January – The NCAA looks desperately for a school that is not playing in a bowl game. “We only have 82 teams engaged and ESPN has a 3 a.m. opening,” an officials whines. Gov. Greg Abbott charges: “There are 59,000 illegal immigrants just waiting to vote in the next election.” When reporters point out that they are all in holding pens in Mexico, Abbott replies, “They may vote absentee.” FEMA announces: “Help is on the way.” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner replies, “It’s about time. Hundreds of Houstonians need aid after Imelda.” FEMA explains it was referring to Hurricane Carla.
February – President Donald Trump sends a Valentine to Russian President Vladimir Putin, with a note: “If things don’t work out over here, Rudy and I might need a place to crash.” Fox News announces it will go off the air each evening after 6 p.m. “All our viewers are either asleep or taking their medications.”
March – The Texas Dept. of Corrections finds a new way to save money on inmates’ food: “With a little salt and lemon, tartare feral hog tastes fine.” Houston developers convince the City Council, Harris County Commissioners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that building in flood-prone areas will make Houston a “world-class city, like Venice.” All Democratic candidates for president, no matter their standing in the polls, will debate on CNN. The program runs non-stop from noon on Monday until midnight on Thursday.
April – President Trump announces he has filed his income taxes and would release the documents but “the dog ate them.” When a reporter notes every president since Theodore Roosevelt has had a dog at the White House, but not Trump, he replies: “That’s why you are the enemy of America.” The NRA argues that the Easter bunny should no longer be considered an endangered species.
May – Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority apologizes for a delay in the next giant step in Houston transportation: “Sorry, but the mule died.” The Texas State Board of Education chooses the King James version of the Bible to be read in class. One board member explains: “If English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for the school children of Texas.” In another action, a motion to add sex education to the curriculum is voted down, opponents declaring: “High schoolers are too young to know where babies come from.” Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts, announces he is withdrawing as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. This news is greeted with great surprise because no one knew he was running.
June – Joe Biden denies he is too old to be president, declaring: “I am going to campaign in all 13 states.” At the annual White House Press Minute, a reporter charges that, as a candidate, Trump promised to “get rid of” the national debt, telling the Washington Post that he could make the U.S. debt-free “over a period of eight years.” Instead, his budgets would add $9.1 trillion during that time. It would increase the U.S. debt to $29 trillion according to Trump’s own budget estimates. White House Press Secretary Sean Hannity replies: “Mexico will pay for it.”
July – Texas A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher promises, “This year the Aggies will win the national championship.” The Oxford English Dictionary declares the terms “military intelligence,” “jumbo shrimp” and “Fox News” to be oxymorons. At the Democratic National Convention at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, delegates are furious when they are issued “Biden For President” signs at the door. “I think the candidate has already been picked by the DNC,” one delegate complains. “Tell me about it,” says Bernie Sanders. President Trump finally gets a dog, which he kicks around the Oval Office. Names him Whistle-Blower.
August – At the Republican National Convention at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, President Trump is nominated for a second term, but uses the same crown. The Houston Astros have a mathematical chance of playing in the World Series – the Little League World Series. Otherwise, nothing happens. It’s too hot.
September – Texas A&M loses its intra-squad game. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says the next session of the Legislature will take up gerrymandering. “I already have drawn up new Congressional and Legislative districts. I borrowed a Sharpie that President Trump used to plot the hurricane that hit Alabama.” Democrats protest the proposed Congressional district that runs from Texarkana to Laredo.
October – President Trump demands Congress create “a much-needed cabinet position” – for his hair. Most popular Halloween costume among Democrats: Ukrainian soldier with no ammo. After a seventh fire at petro-chemical complexes along the Houston Ship Channel, the Trump administration blames the disasters on “over regulations – all those inspectors get in the way of fire trucks.”
November – Texas A&M football team goes 0-11, but Aggies carry on their tradition of Bonfire with logs piled high then set on fire with napalm. This time Bonfire has a special topping: Jimbo Fisher. Thanksgiving is called off after Native Americans protest that the federal agency which deals with their matters is still called the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Suggested changes: The Agency Handling Victims of the Round Eyes Genocide, Make America Native American Again and the Washington Redskins. President Trump pardons the Thanksgiving turkey, declaring, “Turkey is our ally.”
December — Texas Education Commission returns HISD to its school board, saying, “Your place is such a mess we can’t handle it.” All department store Santa Clauses are laid off. In their place is a big red chair and an iPad. Following several crashes, Boeing recalls its sleighs. President Trump is hospitalized after a severe mauling by Whistle-Blower.
Ashby looks forward to 2021 at firstname.lastname@example.org