Ah, when historians look back

on the year 2011, what will be the events that best sum up these past twelve

months? The Arab Spring, no doubt. The giant sucking black hole that is the

global economy. And important medical advances, like the dog that can detect

colon and rectal cancer simply by sniffing your poo.

2011 has also shown us how

important a tool Internet social media has become. Whether it's for organizing

protests against oppressive regimes, coordinating violent flash mobs of

looters, or exposing — literally — the sexual misadventures of

American politicians. And speaking of politicians, it'll be quite a while

before we have as memorable — and entertaining — a crop of

goofballs, horndogs and wackos as this year's Republican presidential hopefuls.

Finally, it's been a year

full of important trials and legal drama. I must thank my chief legal counsel

and daughter, Chedda Cheese, for her advice and editing. Have a great 2012,



This does not bode well: New

Year's Eve revelers in Beebe, Arkansas, are freaked out when thousands of dead

blackbirds fall from the skies, and massive fish deaths are reported in

Maryland, Brazil and New Zealand. Witches in Romania, angered over new taxes on

witchcraft-related earnings, vow to cast spells on the country's president and

government. Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is shot and critically wounded at a public event in

Tucson; six others are killed in the attack. The U.S. federal debt reaches a

record-breaking $14 trillion. Nearly immortal fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne dies at age 96. Social unrest and upheaval in Tunisia

and Egypt heralds a new political era in the Arab world. Indy's coolest

meteorologist, Chris Wright, turns

50, uber-blowhard Rush Limbaugh

turns 60, folk singer Joan Baez

turns 70, and basso-profundo actor James Earl Jones turns 80.


Indianapolis is covered with

a crunchy layer of snow and ice as a huge winter storm sweeps through the

Midwest. Researchers announce they have trained a Labrador retriever to detect

colon/rectal cancer by smelling a patient's breath or doo-doo. Hosni Mubarak steps down as Egypt's president. Italy's premier Silvio

Berlusconi is charged with paying a

17-year-old Moroccan girl for sex. IBM's giant computer Watson defeats two former "Jeopardy!" champions in a 3-day

tournament. Libyans call for dictator Moammar Gadhafi to resign – instead he turns on his own people

and the country devolves into bloody chaos. Indiana House Democrats evacuate

the Capitol to protest labor and education legislation. Revenge of the humans:

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), a

5-time "Jeopardy!" champ from 35 years ago and former rocket scientist, defeats

IBM's Watson in a "Jeopardy!"

exhibition match.


Delusional actor Charlie

Sheen and deranged dictator Moammar

Gadhafi make televised appearances

proving that they're both completely bat-shit crazy. The national unemployment

rates drops to 8.9%. A powerful earthquake and tsunami devastates north-eastern

Japan, leaving uncountable thousands dead and severely damaging nuclear power

plants in the region. U.S., French and British forces blast Libyan air defense

sites. Actor Leonard Nimoy

better known as Mr. Spock

turns 80. After 35 days, Indiana House Democrats return to the Statehouse

– um, yay?


No fooling, a lot of wild

weather going on across the US: tornadoes, floods, drought, wildfires, massive

thunderstorms. More rain falls in Indiana this month (9.2 inches) than it has

in over 100 years. Meanwhile in the Middle East and various Arab nations,

turmoil and bloodshed are the order of the day. (Yikes – maybe those

kooky "End Times" people are right!)


Osama bin Laden sleeps with the fishes: literally – Navy SEALs

shoot him dead and his body is deposited in the sea. Chump Donald Trump is dumped as Indy 500 pace car driver. "The Donald" announces he will not run for the highest office in

the land, but says if he did, he'd win. Former California governor Arnold

Schwarzenegger admits to fathering a

child with a household staff member more than a decade ago – wife Maria

Shriver is royally pissed off.

RAPTURE! Oops, no. Mitch says he

will not run. Actor (and Harry Cheese

look-alike) George Clooney turns

50, the Senate's funniest member, Al Franken (D-MN) turns 60, and iconic folk and rock star Bob

Dylan turns 70. A gala musical

extravaganza, Norapalooza, is held at the Jazz Kitchen to celebrate the 50th

birthday of local philanthropist, writer, barmaid and all-around cool chick, Nora

Spitznogle. Dan Wheldon wins his second Indy 500.


Super actress Natalie

Portman turns 30, colorful pop singer

Boy George turns 50, and Stones'

drummer Charlie Watts turns 70.

Assisted-suicide hero/villain Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian dies of natural causes at age 83.Washington tool pulls a real boner:

comically named Rep. Anthony Weiner

(D-NY) admits to sending lewd e-mails, texts and pics to half a dozen women.

After being skewered and roasted by the press and the public, Weiner resigns. New York becomes the sixth state to legalize

gay marriage.



American hero Joey

Chestnut wins his fifth consecutive

first place prize at Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney

Island, NY. America's worst mom, Casey Anthony, is found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old

daughter Caylee. The national

unemployment rate creeps up to 9.2%. Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid News of the World shuts down after a national scandal involving

phone-hacking. A sweltering heat wave covers virtually all of the U.S. Manic

funnyman Robin Williams turns 60.

Norwegian madman Anders Breivik

kills 77 people in an Oslo bombing and a youth camp shooting rampage. Soulful

singer Amy Winehouse dies at 27,

rock 'n roll's deadliest age.


Congress passes a last-minute

debt bill, staving off a U.S. financial default. Homemaking expert and ex-con Martha Stewart turns 70, President Barack Obama turns 50, and singer and sperm surrogate David

Crosby somehow survives to 70.

Standard and Poor's downgrades its U.S. credit rating to AA+. Riots rage in

London and several other British cities, spawned by public spending cuts and

racial tensions. Unbelievably stupid state lawmaker Phil Hinkle (R-Indpls.) uses his publicly listed e-mail address

on Craigslist to set up a hotel tryst with a young man, and gets caught –

duh. Seven people are killed or fatally injured when a powerful wind gust

topples a stage roof and rigging at the Indiana State Fair. Apple's wizard/CEO Steve

Jobs resigns. Legendary game show

host Monty Hall turns 90.

Hurricane Irene whips along the NE coast, leaving 46 dead over 13 states. The

last of America's first generation of bluesmen, David "Honeyboy" Edwards," dies at age 96.


Pregnant pop superstar Beyonce turns 30, the world's coolest girl rocker,

Chrissie Hynde turns 60, country

music legend George Jones turns

80, and sexy/spooky actress Cassandra Peterson ("Elvira, Mistress of the Dark") is a well-preserved

60. Former Pacers bad boy Ron Artest

has his name officially changed to Metta World Peace – in response, local man Jeff Ayers changes his name to All-Out World War. The U.S. military's discriminatory DADT policy is

repealed. The world's unluckiest hikers, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, are freed after spending more than two years in an Iranian prison.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

applies for creation of a state of Palestine and U.N. membership.


Mama said, "Knox you out!"

After spending four years in an Italian prison on a murder conviction, Amanda

Knox is exonerated and released. The

Occupy Wall Street protests grow larger and spread to other cities. Annoying

singer Sting and rocker/activist

Bob Geldolf turn 60; syrupy-smooth

rapper Snoop Dogg hits 40.

American innovative giant Steve Jobs

dies at age 56. Sir Paul McCartney

marries American heiress Nancy Shevell. Two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon is killed in a horrific multi-car crash at the Las

Vegas Motor Speedway. Moammar "Daffy" Gadhafi is a dead duck. The world's population reaches an

estimated 7 billion.


Kooky skeezer Mariah

Yeater accuses teen heartthrob Justin

Bieber of making a baby, baby, baby

with her in a dressing-room bathroom – her paternity suit is withdrawn

after it is revealed that she was just after the Biebs' money. Dr. Conrad Murray is taken away in handcuffs after a jury finds him

guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop icon Michael Jackson. Penn State is embroiled in a disturbing and

disgusting child sex abuse scandal – alleged pervert Jerry Sandusky becomes the most hated man in America. Mayor Greg

Ballard is re-elected. Facing

national economic meltdowns, Prime Ministers George Papandreou of Greece and Silvio Berlusconi of Italy agree to resign; Yemen's embattled president

Ali Abdullah Saleh also calls it

quits. Rock's unluckiest drummer, Pete Best, turns 70.


The U.S. unemployment rate

drops to 8.6%. His campaign kicked in the nuts by allegations of sexual

harassment and marital infidelity, Herman Cain ends his bid to become the Republican presidential

nominee. Moronic former governor of Illinois Rob Blagojevich is sentenced to 14 years in prison for his

over-the-top governmental corruption. LOWE'S BLOWES: Corporate weenies at

Lowe's bow to pressure from some nut group in Florida and cancel their ad on

TLC's reality series All-American Muslim – protests, boycotts and mockery ensue. From "shock and awe,"

missing WMDs and Abu Ghraib to 4,487 U.S. military deaths, more than 100,000

Iraqi lives lost and a cost of about $800 billion, the Iraq War finally ends.

North Korea's Kim Jong Il joins

The Dead Dictators Club – with Osama, Gadhafi and the Jongster gone, Santa Claus has a lot less coal to deliver this Christmas season!