Dave Barry's Concise History Of 1986
by Dave Barry - 1/4/1987
1- In college bowl action, 'Goiters whip 'Roids, 'Geeters whonk 'Nads,
and Colorado Raging Hormones upset Utah State Fighting Lavatory Inspection
Certificates, leaving the question of who is national champion once again to
be settled by the official NCAA procedure of drunks shouting in bars
4- Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh discover that the human body
does not contain, and never has contained, "tonsils" or an "appendix." The
American Medical Association, in an official statement, acknowledges that it
has "some explaining to do."
6- A woman in Teaneck, N.J., files a $327 million lawsuit against Halley's
Comet for turning out to be a big waste of her time.
21- The American Medical Association announces that it has discovered a
new human organ, the "bleemus," and that studies show most people probably
should have theirs surgically removed.
27- A blue-ribbon panel studying government inefficiency reports that for
the past nine years the U.S. Postmaster General has been a squirrel. Cold
weather blankets most of the United States for the 3 millionth consecutive
winter, but for some reason this is still discussed extensively in the news.
30- Former president Gerald R. Ford is reported resting comfortably after
undergoing elective surgery to have his bleemus removed.
2- In the Philippines, President Ferdinand Marcos, promising "free and
democratic elections," opens his campaign with the slogan: "Vote for Me or
I'll Shoot You in the Head." In Haiti, President for Ever and Ever Jean-Claude
(Baby Doc) Duvalier eats a cow. Tension mounts.
5- The Federal Avaiation Administration (FAA) orders all commercial 747's
grounded after a routine inspection reveals that some of the planes are
possessed by demons. In the Middle East, Col. Moammar Gadhafi moons the U.S.
6- President Reagan turns 75 and continues to be healthy and alert, as is
proved by news photographs of him at his ranch, chopping wood and riding his
horse. Geologists at the University of Southern California report that they
have discovered a powerful new and hitherto totally unknown force in the
universe, which they call "Velcro."
8- The U.S. House votes to ban TV advertisements for snuff and chewing
tobacco, citing medical evidence linking these products to various diseases.
A tobacco-industry spokesman attempts to refute these charges, but his lips
9- President Reagan accidentally chops a leg off his horse.
10- Despite being President for Life and a Good Friend of the United
States, "Baby Doc" is expelled from Haiti. His escape plane, thoughtfully
provided by grateful U.S. taxpayers, takes him to Yellowstone National Park,
where he is used to plug up the Old Faithful geyser hole.
No, seriously, "Baby Doc" is of course transported by grateful U.S.
taxpayers to someplace much nicer than anything you could ever affort, where
he will live much longer than you.
13- Congress passes the historic Gramm-Rudman Act, which states that in
the event that the federal budget deficit continues to be a problem, Congress
will meet and make a sincere effort to pass some kind of historic act about it.
17- Under the careful scrutiny of crack State Department observers,
Filipino voters reelect President Ferdinand Marcos by more than 600 billion
votes. Marcos, in a conciliatory mood, calls for "a time of healing" followed
by "a time of giving people powerful electrical shocks in their private parts."
20- President Reagan visits the island of Grenada to commemorate the U.S.
victory over communist Cuban troops armed with sophisticated construction
equipment. Thousands of cheering Grenadans turn out to watch Air Force One
gracefully touch down, then swoop back up into the sky because Grenada is too
short for an actual landing.
26- In the Middle East, Israel blah blah blah Lebanon blah blah blah PLO
blah blah blah Syria blah blah El Salvador.
28- Newly reelected President Ferdinand Marcos and his lovely bloated wife
Imelda and their children and aids hastily toss the gross national product of
the Philippines into designer suitcases and flee in a plane thoughtfully
provided by U.S. taxpayers.
1- Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev offers to reduce Soviet missile
strength by 50 percent on the condition that the United States "urinate in a
jar." The White House angrily protests that under the Protcol Agreement of
1982, a superpower is not allowed to make a dramatic new arms-reduction offer
until the opposing superpower has rejected the previous dramatic arms-reduction
offer and made of its own. The two sides agree to have a preliminary talks to
resolve this question, but cannot agree on a site. Every time any of this is
mentioned on the TV news, thousands more viewers switch to "Lassie."
5- The Reagan administration asks Congress to give $100 million to a group
called the "contras" to hold a covert war in Nicaragua. "Don't tell anybody!"
the Reagan administration cautions.
6- In the Middle East, Iraq uses up all its young men and has to borrow
some from Iran so they can keep having a war.
9- Opposition develops to the Reagan administration's Central American
policy when it is learned that the contras are in fact a South Bronx street
gang also known as the "Scumlords."
15- Kurt Waldheim issues a statement claiming that he missed World War II
because of "car trouble."
23- Prince Andrew becomes engaged to Corazon Aquino.
27- Voters in the Illinois Democratic primary nominate Kurt Waldheim for
30- The Marcos family, seeking a permanent home, is refused admittance in
the world except the fledgling North African People's Republic of Moribundi,
which says it will accept them under the classification "food."
11- After aerial reconnaissance photographs reveal that Moammar Gadhafi
is building a 375-foot-high middle finger near the highly strategic Gulf of
Sidra, an angry President Reagan directs massive bombing raids against various
sites in Liberia.
12- Worldwide reaction to the U.S. raids is mixed, the major criticism
being that the president probably ment to attack Libya, which SOUNDS like
"Liberia," but is actually a different country. In the U.S., polls show that
87 percent of Americans support the president and think they "probably would
have made the same mistake."
18- A Government Accounting Office audit shows that although the contras
have received $74 million in U.S. aid, they have only one receipt, for a $2.79
can of spray paint.
22- Risking widespread publicity, Bold and Probing Journalist Geraldo
Rivera goes on national television and opens, for the first time ever, the
vault where here keeps his styling mousse. Britian expels 27 Libyans.
25- True Fact: The U.S. government arrests 17 people for allegedly
attempting to sell arms to Iran. This item will seem much funnier later on.
29- Kurt Waldheim is implicated in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. Libya
expels 57 Britons.
30- A nuclear accident in the obscure Soviet town of Chernobyl sets off a
chain reaction a increasingly threatening media accounts, culminating when the
New York Post reports that all life on Earth has been destroyed.
4- Britian expels 109 Libyans.
10- The official Soviet news agency Tass releases a photograph of a city
street scene, with the caption: "All is well as citizens of Chernobyl are
resuming normal activites." Clearly visible, in the background, is the Vatican.
14- The contras rob a 7-Eleven.
15- The Senate blocks a White House effort to sell $3.1 million worth of
missiles to Ted Turner. Libya, running low on Britons, expels some Koreans.
17- True Fact: At Andrews Air Force Base, hundreds of media
representitives watcj as a 44-pound, radio-controlled, motorized, 18-foot-long
model of a prehistoric pterodactyl, which cost $700,000 to build, is towed to
a height of 600 feet and released, at which point it flies directly into the
19- Britain expels two Welshmen and a Celt.
25- The Washington Post reports that when former Reagan aide Michael
Deaver left the administration, he kept the briefcase containing the code
needed to launch a nuclear attack. Deaver assures a congressional committee he
has "no intention" of using the codes "without permission."
31- A federal grand jury indicts Teamster Union President Jackie Presser
after an eyewitness picks him out in a lineup that also includes Momba the
Elephant and Wyoming.
2- Canada demands that Libya send it some diplomats so it can expel them.
3- The U.S. Senate begins TV broadcasts of its sessions. Although there
was some concern that the senators might "ham it up," the opening broadcast
goes smoothly, highlighted by Sen. Strom Thurmond's show-stopping performance
of "Pappa's Got a Brand New Bag."
4- In the Middle East, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq. Also
5- Defense Secretary "Casper" Weinberger announces that the Department of
Defense plans to buy 600 radio-controlled pterodactyls.
6- Bernhard Goetz opens fire with a bazooka on a New York City subway and
wounds 14 contras. Kurt Waldheim, under growing pressure, admits that he WAS
involved in World War II, but only as a nurse in the British army.
8- The federal budget, completely out of control, rampages through
downtown Washington for six hours before it can be restrained by consultants.
Congress swiftly passes a bill authorizing emergency federal funds to repair
restaurant damage, estimated in the billions.
12- French and British tourism officials, attempting to urge Americans not
to be afraid to vacation abroad, are felled by sniper fire.
14- Eight concerned parents in rural Georgia sue the local school district
for teaching their children the alphabet, which can be used to form dirty
16- Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos wake up hungry at 2:30a.m. and order
$276,000 worth of cocktail shrimp delivered to their house in an authentic
16th-century carriage drawn by concerned U.S. taxpayers.
17- Warren Burger resigns as chief justice of the Supreme Court to go to
beautician school. President Reagan nominates William Rehnquist to replace him.
The Vatican announces that the Pope will visit Miami in 1987 to film an episode
of "Miami Vice."
22- Several desperate U.S. airlines announce a new promotional effort
under which people who fly to Europe get to keep the plane.
25- The Third World asks the U.S. banking community if it can borrow $500
billion until Friday.
29- President Reagan announces that the SALT II treaty is "dead" and that
he will continue to abide by it. White House press spokesman Larry Speakes
clarifies this by explaining that the president "has no idea what he is
2- Millions of people throng New York, jamming overpriced hotels and
restaurants, choking the streets and making it vitually impossible to get
anywhere or do anything. This has nothing to do with the Statue of Liberty.
This is normal for New York.
4- The world once again tunes in to New York Harbor in breathless
anticipation as President Reagan, having been carefully briefed, turns on a
battery of laser beams trained on the "Lady in the Harbor," illuminating her
for several unforgettable seconds before vaporizing her in the first truly
successful test of the "Star Wars" missile defense system.
13- The Polish sloop Stomil arrives in New York to join in the July Fourth
celebrations. This item is absolutely true.
16- Another true item: The United States, preparing to stage a secret
clandestine operation against cocaine-processing laboratories in the Bolivian
jungle, sends six U.S. Army helicopters to Bolivia in a huge C5A transport
plane accompanied by another plane containing trucks, jeeps, communications
equipment, tents, field kitchens and other equipment. The preparations are
carried out in absolute secrecy except for giant front-page headlines in
various Bolivian newspapers.
22- The secret covert undercover U.S. anticocaine military forces barges
through the Bolivian jungle. The operation results in the successful capture of
a goat, which exultant U.S. officials declare is responsible for at least 70
percent of the cocaine traffic in the world.
24- The Senate Judiciary Committee learns that William Rehnquist has 163
1- William Rehnquist is linked to Kurt Waldheim.
3- Working in dark, cold and treacherous currents far beneath the surface
of North Atlantic waters lashed by Tropical Storm Dwayne R. LePoon Jr., divers
for the first time are able to get an "underwater eye" camera inside the wreck
of the Titanic and discover that the ill-fated luxury line had been operated by
financially troubled Eastern Air Lines.
8- The Coast Gaurd begins a search for the Polish sailing ship Stomil
after it fails to arrive for a scheduled visit in Chicago. This is the truth.
12- A SECOND Polish sailing ship, the Gaudeamus, shows up in New York
harbor to join in the July Fourth celebrations. I realize nobody will believe
this item, but it happened.
15- The White House announces that President Reagan and Vice President
Bush, in an act of leadership, will lead a group of 78 top White House
officials in submitting to voluntary urine testing for the presence of drugs.
20- The White House announces that the high-level urine testing of 78 top
aids led by the president and the vice president went "extremely well," but for
"technical reasons" they are going to try it again using separate jars.
30- The White House announces that the president's urine sample passed its
drug test, although it had to be briefed by the samples of top White House
aides. Vice President Bush's sample is reported to contain traces of
1- The FBI arrests Russian Gennadi Zakharov and charges him with being a
spy, noting that his passport, under the heading "occupation," says: "spy."
3- After heated debate, the U.S. debate votes 67-33 that William Rehnquist
can be chief justice, but he must wear a wig.
7- The U.S. arrests Sergei Rachmaninoff.
9- The Soviet Union arrests Boris Karloff.
11- The U.S. arrests the Brothers Karamazov.
14- The Soviet Union arrests "Noodles" Stroganoff.
18- The United States releases Zakharov at the same time that the Soviet
Union releases Daniloff. This is NOT a "swap," White House spokesman Larry
Speakes announces through a hole cut in a grocery bag over his head.
1- White House spokeshuman Larry Speakes announces that President Reagan
will meet with Soviet Premier Gorbachev in Iceland, but stresses that this will
NOT be a "summit" meeting. "It will merely be a meeting between the leaders of
the two most powerful nations on Earth," Speakes explains.
5- Wall Street is rocked by scandal as one of its most respected figures,
Dow Jones, is arrested. Congress declares the tapeworm the official national
8- The U.S. Postal Service admits that it has never really had any use for
the ZIP code.
10- President Reagan and Premier Gorbachev arrive in Iceland to not have a
summit. They participate in welcoming ceremonies wherein native Icelanders
proudly display examples of locally hand-carved sleet.
12- The superpower talks break down when Reagan refuses Gorbachev's
proposal to exchange two celeries for a cheese. White House spokeshuman Larry
Speakes announces that the talks were "not a failure" and he once saw "a giant
15- Scientists at the University of Washington discover that all these
years the TV people have been playing Henry Kissinger's voice at half speed.
19- The Supreme Court takes back several major recent decisions on the
grounds that several justices thought they were voting on lunch.
23- Eugene Hasenfus, a U.S. citizen, is captured after his plane, on a
routine Eastern Air Lines flight from Orlando to Detroit, is shot down over
10- News reports claim that the Reagan administration has been sending
arms to - get this - the IRANIANS, but everyone agrees this is too ridiculous
to even think about.
16- In volano-wracked Hawaii, several villages must be evacuated after
Imelda Marcos explodes.
18- In a special press conference, President Reagan announces that, well,
yes, we DID send arms to Iran, but the reason we did it was, we WEREN'T trying
to get the hostages out, Okay? The president is then forced to depart for an
important previously scheduled nap, leaving Attorney General Edwin Meese to
further clarify everything by explaining that we shipped some arms to Israel,
which sold them to Iran, which paid $30 million into a Swiss bank account, from
which it was sent to (why not?) the "contras," who used it to supply weapons to
Christain Moslem militiamen linked to fugitive financier Robert Vesco and the
late Jimmy Hoffa and Lee Harvey Oswald, who in turn sold them to raise the
money to pay for Brenda's amnesia operation so she would remember what Lance
had told her about Heather's motel rendezvous with Drake on the day Monica put
the strychnine in Lizbeth's gumbo. Also Canada was involved. Meese stresses
that neither the president nor any of his top foreign-policy advisers nor
anybody else important knew anything about any of this because it was
perpetrated by a person named Lt. Col. Oliver North, who had seemed like a nice
enough person so he was placed in charge of the foreign policy, which goes to
show that these days you can't trust ANYBODY, although the president does feel
that North is a hero so he has fired him.
19- White House Speakesman Larry Spokes tries to clarify everything
further but no reporters show up because they're afraid they'll wet their
24- As criticism of the Iran matter continues to grow, President Reagan
vows to find out exactly who is in his cabinet and hold some meetings with
them. Secretary of State George Shultz attempts to voice his full support for
the president's Iran policy, but his words are muffled by his fake beard.
25- The Democrats, feeling tremendous concern for the future of the
presidency and, in fact, the very nation, begin planning large parties.
30- The White House announces it has discovered that Lt. Col. Oliver North
is responsible for the federal budget deficit.
1- Formerly secret papers are released showing that President Richard
Nixon met in the White House with Elvis Presley, who said he wanted to be a
federal agent because he had done "an in-depth study of drug abuse and
Communist brainwashing techniques" and Nixon arranged for him to get a special
badge with his name on it. This item is true.
2- Desi Arnez goes to the Big Conga Line in the Sky, where he and Fred
prepare an elaborite prank for Lucy and Ethel.
3- President Reagan nominates his top foreign-policy advisers for the
Nobel Peace Prize for intelligence.
7- X-ray photographs of the new U.S. embassy under construction in Moscow
reveal that Russians with canned food and stethoscopes have been embedded in
18- President Reagan, attempting to light the White House Christmas tree,
launches a nuclear attack against the province of Manitoba, Canada. Fortunately
nobody lives there.
25- Amid toil and strife, hate and bitterness, war and the threat of war,
a weary world pauses to pork out on baked goods.
31- Speculation that there may be life on Mars is renewed after a space
probe sends back a photograph showing the planet is strewn with condoms the
size of Vermont.