by Jim Harris

2012 is now over, and before the historians get it all wrong, I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the truly important stories for our world and our region that for some strange reason received no press attention last year:

• Our former City Councilwoman, Donna Reed Miller, West Oak Lane State Rep. Dwight Evans and our U.S. Congressman, Chaka Fattah, announced at a press conference that for the first time ever, they would spend our tax dollars on a project that might actually help the people of Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy and Germantown, instead of stuffing the pockets of their own cronies, malingerers and campaign contributors. Two reporters present were so shocked by the news, they had heart attacks, collapsed and died on the spot.

• In keeping with Chestnut Hill’s reputation for progressive ministries, a local preacher started a new congregation called “OMG.” According to it’s Pastor, Reverend Angela Sincere, who claimed to have an online master of divinity degree, her religious services were to be conducted entirely by text messaging. “You won’t even have to get out of bed on Sunday,” she said.

“I’ll begin each service with a reading from the Book of Tweets, and then the tele-participants can each respond with their own acronyms, abbreviations or emoticons. It’s much more personal than the old-fashioned practice of physically going to church. If you’re interested in joining OMG, just text “church, [smiley face]” to 1440007.

• In other local religious news, neighbors on Chestnut Hill Avenue objected to a plan by the Little Sisters of the Shy to purchase a nearby empty estate for their convent. A lawyer for the residents said, “All that praying would be disruptive to the character of our neighborhood.”

• Just a week after criticizing Atlantic City residents for not evacuating before Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ordered all 78,000 residents of Camden to evacuate their homes immediately. He said the city was unfit for human habitation. No one left, however.

• At a press conference in December, School Board spokesperson Delbert Doolittle — himself a product of Philly public schools — read a prepared statement saying, “In an effort to improve education, we will be closing every other public school in Philadelphia.

“Additionally, we are changing our ‘No child left behind’ policy to ‘Ain’t not never no child left no how.’ I’m not entirely sure what this means, but the mathematics department informs me that if you divide the number of double negatives by two and multiply by zero, you will come up with the number of children who will NOT be left behind.”

Doolittle declined to answer questions after his statement, saying that he had just been informed that his own job had been eliminated and that he was in a hurry to run off and join the circus.

• In other cost-cutting developments, it was announced that public libraries in Philadelphia would remain open only during the lunch hour in order to relieve congestion and reduce the number of staff required.

• Citizens were also told that all firehouses in the city would be closed permanently. In a televised message, residents were strongly urged, however, by “Flame-o,” the city’s new fire-prevention mascot, to avoid starting fires unless you have fire insurance.

• Razz Matazz XIII, the last remaining Mayan monarch, apologized for the egregious inaccuracy of the old Mayan calendar, and blamed the whole fiasco entirely on his ancestors. The King then unveiled his ‘New Improved Mayan Calendar,’ made of 100% recycled materials and featuring pictures of cats playing the piano. The new calendar weighs in at 400 pounds, covers the next 10,000 years, and sells for $189.95 USD.

• Tea Party representatives proposed a bill requiring that air bags on all American cars be replaced by illegal aliens. That is, if a driver got in an accident, instead of an air bag deploying, an illegal alien would pop out to soften the blow. “As long as they’re going to be here anyway, why not have them do something useful?” said a sponsor of the bill, which is still bottled up in committee.

To the best of my recollection, those are all of the important stories of 2012. Any inaccuracies are entirely the fault of my ancestors.

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