Don No Bad DaysI’ve always been a great fan of the humor columnist Dave Barry, whose absurdist view of things is at the same time brilliantly insightful and unabashedly juvenile. For many years he has written a widely syndicated end-of-the-year column in which he zanily “predicts” what will happen in the news during the coming new year.

In what is admittedly a total rip-off, I thought I’d scope out 2014 with some possible Methow Valley headlines — not that I’m in the same league talent-wise as Barry.

For the satire-impaired, I suppose I have to point out that this is all just for fun. So lighten up and don’t get your garments in a bunch. Maybe you have your own ideas of what to expect in the next 12 months — if so, send them my way. We may find a way to publish them.

JANUARY

Forty-eight inches of snow fall in three hours over entire length of Methow Valley, alleviating concerns about the skiing season and saving the snow-plowing industry.

County commissioners adopt ordinance allowing all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to be operated anywhere at any time, including on trails, bike paths, the ice rink, airport runways, school playgrounds, sidewalks, parking lots and your driveway.

Responding to concerns about negative body-image implications, supporters of “fat bikes” consider calling them “plus-size” but instead go with “snow-appropriate pedaled two-wheeled vehicles,” or SAPTWVs, but acronym doesn’t catch on.

FEBRUARY

Mazama residents frustrated about the so-called “hanging hut” on Flagg Mountain attempt to push the rolling huts into the Methow River, but units derail immediately and sink into muddy meadow.

Marijuana Is Us outlet opens on Horizon Flats Road in Winthrop, 24-hour junk food store springs up next door.

Okanogan County Fire District 6 accidentally burns down the wrong building in a fire training exercise; home’s owner says he was going to do it himself anyway.

MARCH

County commissioners adopt ordinance requiring every county resident over the age of 18 to own an ATV and drive it 500 miles a week.

Anonymous donor pledges $1 million to Methow Valley Senior Center nutrition program if they will “just please stop serving the ‘taco surprise.’”

APRIL

Local resident opposed to annoying navigational beacon proposed for Methow Valley State Airport vows to flagpole-sit atop the beacon until federal government backs down.

Washington State Department of Transportation runs out of funding to clear massive snow accumulation from North Cascades State Highway, organizes volunteer crews with big shovels.

Methow Valley News publishes April Fool’s Day “prank” issue with phony story about county commissioners revoking the Affordable Care Act, but everyone takes it seriously.

MAY

Federal government sends Navy jets from Whidbey Island to strafe beacon-sitter at Methow Valley State Airport.

Liberty Bell High School Math is Cool and Knowledge Bowl teams qualify for state finals on same weekend, but are put on wrong buses and each ends up at the other’s competition. Both manage to finish in top three anyway.

Red Barn renamed Red, White and Blue barn after patriots from Conconully ride ATVs into Town Hall and accuse Winthrop of communist sympathies. They move on to Lost River Winery to protest the Community Red blend, but tasting room is closed.

Methow Valley News celebrates 111 years of publishing by printing entire issue with nothing but old Sue Misao columns, Ward Hartzell letters to the editor and Ron Perrow editorials.

JUNE

North Cascades smokejumpers parachute onto Whidbey Island Naval Base and build fire lines around hangars to protest strafing of Methow Valley State Airport.

For its senior prank, Liberty Bell High School class of 2014 paints Ardis Bynum’s house pink.

Confluence Gallery opens new exhibit, “Weird Stuff You’d Never Buy,” a juried show featuring the bizarre creations of eccentric local artists. Sympathetic valley residents purchase all of it.

The Merc Playhouse announces new season that includes a musical by the Methow Valley Elementary School fourth graders and the entire catalog of Neil Simon plays, with Julie Wenzel returning to play the lead in The Goodbye Girl.

JULY

County commissioners adopt ordinance creating gray wolf preserve at a small farm on Twisp River Road, immediately followed by ordinance establishing year-round bounty for any wolves killed outside the preserve; double bounty for any wolf shot from an ATV.

Twisp breaks its fire protection agreement with Okanogan Fire District 6, contracts with a guy named Chuck on upper Gold Creek who has big truck with a water tank on the back.

Federal drones, retaliating for smoke jumpers’ assault on Whidbey Island naval base, target all Subarus, Toyota Tacomas and Ford F-series trucks in the valley, wiping out 87 percent of the Methow’s vehicles.

AUGUST

Okanogan County Public Utility District drops plans for controversial Pateros-Twisp power line and abandons Enloe Dam, will instead generate electricity by sticking electrodes into millions of potatoes.

Local packers/outfitters take representatives from Wilderness Watch on a demonstration trip, profess ignorance when the visitors get “lost” on the adventure.

Methow Valley Sport Trails Association acquires an ATV franchise.

Grants totaling $9 billion awarded to Methow Valley for salmon restoration with promise of more if that’s not enough.

SEPTEMBER

Newly formed Methow Valley Recreation District offers to build 20,000-seat arena for a National Basketball Association team if Seattle can’t get its act together.

Snarling wolverines surround Liberty Bell High School, demanding that school drop mountain lion as mascot.

TwispWorks throws out it artsy tenants and turns all its space into manufacturing plant for “Methow Made” ATVs.

Twisp officials reconsider fire protection agreement with Chuck when they learn that his truck is on blocks and he wants cash for new tires.

Methow River clogged with salmon seeking restoration.

In peace-making gesture, Navy offers to give valley residents free fighter jet rides at 600 miles per hour, upside down, 100 feet off the valley floor. Fred Wert responds that he already does that in his private plane.

OCTOBER

U.S. Postal Service closes all post offices in valley, replaces them with once-a-week pack mule delivery of everyone’s mail to the Carlton Store.

Methow Conservancy forced to relocate when it fails to negotiate an easement between its parking lot and office building.

NOVEMBER

Hunting season thrown into disarray when every deer in the valley stands in the middle of Highway 20 near Mazama at dusk.

Les Schwab dealership gets into Guinness Book of World Records by installing more than 6,000 snow tires in a single day.

Okanogan County Electric Cooperative abandons “Dark Home” initiative to reduce light pollution after public uproar at OCEC board meeting illuminated only by soy candles.

Three Rivers Hospital gives up on the whole medical care thing and starts a casino.

DECEMBER

County commissioners move county seat to West Boesel, adopt wolf pups, buy electric vehicles, join Conservation Northwest, cede all land-use decisions to Sierra Club and U.S. Forest Service, declare “We Love Government Week,” ban ATVs, drop all lawsuits and appeals, organize work party to dismantle hanging hut, and create programs to promote alternative energy sources and sustainable agriculture. Tea party blames it on Obama and starts rumor that commissioners have been replaced by “pod people” from Seattle.

 

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