. Not to mention the Democratic Senate.
General David Petraeus: Who knew generals had groupies? Proves old high school adage: chicks dig stars. The larger the fruit salad, the more noxious the flies.
Holey moley catfish. Well, thank god that's finally over. Further thanks that the climax was quick and clean. Almost surgical. Not as long a night as many first thought it might be. Except for Karl Rove that is, who for all we know is still scribbling numbers to prove the call on Clinton's re-election win in 1996 was premature. And as usual, Florida did all it could to gum things up, but was eventually rendered irrelevant. And long may it remain so.
In the end, President Barack Obama trounced, er, battered, um, eked-out a victory -- or to be more precise, Mitt Romney lost. Or shall we say, found a thousand ways to lose. Except for one brief, shining moment in the first debate, virtually carrying with him a defeat diviner.
And each and every one of his failures can be traced directly to females. The distaff of life. Single women. Married women. Old women. Young women. Ladies and divas and flappers and baby mamas; duchesses, priestesses, shorties and floozies. So here they are, the top ten females who cost Mitt Romney the presidency, each of them representing one of the myriad factors that helped construct the unelectable mosaic that became Bain's Captain of Industry:
When the end draws near and prospects darken, and polls solidify in the wrong direction, and the base sinks lower than the toenail clippings of a Galapagos turtle, does the practiced political operative give up? No sir, they whip out their secret weapon. Not the candidate's spouse. The real ace up the sleeve -- The October Surprise.
Every campaign has one. Or more. It's a piece of opposition research stashed away for a rainy day. For safe-keeping, behind glass, like a fire axe: "Open in the event of impending doom." Something so incendiary it's concealed in an asbestos-lined box buried deep in the back of the campaign manager's underwear drawer.
A surprisingly large segment of America tuned into the first presidential debate, but for some odd reason, President Obama did not appear among them. Who was in charge of his debate prep, Clint Eastwood? Even an empty chair would have provided a sturdier obstinacy.
The Committee to Re- Elect the President will obviously try to convince us that, like the economy, the commander in chief's sub-par debate performance can be traced back to the Bush administration, but darker forces may be at work here. The Ghosts of Debaters Past.
We learned Mitt Romney wants to kill Big Bird, but that was about it as far as fireworks go. No word on the Cookie Monster. But it doesn't look good. Mr. Romney always seemed more of a Masterpiece Theatre sort of guy anyway.
Perhaps the president was suffering from altitude poisoning, or distracted by missing his 20th wedding anniversary, or maybe the duties of Leader of the Free World are more exhausting than one thinks, because he fumbled and rambled, and gave the overall impression he was told the winner would be determined by time of possession.