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~~Copyright 2000 Melvin Durai  

As I look back on the year 2000, I can think of  only one word that captures all that happened:  weird. Who could have predicted that a  6-year-old Cuban boy would create a political  tug-of-war, that Hillary Clinton would gain more attention than her husband, that the presidential  election and Helen Hunt's marriage would last  until December?  

Looking into my crystal ball, I foresee another  round of weirdness in 2001. We may have  dodged the dreaded millennium bug, but we  can't evade the onslaught of millennial  wackiness. Here's what to expect in 2001:  

 ---The economy weakens, the stock market  slides, and poor Bill Gates is ashamed to  discover that his wealth has shrunk to a mere  $50 billion. A group of homeless people,  identifying with the Microsoft co-founder's fate,  pools their savings to buy him a sympathy card.  Gates is forced to cut many of his expenses,  including the limousine service and personal  butler for his dog.  

 ---Peace finally comes to the Middle East, after  Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and  Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat give each  other a big hug while making a historic  appearance on "Oprah." Oprah Winfrey's  relationship expert Dr. Phil McGraw guides the  two leaders through a reconciliation session  designed for estranged couples. "OK, Yasser, I  want you to look straight into Ehud's eyes and tell him what's troubling you. Be honest, now.  This isn't just about a piece of land, is it?" After  solving the Middle East crisis, Oprah continues  her peace efforts by inviting the leaders of India  and Pakistan.  

 ---During a state visit by Nigerian President  Olusegun Obasanjo, George W. Bush tries to  compliment his new friend by saying, "You've  helped bring stability to your great nation,  Oh-loose-gun." A week later, he uses the same words to welcome NRA president Charlton Heston.

   ---Responding to the recent election stalemate,  Senator Hillary Clinton and other Democrats  propose a constitutional amendment that  replaces the nation's outdated electoral college  with a modern system that eliminates any possibility of electing a president who's a  Republican.  

 ---Former Vice President Al Gore writes a  book entitled "George Bush Won Florida and  Other Election Myths." Only 1,231 people buy  Gore's book, compared with 1.5 million who  buy Michael Jackson's new book "If Men are  From Mars, I'm From Pluto." Gore demands a  recount.

   ---After successfully mapping the human  genome, scientists begin another major project:  examining a DNA sample from Iraqi president  Saddam Hussein to determine if he's human.  "He was born a human," one scientist says,  "but right before our eyes, he seems to be  evolving into something else. A creature with no concern for human lives. It's a really strange  case. Evolution usually takes place over millions  of years."

   ---Former President Bill Clinton gives up politics  and accepts an invitation from ABC to be an  analyst on "Monday Night Football." But he is  fired after three weeks because his most  in-depth analysis consists mainly of repeating  a single line: "The cheerleaders look great  tonight."

   ---Encouraged by the success of ABC's "Who  Wants to be a Millionaire?" and Fox's "Who  Wants to Marry a Millionaire?" NBC recruits  New York radio shock jock Howard Stern to  star in a new television show: "Who Wants to  Slap a Millionaire?" The network is flooded with  calls from aspiring contestants. Many of the  calls are from Stern's wife.  

 ---Tiger Woods, eager to give himself a greater  challenge on the professional golf tour,  competes in The Masters tournament wearing a  blindfold. He has a rough time, missing many  putts and winning by only eight strokes.  


Copyright 2000 Melvin Durai  

Melvin Durai is an Indiana-based  writer and humorist. A native of India, he grew up  in Zambia and moved to the U.S. in the  early 1980s. For a free subscription to one of America's  most entertaining and thought-provoking columns,  send a blank message to  or go to 

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