The Daze of 1992 Dave Barry's Year-End Rap

December 27, 1992|By DAVE BARRY

JANUARY

1 -- In the White House, George Bush, during a high-level discussion of possible U.S. responses to a strike by cork harvesters in Portugal, glances out the Oval Office window and notices that the darned U.S. economy is still in trouble. He vows to write a stern note to his economic advisers, Wayne and Garth. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton -- a virtual unknown on the national scene, despite the fact that he has been governor of Arkansas since he was 17 -- arrives in New Hampshire with a truck containing 957 separate eight-point policies.

3 -- In an unprecedented broadcasting development, an entire hour passes during which there is not one single commercial featuring Michael Jordan. The Federal Communications Commission vows to investigate.

7 -- New York Gov. Mario Cuomo calls a news conference to announce that, just in case anybody forgot, he has definitely ruled himself out of the presidential race.

8 -- President Bush flies to Japan accompanied by 237 high-level aides, 322 leading U.S. business executives, 517 journalists, 856 security personnel, the first lady, 26 grandchildren and both White House dogs. Left behind, tragically, is the black briefcase containing the presidential Pepto-Bismol.

10 -- In Tokyo, President Bush scores an economic coup as the Japanese government, under intense pressure to open its doors to U.S. imports, agrees to purchase a 1992 Chevrolet Caprice. At a formal dinner hosted by the prime minister, the president formalizes the agreement by performing the ceremonial Ralph of Friendship.

22 -- The New Hampshire primary campaign is thrown into an uproar when the major news media, having vowed to focus on the Issues, give extensive coverage to allegations by Gennifer Flowers in a supermarket tabloid that, over a 12-year period, she and Bill Clinton repeatedly met in secret to discuss his program for national health insurance.

26 -- In the most surprising Super Bowl finish in the game's 27-year history, the Washington Redskins and the Buffalo Bills agree to stop playing in the third quarter so they can watch Bill and Hillary Clinton discuss their marriage on "60 Minutes."

FEBRUARY

1 -- In sports, heavyweight rocket scientist Mike Tyson KO's himself.

10 -- Commemorating the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage, authentic reproductions of the sailing ships Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria set out for the "New World." Alex Haley returns to his "Roots."

11 -- In New Hampshire, Bill Clinton's character comes under further scrutiny when the news media obtain a 1969 photograph showing him reporting for a draft physical wearing a dress. Immediately a new surprise front-runner emerges in the form of former U.S. senator and suspected pod person Paul E. Tsongas.

12 -- The Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria sail off the edge of the Earth.

17 -- In Milwaukee, Jeffrey Dahmer is sentenced to life in prison with no refrigerator privileges.

20 -- Appearing on "Larry King Live," H. Ross Perot announces that if his supporters put him on the ballot in all 50 states, he will have them all investigated.

21 -- In Winter Olympics action, NBC elects to simply rebroadcast videotapes of the luge and bobsled events from 1976, since nobody can tell the difference.

25 -- The U.S. Postal Service, bored with trying to deliver the actual mail, announces a plan to spend millions of taxpayer dollars deciding which face to put on the Elvis stamp.

28 -- The troubled airline industry enters the Betty Ford Clinic.

MARCH

2 -- Saddam Hussein appears on "Larry King Live."

3 -- Business and academic professionals around the world are gripped by panic following dire warnings from numerous experts that tens of thousands of computers could be infected with the dread Michelangelo virus, set to strike on March 6.

6 -- As predicted, the dread Michelangelo virus erupts, wreaking untold havoc on an estimated one computer belonging to Rose Deegle of Rochester, N.Y.

8 -- Michelangelo appears on "Larry King Live."

9 -- True item: Led by the surgeon general, U.S. doctors call on R. J. Reynolds to dump the "Old Joe" cartoon camel as a symbol for Camel cigarettes, on the grounds that it has great appeal to children.

14 -- In a heartwarming display of concern for the health of the young, R. J. Reynolds announces that it will dump "Old Joe," and that Camels will henceforth be represented by "Old Kermit the Frog."

17 -- A ray of sunshine penetrates the gloomy national mood as Americans delight to a hilarious new nightly TV comedy, "Congresspersons Explain Why They Were Not Responsible for Overdrawing Their Own Personal Checking Accounts as Many as Several Hundred Times in One Year."

18 -- Convicted tax felon and Hotel Queen Leona Helmsley is sentenced to prison. Concerned about the pacing of its games, the National Football League decides to eliminate the "instant replay" after a study shows that seven games from the 1991 season are still going on.

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