In an alarming technological development, hackers shut down Twitter, leaving a desperate and suddenly vulnerable America with no way to find out what the Kardashian sisters are having for lunch. The Federal Emergency Management Agency urges the nation to ``remain calm'' and ``use Facebook if you can.'' Twitter service is eventually restored, but most of the estimated 875 million thoughts that went untweeted during the outage will never be recovered, making it the nation's worst social-networking disaster ever.
Speaking of disruptions,in . . .
. . . President Obama, speaking on health care before a joint session of Congress, is rudely interrupted by Kanye West, who grabs the microphone and declares that Beyoncé has a better health-care plan. No, wait, sorry: The president is rudely interrupted by Republican congressperson Joe Wilson, who shouts ``You lie!'' Wilson later apologizes for his breach of congressional etiquette, saying, ``I should have just mooned him.''
With public support for the administration's health-care plan continuing to slip, the president orders U.S. troops into Fox News, then goes on a media blitz, appearing, in a three-day span, on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Meet the Nation, Face the Press, Press Your Face Against the Nation, Letterman, Leno, Judge Judy, Iron Chef and Dog the Bounty Hunter. The president also delivers a back-to-school speech to the nation's students, telling them to work hard and get a good education. Fortunately, thanks to the vigilance of the talk-radio community, many parents realize that this is some kind of secret socialist code message and are able to prevent their children from being exposed to it.
In international news, Iran shocks the world by revealing the existence of a previously secret uranium enrichment facility. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insists that the uranium will be used only for ``parties.'' United Nations nuclear inspectors note, however, that ``Mahmoud Ahmadinejad'' can be rearranged to spell ``Had Jammed a Humanoid'' and ``Hounded a Jihad Mamma.''
On the international-finance front, leaders of the world's economic powers gather for the G-20 summit meeting in Pittsburgh, where, in a rare display of unity, they vote unanimously to fire whoever is responsible for selecting their meeting sites.
Speaking of questionable site selection, in . . .
. . . the International Olympic Committee meets in Copenhagen to choose whether Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo or Madrid will host the 2016 summer games. Chicago is considered a strong candidate, but despite personal appeals for the city from President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Mayor Richard Daley, Oprah Winfrey and the late Al Capone, the committee -- in an unexpected decision -- votes to hold the games in Pyongyang, North Korea. The head of the IOC insists that the decision was ``made freely and without coercion,'' adding, ``for the love of God please abort the launch.''
On a happier note for the White House, President Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize, narrowly edging out Beyoncé.
In the Middle East, hopes for peace soar when Iran announces that it will allow U.N. inspectors to visit its nuclear-enrichment facility. Hopes plunge soon after when the inspectors report that they were taken to what appears to be a hastily abandoned kebab stand with a hand-painted sign that says ``NUCLEAR ENRICHMENT,'' as well as what the inspectors describe as ``numerous health-code violations.''
In Afghanistan, U.N. investigators raise questions about the recent national election, noting that a third of the votes cast for President Hamid Karzai came from Palm Beach County.
On the celebrity front, a remorseful David Letterman confesses to his stunned audience that he has been hiking the Appalachian Trail with female staff members.
But the big story in October, the story that grips the nation the way a dog grips a rancid squirrel, is the mesmerizing drama of a silver balloon racing through the blue skies above central Colorado, desperately pursued by police, aviation and rescue personnel who have been led to believe that the balloon contains O.J. Simpson.
No, that would have been great, but the authorities in fact have been led to believe that the balloon contains 6-year-old Falcon Heene, the son of exactly the kind of parents you would expect to name a child ``Falcon.'' It quickly becomes clear that the boy is not in the balloon, and the whole thing is a hoax perpetrated by attention-seeking reality-show-wannabe idiots. In other words, nothing really happened, so naturally the media go into a weeklong Category 5 frenzy so intensive that Larry King is forced to temporarily interrupt his ongoing postmortem coverage of the Michael Jackson funeral.
Speaking of attention-seeking reality-show-wannabe idiots,in . . .
. . . a Washington couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, penetrate heavy security and enter the White House, a feat that Joe Biden has yet to manage. As details of the incident emerge, an embarrassed Secret Service is forced to admit that not only did the couple crash a state dinner, but they also met and shook hands with the president, and they ``may have served briefly in the cabinet.''
In other White House news, the president, in a much-debated post-Thanksgiving decision, announces that he is sending U.S. troops into the electronics departments of 1,400 Best Buy stores to prevent Black Friday shoppers from killing each other over flat-screen TVs. Hours later the president withdraws the troops, calling the situation ``hopeless.'' Press Secretary Gibbs notes that the president inherited Black Friday from the Bush administration.
Attorney General Eric Holder announces that, to maintain the principle of due legal process, alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried in federal court in New York City, but as a precaution, ``he will be executed first.''
In sports, the New York Yankees, after an eight-year drought, purchase the World Series. But the month's big sports story involves Tiger Woods, who, plagued by tabloid reports that he has been hiking the Appalachian trail with a nightclub hostess, is injured in a bizarre late-night incident near his Florida home when his SUV is attacked by golf-club-wielding Somali pirates.
In science news:
• The Large Hadron Collider is restarted after a 14-month delay caused by squirrels stealing the particles.
• Elated NASA scientists announce that they have discovered ice on the moon, although their excitement fades when they calculate that getting it back to Earth will cost $185 million per cube.
• Researchers from MIT and Harvard announce that they have sequenced the genome of a horse. They are arrested when police discover that ``sequencing the genome'' is the scientific slang equivalent of ``hiking the Appalachian trail.''
In a troubling economic development, the U.S. dollar, for the first time in history, falls below the lentil.
Speaking of troubling, in . . .
. . . President Obama, after weeks of pondering what to do about the pesky war situation he inherited, announces a decision -- widely viewed as a compromise -- in which he will send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, but will name their mission ``Operation Gentle Butterfly.''
On the economic front, the nation's unemployment rate remains stubbornly high as it becomes clear that the $787 billion stimulus package has created a total of only eight jobs, all in the field of highway-construction flagperson. Looking for solutions, the president hosts a White House ``jobs summit'' attended by political, business and labor leaders, as well as 23 Portuguese tourists who got lost while trying to visit the Washington Monument and somehow penetrated White House security. Meanwhile, in what is believed to be the largest Craigslist transaction ever, California sells San Diego to Mexico.