It’s been quite a 2015! The Hopewell Democrat-Tribune is pleased to reflect upon some of the highlights, as reported in these pages over the past 365 days:

Chicago Cubs Win The World Series Over Miami Marlins
Hopewell residents were stunned at the news, as local hometown hero LeDemetri Washington was playing as Miami’s second baseman. Following his career with Southern Michigan University and the minor-league Grand Rapids White Caps, many had expected a World Series win to cement Washington’s bid for the 2015 MVP. Sadly, the Cubs’ sweep of the series meant that honor was reserved for Chicago pitcher Brett Newmom. Speaking on condition of anonymity, bookmakers at the Gliding Eagle Casino report that the few local bets made for the Cubs to win reaped significant dividends.

Billionaire Michael Drucker’s Death Leads to Bankruptcy of Replacement Technologies
The technology world was shaken by the death in May of billionaire Michael Drucker, the former manager of Apple’s Biologics division and close associate of the late Steve Jobs. The company was hit hard by the reveltation, confirmed by forensic analysis, that Drucker had been illegally cloning human beings in flagrant violation of the Biological Ethics Act 856 USC 2005 § 2 (commonly known as the “Sixth Day Law”). The resulting bankruptcy and dismemberment of Replacement Technologies and its holdings led to significant hardship in and around Hopewell as the Aspen Mall RePet was forced to close. Led by the local ASPCA chapter, all incomplete cloned pets that were outstanding at the time of the bankruptcy were given to forever homes.

Hopewell Mecha Crew Instrumental in NERV Defeat of Nineteenth Angel
Readers are quite familiar with the continued assaults on the population of the Earth by beings known as Angels resulting from the crippling Second Impact in 2005. Hopewell citizens were delighted to learn that Hopewell High School student Mitchell Baker (HHS Class of ’99) was instrumental in the annihilation of “Metatron,” the Nineteenth Angel, over Tunguska in Russian Siberia. Baker, remembered by peers as a mechanical prodigy, piloted one of the flotilla of support vehicles neccessary for fielding the massive Evangelion-class armored mechas needed to defeat Angels. An official NERV press release credits Baker’s swift refueling of EV-014 with helping to turn the tide against the massive alien organism, and he was posthumously awarded the key to the city.

Queen Diana’s First Visit to the USA An Odyssey for Hopewell Native
Starting on September 22, 2015, the Democrat-Tribune was given unprecedented access to Mary Winemann, the personal chauffer assigned to Queen Diana during her first visit to the USA since her acession in 2012. Winemann met the Queen in D.C. at Joint Base Andrews at 4 p.m., driving her and her consort Prince Al-Fayed to an official White House Welcoming Ceremony and personal meeting with President Barack Obama followed by a parade along the Ellipse and the National Mall and a speech to a Joint Session of Congress. Ms. Winemann, a gradute of Southern Michigan University and University Montessori, so impressed the Queen that she was retained as driver for the remainder of the official visit, from the United Nations General Assembly and motorcade through Central Park in New York to the Independence Mall in Philiadelphia. “She’s a lovely person,” said Ms. Winemann. “All the rumors about her husband’s death and her ascension to queen regnant from queen consort are totally baseless slander.”

Horror in Chicago Five Years After the Battle of Chicago Turned Back Alien Invasion
As anyone visiting the memorial in Veterans Park is aware, five servicemen from Hopewell were killed in the 2010 Battle of Chicago, in which an alien invasion of extraterrestrial robots was decisively turned back at great human cost. When alien robot violence re-erupted in Chicago this year, the Democrat-Tribune interviewed Hopewell native Moammar al-Fatima (HHS Class of ’02) about the experience. “It was insane,” Mr. al-Fatima said in an exclusive interview. “You see the photographs and read the news stories, but until you see a semi truck transform into a robot that skates through a crowded street firing a plasma cannon, you don’t completely grasp it. Every time it missed a shot, somebody was reduced to cinders.” Find Mr. al-Fatima’s photographs of the encounter and his Michigan Broadcasting Association Award-winning snapshot of an alien robot riding an alien robot dinosaur in our online archive.

Norsefire Party Sweeps UK Parliamentary Elections; Adam Sutler Installed as Prime Minister
As a result of economic chaos and an increased terrorist threat, the new Norsefire Party was able to sweep aside Labor, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats to earn a dominant majority of seats. The party, which had polled under 1% in the parliamantery election of 2010, was asked to form a government by Queen Diana the following day with its leader, former Under-Secretary of Defense Adam Sutler, installed as Prime Minister. The Democrat-Tribune spoke with Hopewell students studying in the UK about what the new Norsefire government means for them and for the nation. “I don’t think anything will change, really,” said Sadie Cunningham, currently reading law at Oxford as part of the Scholars Abroad program. “Sure, Norsefire and Sutler said a lot of crazy things during the election, but they have to work within the system now, and with the opposition. They’ll get their rough edges filed off and probably lose the next election, just you wait and see.”

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This post is part of the October 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month’s prompt is “Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY: And we’re back with the Detroit Lions versus the Chicago Bears. 4th quarter, 0-0, and just coming off a Meyersby flummox by the Bears that Oscar Earle stopped for the Lions using the Thatch Weave.

COLOR: You just made that up, didn’t you?

PLAY-BY-PLAY: True enough, Carl, true enough. But it’s not like anyone actually listens to our chatter, we’re just a part of the background noise like the roaring fans and the commercials for products aimed at males 18-35. And if we can’t embrace that, own that, and have some fun with it, ours is a hollow existence devoid of meaning–a meaningless howling into the infinite void, if you will.

COLOR: Fair enough, Tom. Looks like Earle is up for the snap on our next play, third down.

PLAY-BY-PLAY: Yes, the Detroit Lions are going all out with this one. They’ve got Earle with Tennison on his right, but the Chicago Bears are countering with Masterson in the center. They both want this bad.

COLOR: Yes, it’s a knock-down, drag-out fight this one, because the loser in this case will be at the very bottom of the NFL rankings not only for this season but for all time. Statistically speaking a very tough black mark to shake, and neither the Lions nor the Bears want to replace the 1924 Birmingham Klansmen in the NFL museum’s “Hall of Shame” for worst record in the history of the sport since organized competition began on November 6, 1869.

PLAY-BY-PLAY: There’s the snap, and…it’s bad! The Lions fumble, and the Bears’ Masterson has got the ball! He’s…yes, he’s out and clear, on the Lions’ thirty and closing in on a touchdown!

COLOR: Not looking good for Detroit and the Lions, Tom. Given the staggering incompetence demonstrated by both teams at the sport in general and this game in particular, it’s unlikely that the Motor City will be able to recover. This will be yet another tough body blow for a city currently suffering from bankruptcy, organized and disorganized crime, corruption on a biblical scale, and relentless nightly assaults by zombies who cannot be killed as they are on the city’s payroll and vote regularly for alderman thanks to a legal loophole.

PLAY-BY-PLAY: Masterson’s on the twenty, on the ten…Masterson is down! Yes, Masterson is down just short of the Lions’ endzone! A player wearing a grey uniform, no pads, and a ballcap has appeared on the field, and…yes, he put Masterson down using what appears to be a baseball bat!

COLOR: That’s right, Tom. Dozens of players, all armed with bats, are surging onto the field from the Detroit locker room. From the stylized “D” on their caps and the leaping orange felid on their jerseys, I can only assume…yes, we’re getting confirmation from the field! The Detroit Tigers have joined the game on the side of the Lions, and it has degenerated into a general melee!

PLAY-BY-PLAY: Yes, Carl, the Bears that were guarding Masterson have themselves been pummeled into submission, their pads, helmets, and indeed cups being no match for skillfully wielded aluminum bats in the hands of anabolic-steroid-blasting meatslabs. The Tigers are forming up, and…yes, they have just awkwardly punted the ball back to the Lions with those selfsame bats. Carl, your thoughts on this sudden and almost certainly illegal play?

COLOR: Nothing against it in the rules, Tom, and I know those backwards and forwards as they’re the only reading material we’re allowed during the 27 hours of pregame coverage. It looks like the Detroit Tigers have come to the aid of their fellow Motor City players, being as upset at the idea of having a worst-ever team in their city as anyone. And, being no good at baseball, they seem to have found their niche–the Tigers, for those who only pay attention to good teams, being in little danger of slipping to historic last place themselves thanks to the continued existence of the Chicago Cubs.

PLAY-BY-PLAY: The Bears are fighting back as best they can, Carl, even emptying their benches, but with the Cubs nowhere in sight, they are being massacred, literally and figuratively, by the combined Lion/Tiger assault. The refs are not stopping this, Carl, they are not stopping this. The Detroit ref has actually joined the assault–that’s him strangling Zaford with his whistle–and it appears that the Chicago ref has fled the field out of fear for his personal safety. It’s a confused melee out there, but one definitely trending in the direction of the Chicago endzone and eternal infamy for all participants in this debacle, surely the death knell of professional sports in every city and franchise involved. Carl, your thoughts?

COLOR: Lions, Tigers, and Bears, oh my.

Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:
Ralph Pines

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