No one was more surprised by the way 2010 turned out than this reporter, except possibly the 69 Democrats who lost their seats in Congress, plus quite a few governors and, well, it just wasn't the kind of year I would have predicted. But rather than recap boring old news, here's what is certain to happen next, in a handy, clip-and-save, Precap of 2011:
Jan. 5: The year's first session of the House of Representatives becomes hopelessly deadlocked when Republicans refuse to schedule a vote on a proposal by Democrats to use an oak gavel rather than one made of maple.
Jan. 19: Due to the gavel impasse, President Obama delivers his State of the Union message via YouTube, stating, "No one was more surprised by the way 2010 turned out than this president."
Jan. 28: Congress finally reaches a compromise in which the Democrat's oak gavel is approved, but only after Speaker John Boehner gives it a complete shellacking.
Feb. 4: Fresh from its acquisition of "Newsweek" for one dollar, The Daily Beast announces it has purchased the defunct "Saturday Evening Post" for 15 cents. "We believe our online readers will gradually develop new habits and shift to print," said Tina Brown, who will serve as editor of all three publications.
Feb. 6: With the score 42-3 at the end of regulation play, NFL officials order Super Bowl XLV to continue into overtime until all 27 remaining commercials are televised.
Mar. 14: President Obama finally appears before a joint session of Congress to spell out his legislative agenda, but it ends abruptly when Mr. Obama is struck in the lip by Speaker John Boehner's oak gavel, requiring 12 stitches.
Apr. 7: After learning that his first game with the Hagerstown (Md.) Suns has been rained out, 18-year-old baseball phenom Bryce Harper tells reporters it was "good experience," and he has "paid his dues," and expects to be called up to the Washington Nationals "any day now."
Apr. 29: In a cost-saving move, CBS decides not to send the cast and crew of the "Early Show" to cover the royal wedding, opting instead to transport all 37 of the program's viewers to London to watch in person.
May 6: Authorities at Kennedy Airport arrest a woman just seconds before she is able to board a commercial flight with suspicious material, believed to be explosives mixed in a peanut butter and banana sandwich.
May 7: Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano tells a news conference in Washington that, effective immediately, passengers on flights originating in the U.S. will be limited to 1.5 ounces of peanut butter and/or other sandwich spreads. Sandwiches must be in clear plastic bags for tasting by TSA employees.
May 18: WikiLeaks delivers 847,000 classified documents to The Guardian newspaper, detailing how the Obama administration has sought to deal with previous WikiLeaks disclosures. Most embarrassing: an internal report estimating that it would take 150 White House staffers, each working 18 hours a day, 43.7 years to read all of the documents that WikiLeaks obtains in a typical month.
June 13: In a news release, Homeland Security discloses that the sandwich confiscated in New York on May 6 did not contain explosives, but rather a "peanut butter substitute" made from soybeans. The release also states that the 1.5-ounce limit on sandwich spreads will remain in effect "for the foreseeable future."
July 21: The TLC cable channel announces "Sarah Palin's Iowa and New Hampshire," in which the former star of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" takes viewers to "my favorite hangouts in two wonderful states that Todd and I have always thought of as our second and third homes."
Aug. 10: As temperatures soar near 100 degrees for a record 25th straight day, Mike Huckabee says on Fox News Channel that this is "clearly God's way" of punishing the Obama administration for spreading false claims about global warming. A Fox instant poll indicates that 96% of Huckabee's viewers believe he is correct, while 4 percent are not sure.
Sept. 6: President Obama and his security detail drive daughter Malia to her first day of 8th grade at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, prompting Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to declare that the trip is costing taxpayers $1.6 million.
Sept. 9: Audience members at the final episode of Oprah Winfrey's syndicated talk show erupt in a violent protest when they learn that Oprah's special "surprise gift" to each of them on the landmark occasion is a warm hug.
Oct. 3: In a West Wing ceremony, President Obama awards the Medal of Freedom to football player Michael Vick "for heroic efforts to secure commercial endorsement contracts under extraordinary conditions."
Oct. 14: On CNN, Anderson Cooper reports live via satellite from the scene of a dramatic rescue in the Arctic, where 14 penguins became trapped when a glacier collapsed. During a commercial, Cooper tweets: "No worry. Super snug Calvin Klein thermal tee-shirt is rated to 15 below zero."
Nov. 21: In what is believed to be the earliest opening of its kind, Wal-Mart opens its stores 96 hours prior to Black Friday.
Dec. 5: Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner discloses that China has quietly accumulated over 3.7 trillion miles in the United Airlines Mileage Plus program. "Our greatest concern," explains Geithner, "is that the Chinese will acquire tens of thousands of memberships in the Red Carpet Club, triggering an airline panic."
Dec. 31: Appearing on MTV's New Year's Eve special, President Obama concedes, "No one was more surprised by the way 2011 turned out than this president."
©2010 Peter Funt. This column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Cari Dawson Bartley at 800 696 7561 or e-mail [email protected].