It's time once again for the Flash to peer into his crystal ball and share deep prophecies for the new year ahead. Actually, the crystal ball is the plastic bubble top from an old popcorn popper, but there's no doubting its veracity. To wit:
January 1--During the encore at Black Sabbath's concert at Bank One Ballpark, Jerry Colangelo, clad in black leather chaps and a bondage mask, runs onstage and gives the Black Sabbath salute.
January 4--Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini announces that he will speak in falsetto during 1999.
January 5--William Safire writes that henceforth, the stop-the-impeachment bombing campaign on Iraq will be known as the "Tit Offensive."
January 10--Phoenix Suns guard Jason Kidd is reported missing.
January 11--The Arizona Legislature gathers on the banks of the Salt River to observe the traditional Running of the Lobbyists.
January 12--U.S. Representative Bob Stump takes the floor of Congress to announce that Hope is dead. Several Democrats repent.
January 13--The U.S. Senate votes to censure President Bill Clinton. Strippers are brought in for the Censure Bash.
January 19--Out of a job, former Attorney General Grant Woods signs on as the new Marlboro Man.
January 24--The Arizona Cardinals miss the Super Bowl again, but give Jake Plummer a $20 million bonus.
January 28--Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza announces that his personality has been placed in escrow.
February 7--Announcing that the $500 million bombing campaign against Iraq was "not very cost-effective," the Pentagon reveals that in the future it will simply buy key military facilities from the Iraqis.
February 9--To reverse sagging attendance in the wake of the death of Ruby the Painting Elephant, the Phoenix Zoo imports Koko the Verb-Conjugating Gorilla, who promptly aces the AIMS test.
February 10--In a silver lining to MonicaGate, the U.S. resumes trade with Cuba, allowing importation of fine cigars.
February 14--The U.S. House of Representatives adopts new Rules of Protocol under which male members will refer to each other as "Brother," i.e., "The chair recognizes Brother Stump."
February 16--Jineane Ford's eyebrows are rushed to a hospital suffering from "acute empathy."
February 25--Sheriff Joke Arpaio announces formation of the Dumpster Posse, whose mission is to root through Valley trash receptacles checking for discarded babies.
February 28--Radio sports-talk jock Jim Rome wakes up black.
March 2--The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that henceforth endangered Mexican gray wolves will be issued Glock 9 mm revolvers upon their release into the wild.
March 3--Slobodan Milosovic appears on Jerry Springer for a show titled "Genocidal Maniacs and the Superpowers Who Tolerate Them." Springer asks, "Mind if I call you Slob?"
March 8--Congress approves a new Ronald Reagan Monument for the Mall in Washington, D.C. When Democrats attach a rider stripping funding for a life-size statue of Reagan, the GOP arranges to have Reagan actually sit on the monument.
March 10--A U.S. House GOP caucus banquet breaks out in high jinks, culminating with several thrown pieties.
March 14--The U.S. House of Representatives votes to have Janet Reno crushed by large stones. Leading senators say they'd prefer a simple caning.
March 15--Special Assistant County Attorney Barnett Lotstein announces that slumlord Sherwin Seyrafi has been charged in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.
March 16--City Councilman Phil Gordon denounces Seyrafi as "the worst of the worst" Lindbergh baby kidnappers.
March 18--Sheriff Joke Arpaio holds a press conference to announce that an undercover squad from his Pet Posse has "cleansed" Arizona of "them diabolical wolves."
March 21--With China dissenting, the United Nations Security Council votes to impose economic sanctions on Tent City.
March 29--CNN announces that henceforth, only Larry King's head will appear on TV.
March 30--The immortal Randy Johnson's first pitch as a Diamondbank is a laser beam into the owner's box, beaning Jerry Colangelo. The ump nonetheless calls it a strike. His second pitch veers into the press box, konking Gil Tyree, who has the foresight to wear a helmet. Johnson's third pitch kills a family of four from Apache Junction.
April 2--Phoenix Suns guard Jason Kidd is found in an America West Arena locker room, clad in his uniform. "Been waiting for warm-ups," explains a sweaty Kidd, who sports a full beard.
April 3--House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde acknowledges that in yet another case of "youthful indiscretion," during the Eighties he had an "inappropriate relationship" with a Shetland pony.
April 12--Someone actually chuckles at the Arizona Republic's "Chuckle of the Day."
April 15--IRS officials announce that in order to offset a possible Y2K computer meltdown, every American will be audited for the period covering the past 1,000 years.
April 24--Sheriff Joke Arpaio denies reports he's developing weapons of mass destruction.
May 1--The Arizona State Capitol is evacuated after multiple elected executives experience simultaneous hot flashes.
May 3--National League umpires agree that henceforth, Diamondbank infielder Jay Bell will be considered a stationary object and must be discussed before each game as part of the ground rules.
May 13--Bank One and Bank of America announce a $16.5 gazillion merger. Henceforth, the institution will be known as America's One Bank.
May 26--Senator John Glenn announces plans to fly into space on the shuttle Endeavor, and "endeavor to git a little."
June 5--Hustler publisher Larry Flynt buys a full-page ad in the Washington Post, offering $1 million to anyone who can prove they have had sex with him.
June 10--Motorola, AlliedSignal, Intel and Honeywell announce a merger worth the combined wealth of the Southern Hemisphere. The new company will be known as Motorwell Insignia.
June 11--City Councilman Phil Gordon asks Janet Reno to appoint Kenneth Starr as an independent counsel to investigate slumlord Sherwin Seyrafi.
July 13--Arbitron researchers confirm that no more than 11 households ever listen to KTAR, and that six of them are responsible for generating all the phone calls. A KTAR spokesgerbil says, "Yeah, but, demographically speaking, these households are solid gold."
July 21--It's really hot.
July 22--Out of respect for his predecessor, the United Nations General Secretary announces that henceforth he will be known as Kofi-Kofi Annan.
August 14--The Diamondbanks announce plans to move infielder Jay Bell to a new position. "The groundskeepers have confirmed that he has, in fact, become root bound," a team spokesman says.
August 22--Without debate, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approves a controversial ordinance prohibiting "impure thoughts."
September 2--Returning to the White House from Camp David, Hillary Clinton steps off a helicopter with a pig under her arm. "Nice pig!" Tipper Gore says. "Yeah, I got him for Bill," the First Lady says. Tipper responds, "Good trade."
September 16--The Arizona Cardinals win their first game of the 1999 season. Jake Plummer is named new owner. He celebrates by getting really drunk at Club Rio and groping Bill Bidwill.
September 20--In a promotion intended to increase public awareness of his Pet Posse, Sheriff Joke Arpaio undergoes a painful series of rabies shots.
September 22--Phoenix Zoo security guards are surprised to find state Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Graham Keegan huddled with Koko the Verb-Conjugating Gorilla.
October 4--Sensational Tempe pop band Migraine sees its debut album, Snorklepuss, go platinum. Amazingly, none of the band members are junkies.
October 17--The Phoenix City Council lays claim to the "Best Run City of the Millennium," presents city manager Frank Fairbanks with a giant rubber stamp, then suspends meetings for the remainder of 1999.
October 31--In an effort to distance himself from scandal-plagued President Clinton and position himself for his own White House bid, Vice President Al Gore unveils a new ZZ Top beard.
November 3--Arizona Public Service Company and Salt River Project announce plans to merge. Henceforth the company will be known as Public Salt.
November 6--Weary of his reputation as a wimpy nerd, Bill Gates announces he is changing the name of his company to Macrohard.
November 12--During a special session, the Arizona Legislature votes to replace the AIMS test with a blood test.
November 19--Special Assistant County Attorney Barnett Lotstein announces that slumlord Sherwin Seyrafi has been implicated in the death of Ruby the Painting Elephant.
November 29--Hillary Clinton announces she has left her husband for Kenneth Starr.
December 3--In an effort to further distance himself from scandal-plagued President Clinton, Al Gore has himself neutered during a live PBS broadcast.
December 11--A fractious Arizona Corporation Commission announces it will settle all future disagreements by thumb wrestling.
December 12--During a Christmas party designed to improve morale among sheriff's deputies, Joke Arpaio is pantsed.
December 15--The Tempe City Council votes to rename the city's main drag Millennium Avenue.
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December 16--Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist and volunteer Gilbert reserve police officer Steve Benson beats the rest of the force in a quick-draw competition.
December 21--Engineering yet another miraculous comeback, Jake Plummer somehow convinces the Hohokam to return as time expires. Ironically, the Cardinals beat the Redskins.
December 31--He's baaaaaaaaack.
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