Only a few short hours remain in the barely manageable year of 2018, and so it is only right and necessary that we spend a few short moments together, reflecting on the major events that shaped us as a nation and as a state, lest we forget the year entirely as we generally hope to do. So please join us as we fondly recall the period of time that historians will someday call…2018.
Once again the year predictably started with January, as California foreshadowed Vermont’s destiny by legalizing marijuana. Of course they’re allowed to sell it, and we’re not, but it’s fine. We’re not bitter. We hate tax revenue. Florida was in the news (as usual), this time for winter storm warnings and snow, causing a total reversal in the retiree stream as southerners decided to winter up north in Vermont where it was warm. Of course everyone was home sick with the flu, so we didn’t notice.
After our recovery from the flu (and once we had eaten all of the tide pods), we noticed that it was February. Everything was bad and getting worse. The Patriots lost the Super Bowl, we had to spend Valentine’s Day at church, and L.L. Bean changed its return policy. The only thing that could make that month worse was if somebody showed up at a school and murdered a bunch of kids. And then what if the surviving kids started going around the country shaming the adults for their selfishly evil inaction? Yeah, that would suck.
Good thing that month ended so we could move on to March. Vermonters came out in droves (a drove is equal to six bushels) on town meeting day to decide on the important issues that would later be ignored by officials, such as when Burlington residents voted to ban the fighter jets, but nobody cared. March also was the official start to mud season, although many hardcore mud enthusiast were disappointed with the amount of mud this year.
The exciting month of April began Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s decline in popularity as he signed new gun laws designed to alienate his base, with possible side effects of public safety and general health and well-being. Gov. Scott would go on to become so hated by the state that he would massively win re-election by only a mere 40,000 votes. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
We almost forgot May! After half of all life in the universe was wiped out, Gov. Scott decided to follow the same pattern with any bills that came across his desk, randomly vetoing 50% of them. In national news, the federal government decided to steal thousands of children and then lose them, prompting a national debate among conservative evangelicals over whether ripping families apart was super-Christian, or just mostly Christian.
In an attempt to repair some of his tarnished reputation, Gov. Scott signed a bill in June that would pay out $10,000 to anyone willing to move to the state, which Vermont residents countered with a $20,000 offer to anyone willing to stay out and leave them alone. And of course the biggest news story of the year that we are all still talking about happened on the infamous date of June 4th, when IHOP changed its name to IHOB.
The second biggest news story of the year was in July, when IHOB changed its name back to IHOP again. And, ummmm, did anything else happen in July? We were pretty stoned at the time. We can’t remember if anything major happened in Vermont in July. We do remember eating a lot of red velvet pancakes at IHOPBP. Man. Good times.
Where were we? Oh yeah, August, we remember August. That was when Aretha Franklin died and we all spent a week watching that scene from Blues Brothers over and over again. Oh, and Buzzfeed published that article about St. Joseph’s that really put Vermont on the map. Yes, it was a map of Hell, but we were on it! People were talking about us!
It was better than talking about confirmed slimeball Brett Kavanaugh, which is all we did in September. But the Senate agreed that, allegations aside, what the US Supreme Court really needed was someone completely unable to keep their cool in a tense courtroom situation. We also sort of heard about censorship at Burlington High School, although most of those details seemed to be redacted. And of course The Winooski, the premiere local satire site for Vermont, completely sold out and started a partnership with VTDigger.com, much to everyone’s indifference.
October marked the official start of winter in Vermont, but more importantly we finally got a Target! There were deadly storms, deadly shootings, and murdered journalists, which President Trump pointed to as proof that his policies are the most successful policies in the history of policies. At least we assumed he was pointing. It was hard to tell since most of his associates were being arrested at the time.
We already mentioned Gov. Scott’s landslide victory against transgender candidate Christine Hallquist. So we’ll have to find something else to remember from November. It was only last month, it shouldn’t be that hard, right? What else happened besides the election? Another mass shooting, but is that really news anymore? It’s not like we’re going to do anything to fix it. California caught on fire, that was last month. Stan Lee died, but nobody in comics ever stays dead forever; he’ll be back.
Yeah, it’s really more of the same old, same old, as we finish up December. Burlington still has a big hole in the middle of it, we still don’t have a functioning federal government, and if you google “deadly shooting,” you will get at least a dozen new results from the past 24 hours.
So as we say farewell to 2018, let us hope that 2019 at least gives us some new problems to worry about, instead of us just repeating our past failures over and over again. Here’s hoping?
Happy New Year!