2001: The Year that Almost Was!

Remember how at the first of the year, we were all complaining about how boring our lives were? Well, the moral of 2001 is "Be careful what you wish for!" Let us now travel backwards in time and reflect on the top eight One Day at a Time stories of the craziest year, like, EVER!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13 And now, news from the sordid world of CRIME. According to The Oregonian, the Portland Police Bureau is using a new method in their war against the escort services--actually paying private citizens to have sex with prostitutes. Calling them "informants," these "Huggy-Bears of the Boudoir" are paid $50 for four hours of "undercover work," in which they solicit, pay, and videotape a sexual act. Later, the informants will describe their evening of love in explicit detail in front of a jury. Now, we know what many of you are thinking: "Whoopee! Where do I sign up?" However, before forming a long line down at Chief Kroeker's office, please remember that, while government-sanctioned sex with a prostitute may sound like a dream career, there are a few things one should know: 1) There are no health benefits or 401K plans; 2) Just because you're allowed to commit one illegal act, does not mean you can also steal police department office supplies; and 3) No, you do not get to keep the videotapes. Is that understood? OK, fill out your application, don't forget your references, and most importantly, have fun!

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28 Irish authorities had a rough day today, disinfecting visitors from Britain after officials confirmed that the highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease had crossed the Irish Sea. Scientists indicate the disease probably originated in sheep imported from whoaaaaa whoaaaaaaaaa WHOAAA AAAAAAA!!!! HEY! Did you feel that?!? That was an EARTHQUAKE! Aww, cool! Everything was shaking, and I was like Whoa! Let's see how big it was woo-hoo! 6.8 on the Richter scale! WOW! Where did it come from? Interesting 35 miles southwest of Seattle HEY! Maybe Seattle was hit by a TSUNAMI! No no such luck. However, it did shatter windows, dropped bricks from the Starbuck's headquarters onto the sidewalks and trapped 30 people on top of a swaying Space Needle!! Ha!! That's just great! But wait! Here's the best part! Microsoft founder Bill Gates was making a speech at a technology conference when the big one hit, sending the horrified audience bolting for the door, as screams filled the air and overhead lights fell to the floor! YES!! It's just like a Irwin Allen movie! We love earthquakes! Can we do it again? Pleeeeease??

WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 Portland bade a fond farewell to the Dalai Lama today after his three-day whirlwind tour of Stumptown, and everyone agreed we were all the better for his visit. And along with his words of wisdom, he was also kind enough to leave us with some juicy gossip, courtesy of One Day Hot Tipper Bridgette, who sent in the following scintillating tidbit that may or may not be true, but is certainly worthy enough to run in this column. According to Bridgette, the Dalai Lama was seen cavorting at the Saucebox along with The Hunted stars Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro. Though she did not hear the entire conversation, Bridgette says the three were engaged in a spirited conversation about movies, Tibetan culture, and the rigors of being a celebrity. At one point in the conversation, Benicio was said to have noted that if Tibetans had access to American staples such as booze, television, and barbecued ribs, "they would be as fat as we are." To which the Dalai Lama replied, "Well, I doubt that, because yo' mama is so fat, when she broke her arm, gravy ran out." True story or not, that Dalai Lama is a crack-up!

FRIDAY, JULY 20 Is there ANYTHING more marvelous than a streetcar? According to Portland: No. Not cheesecake, not self-tanner, not Ewan McGregor naked--NOTHING is more marvelous than a streetcar. Take away our organic coffee, our bridges, our public square; take away Portlandia, Waterfront Park, and the Blazer Dancers, as long as we have just one of our new streetcars, we will have silly grins and songs in our hearts. Today, streetcar mania hit a fever pitch as the city threw a parade for our new darlings of public transportation. The streetcars were festooned with floral wreaths, and Portlanders waited in line to be "The First Civilians Ever" to be crowded aboard the streetcar line. Children marched between cars, police stopped traffic, and office workers lined rooftops. Stuck in traffic as the parade passed, we couldn't help but shed a tear or two at the enthusiasm. Isn't it lovely to live in a city that gets this keyed up about public transportation? Lord help us if we ever get a monorail.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8 A big brush fire swept up a high bluff in North Portland today, and it was really annoying. One Day's house is in this neighborhood, and as soon as we heard sirens, we immediately slipped into our gold Dolce & Gabbana two-piece swimsuit, mixed a drink, and struck an appropriate pose in our front yard that would surely attract any approaching firemen. (Hubby Kip was working late at the dentist office.) It would appear that luck should've been on our side, since 170 of Portland's hottest hotties showed up on the scene--however, they all seemed to have more important things to do on the other side of the street. At one point, our "yoo-hoo's" were able to garner the attention of one slab of beef--but our flirtatious tête-à-tête was rudely interrupted by an asshole neighbor screaming for a bucket. In less than an hour, the danger had passed, and so had the firemen but not before our smudgy neighbors had grabbed all the attention. Pooh. It's enough to make a girl move to Gresham.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 Today was a very, very bad day.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 A report from the New York Post noted that the White House staff is madder than a poodle in a pigpen over Vice President Dick Cheney's remarks on a recent edition of Meet the Press. Karen Hughes and Karl Rove, two of President Bush's top aides, are allegedly furious because Cheney took too much credit for the events immediately following the attack on September 11. According to the Vice Prez, it was he who told Bush to fly around the country willy-nilly (for his own safety), it was he who sent Cabinet members to emergency shelters, and it was he who urged the President to scramble fighter jets to knock down any hijacked planes. Rove and Hughes hit the roof after these statements because, according to inside sources, he took "credit for all the major decisions sidelined the President" and made him "look like his puppet." Cheney responded to this accusation by putting the President on his knee, and making him sing the "Star Spangled Banner," while Cheney drank a glass of water.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 It was another great victory today for our lord and master Satan, after it was announced the weekend box-office for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone reached a mind-boggling $93.5 million. The movie, based on the much-loved children's book by J.K. Rowling, soundly trampled the opening weekend for 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Both films are much maligned by Christians--Harry Potter for its glorification of witches and wizards, and Jurassic Park because many Christians still refuse to believe in dinosaurs--which makes the dark ruler of Hell that much more pleased. "Ha! Ha! HA! In your FACE, Jesus freaks!" mocked the Prince of Lies, "Your children have now been seduced by my evil power. Now it is time for YOU to worship me! SUBMIT! Submit to my devilish whims! Bow before my treacherous might and give unto me your EVERLASTING SOULS! Ha, ha, haaaa! HAAA! HAAAA! HAAAAA!" The spokesperson for the Regal Theater chain could not be reached for comment because he was busy sacrificing a goat.

Happy New Year, lovers. See you in 2002! Ann@portlandmercury.com