Dave Barry

Good riddance to a year of zombies and kale

Updated: 2014-01-01T23:37:13Z

By DAVE BARRY

The Miami Herald

It was the Year of the Zombies.

Not in the sense of most of humanity dying from a horrible plague and then reanimating as mindless flesh-eating ghouls. No, it was much worse than that. Because as bad as a zombie apocalypse would be, at least it wouldn’t involve the resurrection of Anthony Weiner’s penis.

We thought that thing was out of our lives forever, but suddenly there it was again, as Weiner came back from the political grave like the phoenix to run for mayor of New York.

Speaking of pathologically narcissistic sex weasels: Also coming back from the dead in 2013 to seek elective office in New York (What is it with New York?) was Eliot “Client 9” Spitzer, who ran for city comptroller.

And then — not to leave out the ladies — there was Miley Cyrus. We thought her career was over; we remembered her fondly as a cute and perky child star. And then one night we turned on MTV’s Video Music Awards and yikes there was this horrifying, mutant, vaguely reptilian creature in Slut Barbie underwear twerking all over the stage.

We miss 2012.

But getting back to the zombies: It wasn’t just people who came back alarmingly in 2013. The Cold War with Russia came back. Al-Qaida came back. Turmoil in the Middle East came back. The debt ceiling came back. Dennis Rodman came back and went on humanitarian missions to North Korea (or maybe we just hallucinated that). The Endlessly Looming Government Shutdown came back.

Were there any new trends in 2013? Yes, but they were not good. Kale, for example. Suddenly this year restaurants started putting kale into everything, despite the fact that it is an unappetizing form of plant life that until recently was used primarily for insulation.

Here’s just a hint of the 2013 fiasco.

January: The year begins with a crisis in Washington, D.C., a city that — despite having no industries and a workforce consisting almost entirely of former student-council presidents — manages to produce 93 percent of the nation’s crises. This one, a “fiscal cliff,” is caused by the government’s spending of spectacular quantities of money that it does not have, which has resulted in a mess nobody could possibly have foreseen unless that person had a higher level of financial awareness than a cucumber.

February: Washington faces another crisis in the form of a “sequester” that will happen unless Congress can agree on a budget, which seems unlikely inasmuch as Congress cannot agree on what planet this is.

March: The Securities and Exchange Commission accuses Illinois of fraud after determining that the assets of the state employee pension fund — which has liabilities totaling more than $100 billion — consists entirely of expired Groupons.

April: Iran announces that it is constructing a new uranium enrichment plant, which according to a government spokesman, will be used for “youth sports.”

May: The city of Detroit admits that for the past 15 years it has been stealing all of its electricity from Cleveland.

June: Washington is rocked by leaked documents showing that the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting massive amounts of data on the communications of Americans. The person responsible for the leak is identified as former CIA computer specialist Edward Snowden, who has all classified U.S. documents for the past 50 years on a single thumb drive, which apparently was handed out as a favor at the CIA Christmas party.

July: The Egyptian military ousts President Mohammed Morsi and, in a move that worries international observers, installs, as his replacement, Richie Incognito.

August: Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos buys The Washington Post with his own money, thereby ensuring that one of the nation’s most important newspapers will be able to continue producing in-depth, hard-hitting journalism, including an estimated 400 stories and columns in August alone about what a genuinely brilliant yet humanitarian genius Jeff Bezos is.

September: On the entertainment front, “Breaking Bad” airs its final episode, leaving us with basically no reason to go on living.

October: The federal Healthcare.gov is riddled with glitches, resulting in people being unable to log in, people being electrocuted by their keyboards, people having their sensitive financial information suddenly appear on millions of TV screens during episodes of “Duck Dynasty,” etc.

November: As the president’s popularity slides in the polls, House Speaker John Boehner, sensing a tactical opening for the Republicans, calls a news conference to point out that he is exactly the same color as a Creamsicle.

December: As the year draws to a close, hopes for peace on the Korean peninsula soar when North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, in what is seen as a conciliatory gesture, sends a gift to South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye. Unfortunately, the gift — a set of professional-quality barbells weighing nearly a ton — is delivered via Amazon’s new “Nowitzer!” system and levels the presidential residence.

Dave Barry is a humor columnist for The Miami Herald.

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