This really happened: the author with his MST3K heroes.
What a year! Not just for Athens, but for the world at large. We laughed, we cried, we ate too much turkey on Thanksgiving. Let's look back at some of the highlights of 2018—which, in the Chinese Zodiac, is the Year of the Sugar Glider.
A chilly start to the year finds the internet, and the world, astounded at the Tide Pod “challenge,” where unwitting YouTubers eat packets of laundry detergent. Tide is aghast, and quickly releases advisories reminding otherwise rational consumers that their non-consumable products are not to be consumed. They also note that Tide Pods are gluten-free, to the confusion of many.
In Athens, local ne’er-do-well, real estate developer, hooligan and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is busy with his gubernatorial campaign. Among his campaign promises are to make Georgia No. 1 in the nation for apartment complexes with fake windows, and to out-graft Governor Deal.
We get a dusting of snow, causing approximately 10,000 traffic accidents and woolly mammoth sightings on Tallassee Road.
With warmer weather approaching, Tide releases new Arnold Palmer Tide Pods—a refreshing way to quench your laundry's thirst.
Georgia primary races are held May 22, with Democrat Stacey Abrams winning her party's nomination. On the Republican side, Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle are forced into a July runoff, to the confusion of many.
Shockingly, a few days after the primary, Republican also-rans Clay Tippens, Hunter Hill and Michael Williams are all found dead of apparent suicide, hanging from helicopters hovering over a Colombian coca plantation managed by Kemp Investment Properties, LLC.
During UGA graduation, university President Jere Morehead comments, “They really did try, but some of them just couldn't grasp the subtleties of underwater basket weaving.” Almost 10 students receive diplomas.
It also rains for two solid months.
Election monitors in Georgia bring the office of Secretary of State to task over voting machine irregularities. The machines, manufactured in 1972, run an updated version of BASIC+, and are said to be “OK” by Kemp, who is busy culling voter registrations. He also notes that the machines have been certified by the independent consulting firm of Yelagin and Sopov, Moscow.
With much confusion, August sees the littering of Bird scooters around Athens, immediately causing several broken ankles and head injuries. Birds will ultimately be banned by December, but remain popular among party-hardy students.
In a terrific home opener on Sept. 1, UGA takes on Austin Peay in Sanford Stadium. Fans are thrilled as the Dawgs dominate. Despite losing 10 players to Bird injuries, by the end of the third quarter, coach Kirby Smart has already played all the fourth and fifth-stringers, and so he allows waterboys, cheerleaders, those guys on the sidelines with the chains with flags on top, and even attendees to play. Uga X throws two touchdown passes for 27 yards and helps put the Dawgs on top: final score, 845 to negative 14.
In cooperation with General Mills, Tide announces its new fall line-up, which includes Cinnamon Toast Crunch Pods, with the real taste of cinnamon and sugar.
To the confusion of many election observers, the Georgia ballot has been changed to read, “Shall Brian Kemp ascend to the office of Governor?” There is only one selection option. Members of the Abrams campaign are found abducted, but alive, in an abandoned Athens warehouse.
Just in time for the holidays, new Turkey With Stuffing and Peppermint Candy Cane Tide Pod flavors are released; the former includes a gravy packet, ready in just minutes.
On Oct. 21, your humble scribe has the honor of having his picture taken with the creator and current cast of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Just sayin'.
As election day approaches, many polling locations are found to be simple plywood shacks with the words “Vot Hear” [sic] spray-painted on the side. The Secretary of State's office cannot be reached for comment. On Nov. 7, with 100 percent voter turnout, Kemp is unanimously elected to the office of governor; he quickly certifies the results. The campaign denies reports of Kemp being spotted dancing nude around a bonfire of absentee and provisional ballots.
Birds are banned in ACC, in favor of hydrogen-filled personal blimps.
As this confusing year wraps up, we'll look back on our memories and sigh dejectedly. If you'll excuse me, I, um, have a rather large load of laundry I need to start.