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Spoofs & Satire

This Will Be the Year That Was

At the dawn of 2014, we anticipate what will happen in our new year. This is what will happen.

Credit: r2hox

January

After a brutal and bloody slog, families basking in their newly purchased goods and eggnog hangovers breathe a sigh of relief that the war on Christmas has failed… this time.

Director Alexander Sokurov becomes the latest concerned celebrity to write an open letter critical of Miley Cyrus, this one annotated and quoting Kierkegaard. Cyrus tweets: “zomgggg, dad and me used to see him in Branson, ‘vhat a country’!!! hilarious man.”

Rob Gronkowski has a newly discovered atomic particle named after him. It behaves erratically, overpowering anti-protons, but prone to disintegration.

After sustaining multiple gunshot wounds at a Rexdale house party, Toronto mayor Rob Ford is rushed not to hospital, but to an underground chamber in his brother Doug’s home. As the mayor fades from life, a group of cyberneticists struggle to repurpose his consciousness and augment his body with artificial implants. Roboford takes his first steps in a blanket of new-fallen snow.

February

A fiscally conservative, socially progressive war hero, composer and Nobel laureate in economic science comes out on top in the turmoil of Ukraine's leadership struggle, putting the rest of the world to shame and causing Ukraine to be declared World’s Smuggest Country by the UN.

Toronto’s city workers report a terrifying metallic behemoth forcing its way into their offices.

President Obama’s handpicked Olympic delegates Billie Jean King, Caitlin Cahow, and Brian Boitano come under scrutiny by birthers who claim the three openly gay athletes weren’t even born in Homostan.

Toronto’s city workers report a terrifying metallic behemoth forcing its way into their offices, demanding to see their expense reports and supply requests. Police chase the interloper from City Hall, but lose him as he swings west along the streetcar wires.

March

Walmart caves to pressure and finally unionizes workers, which immediately prices all other unions out of business.

The fake Nelson Mandela Twitter account is reported to be on #deathbed.

Sony’s smart wig and Apple’s smart hat lead Oracle to develop the Smart Merkin, an immersive data interface for your more visceral organs, available in many shades and degrees of shagginess. The Crabs App and Funny Sex Noise App become instant bestsellers, and the Universal Serial Diaphragm becomes a game-changer for family planning.

April

Senate wisenheimers arrange for the angry tribble sound effect from Star Trek to play whenever a Republican makes a point of order.

In Strimbul, Ohio, an unknown “shambling, gleaming figure” begins digging a subway tunnel with what look like industrial claws at the end of his arms. Before he can install the train cars he has hauled underground by himself, a gas leak leaves him giggling and incoherent, and by next morning he is gone.

Pope Francis is seen shuffling down the streets of New Orleans playing a killer Dixieland trombone.

Millions visit the funeral Tumblr for the fake Nelson Mandela Twitter account.

May

The Nielsen in-home television rating system is replaced by the NSA.

Bidding for Edward Snowden’s memoir reaches seven figures, then the entire book is leaked on The Pirate Bay.

The bidding for Edward Snowden’s tell-all memoir reaches seven figures, and then the entire book is leaked on The Pirate Bay.

The World Wildlife Fund discovers that elephants in Vietnam, previously thought to be nearing extinction, actually number in the hundreds; they were simply in hiding because they secretly own all the underground brothels.

June

Protesters show up at Bob Dylan’s ironworking exhibit to hurl abuse at the prolific sculptor for abandoning ancient forge-based welding and using electric welding techniques.

CBS smashes ratings records with a summer series called Being E, starring Benjamin Bratt as Jack Worthing, a super-agent working to protect political figures from assassination. Worthing has infiltrated the W.I.L.D.E. terrorist organization in hopes of finding his true love, kidnapped agent Gwen Fairfax (Charisma Carpenter). To deflect any conflict of interest, he has told his superior, Vice President Bracknell (Mimi Rogers), that the mole is an agent code-named Ernest. Gary Oldman plays Worthing’s foe Algy Moncrieff, a desk jockey in the shadowy Bunbury Corporation who catches on to the scheme and presents himself as Ernest, W.I.L.D.E.’s number one assassin. Fred “The Hammer” Williamson has a recurring role as Canon Chasuble.

In crime-ridden Nivvers, Ariz., a “boisterous cyborg” reportedly begins running football drills with at-risk youth forcibly plucked from the streets. The team does well, but the ronin coach soon vanishes with their supply of pain-relief medication.

July

Following the viral fame of the Sourtoe Cocktail in Dawson City, Yukon, which includes an actual severed toe, Yellowknife bartenders cash in with a new concoction called simply The Bris.

A booger collection is found under Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s desk.

Concussion awareness receives a new spokesman: Don Music, resident composer of Sesame Street, whose years of self-inflicted cranial trauma have left him unable to play a note.

A UN probe into Vietnamese elephant brothels reveal that the workers are all okapi whom the elephants have been smuggling in from central Africa.

August

Celebrated distance swimmer Diana Nyad crosses Bohai Bay in China in under 50 hours, once again living up to her name. Trying to break the record for the Danube River swim, Daphne Sackofkittens tragically does the same.

Oil is discovered in Ramallah; Israeli calls are put on hold at the State Department for the first time.

Bob Dylan’s ironworking enters its hotly contested “Jesus” phase. His seven-foot nail sells for $3.5 million.

September

In a tight pennant race, the Boston Red Sox start growing their earlocks to Hasidic proportions.

The Church of Scientology issues its first credit card with an engram-back rewards system.

Roaring up the streets of subarctic Churchill, Manitoba, a “strange manimal, not unlike a robotic polar bear” turns itself into a giant snow plow and takes on all snow removal duties for several weeks, saving taxpayers a significant sum. Grateful citizens invite their mechanical hero to a Sunday dinner, but at the sight of a gravy boat he runs off emitting sparks and smoke.

Israel suddenly discovers a rich deposit of plutonium in “the desert, out there, you know.” John Kerry is invited to “come see this absolute whackload of plutonium,” but when he arrives, he is told that it’s actually being kept in a bunch of different deserts for security reasons.

Facing more and more disillusionment among members, the Church of Scientology issues its first credit card with an engram-back rewards system based on collecting Thetan miles every time the card is used.

October

Amanda Palmer does something while naked.

With continued speculation over Rob Ford’s disappearance stealing attention from other candidates in Toronto’s mayoral election, the field is left wide open for the eventual winner: write-in candidate Bryan Adams, who gives his acceptance speech from a photo shoot in Venice.

Inspired by the practice of raising the debt ceiling, climate scientists move the equator a few hundred miles north. When asked about the South Pole, scientists recommend that the theory of the South Pole not be taught in schools.

November

Some jerk ruins Movember by growing a Hitler ’stache and raising $10,000.

Tony Romo's improbable injury of 2014: herniated thumb after clapping too hard at the end of the huddle.

At 6:30 a.m. on the 23rd, the following ad appears in Kijiji Toronto under the user name F_NATION: “ROBOFORD WAS SET UP - FOLLOW THE MONEY.” Three hours later, the ad disappears.

December

Paula Deen’s Twerk Yourself Skinny workout DVD fails to endear her to the population any further.

The U.S. Post Office issues a stamp honouring minstrel shows, America’s only indigenous form of theater.

Syria tops the list of popular Google searches for 2014, briefly giving hope for a more politicized and humane knowledge-seeking population, until someone realizes it was because of a Syrian camel that looks like Janet Yellen.

In the middle of the last Toronto city council meeting of the year, the council chamber doors swing open with a crash. Roboford stands silhouetted in the entrance. There are gasps and cries of “Is it really…?” The tarnished, dented, sand-blown creature makes its way slowly to Councillor Doug Ford’s seat. The brothers regard each other for some time. “Did you plan it, bro? The shooting?” asks Roboford, almost casually. Doug mumbles a few vague words before slamming his hand on the table. “You were out of control! You could have been the next Daley or Giuliani, but it was all going to hell! We needed to… to harness the greatness within you and focus it! And it could still work. Look at you—you’re unstoppable now.” “I thought we were on the side of the little guy, bro. Man of the people.” Doug grips his brother’s shoulders, sweating profusely. “Fuck the people! It was never about them! You are their god! Tell me you can’t feel it!” Roboford clicks and whirrs. “Feel,” he whispers. “I used to feel. I used to feel good.” He grips Doug behind the head, caressing his neck. “Time to cut the waste,” he intones, before the metacarpal hydraulics kick in. There is a sickening pop. A body hits the ground, but a silvery-blonde head remains tight within metal fingers. For the first time in a long, long year, a real tear escapes Roboford’s eye.

biopic

TMN Contributing Writer Michael Rottman lives like a lord in Toronto. His miscellany has appeared in print in The Fiddlehead, Grain, and Opium, and online at Yankee Pot Roast, Cracked, News Groper, and McSweeney’s. More by Michael Rottman