Monday, January 4, 2016

2015: A Little Skin in the Game.


"Is that potato...or finger?" My wife poked through the blood-spackled chunks of Yukon Gold potatoes, brushing them into a ring and isolating the little morsel of pinkish meat.

I held my arm aloft, squeezing the paper towels so hard my bicep went to sleep. My stomach lurched at the sight of the kitchen knife she gripped, the same instrument that seconds before had pruned the tip of my left pinkie.

"That's finger," I said, tiny waves of nausea rippling through my entrails.

It was Christmas Day, which signifies the one meal of the year that my family indulges in a recipe originally found in Oprah magazine. The kids call it "Oprahtatoes," a heart-stopping mashup of gold spuds, butter, half-n-half and cream cheese, topped with cheddar and chives.

Seriously, if any food is worth spilling blood over, it's Oprahtatoes, but this bleeding wasn't stopping. Desperately desiring not to spend Christmas evening in the ER, I watched as my wife tightly wrapped the finger in Band-Aids, attacking from all angles.

To avoid boring you with a step-by-step account of the ensuing 36 hours, I'll just say that there's an urgent care doctor working at a facility in a strip mall in Vancouver, Washington, who knows fingers like the back of his hand. The dressing he crafted rolled on like Grey Poupon to a Little Smokie, and I won't even delve into my awesome pinkie hammock.

So yeah, anyway, that's pretty much how my 2015, shall we say, wrapped up. How was yours? Be honest, how much do you actually recall about what happened last year? I'm only asking because until I looked it up, basically all I remembered was watching the Seahawks blow the Super Bowl and reading memes about dogs and Obama.

But I also knew that A.D. Twenty-fifteen witnessed its share of extraordinary happenings—some good, some bad, some... well... meh. I found a great source to refresh my memory, a website called onthisday.com, which chronologically registered the year's major world-wide goings-on. And just to get a feel for the type of year it was, I'm going to randomly pick a few events and we'll see how things stack up overall. Let's dive in!

On March 26, King Richard III (1452-1485), whose remains were discovered beneath a parking lot, is exhumed then interred at England's Leicester Cathedral.

Conclusion: Bad. I'm from Seattle. Reverse composting is a gross misdemeanor.

On April 14, the world's oldest stone tools, dating back 3.3 million years, are found in Kenya.

Conclusion: Good. This proves that I'm not the only guy too lazy to get the hammer. Sometimes a big rock works fine.

On April 23, Loretta Lynch is confirmed as the first female African-American Attorney General of the United States.

Conclusion: Good, especially if you're Donald Trump ("I don't care who she is. It's goddamn amazing for anyone to be both an attorney and a general.").

On May 11, India's population officially reaches one billion.

Conclusion: Meh, it was a misunderstanding. Trump thought they said Indiana ("My people tell me Indiana has a billion illegals. Trust me, I will round these people up. What's that? It's actually India? Shut up, punk! Get him out of here.").

On June 17, the United States Treasury announces that the Alexander Hamilton ten-dollar bill will be replaced by a woman.

Conclusion: Meh, another misunderstanding. Trump was stoked because he thought they meant a real woman.

On July 20, The Impact Team announces they have hacked into the client list of Ashley Madison, the marital cheating website.

Conclusion: Good, except stock for Motel 6 and the makers of Febreeze for Car Upholstery tanked.

On August 21, the oldest known message in a bottle is retrieved on a German beach after 108 years adrift.

Conclusion: Bad. It was a list of Germany's top ten baby names, with Adolph coming in at a solid number three behind Axel and Gerd.

On December 7, Time readers voted Bernie Sanders Person of the Year.
Conclusion: Very, very good.

Wow, so it wasn't such a rotten 2015 after all. Our representative sample landed on four "Goods", two "Bads" and two "Mehs." Let's just hope things work out even better for 2016, if you know what I mean.

The Trump jokes are getting less funny.

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