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Illustration by Steven DeCinzo

Future Schlock

  • Luna the Redwood tells all

  • "President" Bush legalizes marijuana

  • Final installment of Highlander series released--and other predictions for the first year of the rest of Antonin Scalia's life

    By Richard von Busack


    2001: A Space Idiocy released straight to video. Leslie Nielsen stars as the astro-nut Dale Snowman who finds a monolithic box of matzos on the moon. Cameos by Keir Dullea as a delivery boy who trips over Neil Armstrong's golf ball, and Dom DeLuise as "that great director Stanley Kookbrick," who puts the kibosh on all the crazy, laugh-a-minute shenanigans. Product placement: Royal Crown Cola, 99 Cents-o-Rama Stores, Offramp Bowling Lanes.

    Publication of Luna the Redwood's as-told-to memoir, Sting Like a Butterfly. The bestseller exposes the dark side of the ancient tree's relationship with Julia "Butterfly" Hill. Luna reveals disenchanted evenings of all-night singing, aching branches and bark-irritating patchouli oil. Foreword by Charles Hurwitz.

    Debut of Tom Hanks-produced 12-part miniseries Remember the Legionnaires, based on Stephen Ambrose's epic account of the American Legion during the post-Big One years. Documentary profiles men who gave their all at stag parties, smokers, beer busts, turkey shoots and Pioneer Days Carnival corn dog booths.

    This Month's Layoffs: Chimppants.com, Dumpster.com, Felch.com, Skeezix.com, Deviantdwarves.com, Brindledboarhog.com. Newly pink-slipped staffs crowd skid-row sidewalks, holding up cardboard signs reading "Spare Change for Content."


    Stephen DeCinzo's nationally syndicated comic strip That's Our Suzi for You! debuts. The lighthearted cartoonist strikes gold with his continuing story of the foibles of a gentle secretary with a thing for French fries, a grumpy but lovable boss and a sassy parakeet. The strip makes DeCinzo several times a billionaire overnight, enabling him to buy and sell all of his enemies, from Watsonville to the San Lorenzo Valley.


    UC-Sunnydale student Buffy Summers travels to Chicago to investigate reports of a poltergeist haunting the set of ABC's Ebert and Roeper Go to the Movies. The poltergeist disrupts the show by tousling Richard Roeper's hair and poking Roger Ebert's belly. Summers and her team soon discover that the spook is the vengeful spirit of Gene Siskel and quickly kickbox it into submission. Tragically, the fight scene, though cathartic, cannot repair Summers' continuing estrangement from her too-nice, too-square boyfriend Riley.


    The Supreme Court of Minneapolis demands a recounted ballot for mid-'70s popularity contest between cereal icons Quisp and Quake.

    CBS unveils "For the Love of God, Montresor!," The American version of a popular Madrid television show in which contestants survive being bricked up in a cellar with only a cask of Amontillado wine.


    A beautiful moment of wistful happiness will come and go, unnoticed at the time, but recalled on one's deathbed as a last lost chance for redemption. Noble Squire wins the Preakness.

    This Month's Layoffs: Chump.com, Dupe.com, Sucker.com, Sap.com, Dunce.com, Rube.com, Chucklehead.com, Goose.com, Afoolandhisventurecapitalaresoonparted.com.


    La Hijo del Niño summer of more-than-normal rains. Locals sandbag, drink heavily, listen to Astrid Gilberto CDs and feel sad and blue. Forecasters predict in subsequent summers: 2002--El Marie del Niño (The Bride of El Niño); 2003--El Phantasmo del Niño (The Ghost of El Niño); and 2004--El Niño Contra Abbott y Costello.

    Release of the film Angels Watchin' Over Me, all about a dispirited guardian angel (Will Smith) whose guardian angel (Della Reese, of Touched by an Angel) needs the help of her own guardian angel (Whitney Houston) to reach out and help the two previous angels. Finale at California Angels stadium, which is packed to capacity with, you guessed it, angels! Product placement: Tampax, Cointreau, the American Beef Liver Council. (Suggested dialogue: "Oooh." "What's wrong, sugar?" "Oh, it's the Curse. Even angels get it. I need some Tampax and a glass of Cointreau. And I could sure use a nice rare piece of liver, loaded with all of God's good iron that even we guardian angels need.")

    VH1's Behind the Music profiles Big Mouth Billy Bass. The superstar reveals his health problems with elevated mercury levels and his dissatisfaction with singing the same hits over and over again. "Sometimes even I feel like the batteries are running down," Bass admits, candidly.


    The Bush administration authorizes Social Security funds to be invested in the stock market. When the vault is opened, it is discovered to contain nothing but bundles of scratch paper cut into the size of dollar bills and a cryptic note reading, "So long, screwy! See you in St. Looey!"

    Cervesatech releases personal "micron brewery"--a pocket sized device that can brew up to three drops of lager or pale ale an hour.


    Copyrights expire on cigarette manufacturer Brown and Williamson's mid-'70s trademarking of brands for marijuana cigarettes: Acapulco Gold, Thai Stick, Maui Wowie, Congolese Rebelweed, Humboldt's Gift, Davenport Couch-Filler, etc. Liquor industry, in cahoots with the cigarette manufacturers--as a guy at a bus stop will explain it to you--summarily withdraws its clandestine opposition to the legalization of marijuana. Nationwide legalization (Aug. 25) bill is signed by "Usurper in Chief" Bush, under the impression that he is authorizing a statue of Nolan Ryan for the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Immediately, marijuana becomes passé, and millions "graduate" to heroin overnight. Junk-chic nostalgia breaks out across-the-board revival of early-'90s interest in long-sleeved sweaters, futility-core music, stolen TVs, scratching, sniffling, spitting, waiting for the man.

    This Month's Layoffs: Pluggednickel.com, Deadduck.com, Pailofspit.com, Tinkersdamn.com, Brassfarthing.com.


    The Pentagon and the WTO sign an agreement making America officially "a totally corrupt fascist dictatorship." At the release of the news, the media enthusiastically licks the jackboots of the master class, ensuring a brutal police state in which the little guy is just a slave to all the rich pigs. China notices our weakness from overseas and watches, its inhuman cold eyes glistening like a godless panther. Also: Season premiere of Dawson's Creek--only on the WB!

    Highlander: The Chippie at the Edge of Time Beyond Forever. Release of last, this time for sure, no takebacks, honest-to-God final installment in series. Our immortal hero (Michael Ironside or Michael Biehn, to be announced) becomes the bouncer at a Glasgow take-away restaurant, where danger, in the form of a beautiful woman, walks in to buy an order of plaice and chips. Thrifty special effects, as befit the Scots. In the end, there can only be one more movie. Product placements: Hormone Farms Sausage, Ouch-Stoppers Bandages, Sir Rose's Blended Scotch.


    Shortly before Thanksgiving weekend, after an explosion at a genetic research lab in Oak Park, Ill., seven are killed and partially eaten by a mutant turkey. Survivors call the incident, "Horrific, but somehow beneath irony."


    Median housing prices rise to new height: a bunged-up, leaky bread box in a violent slum neighborhood rents for $300,000 a week. And as part of your rental agreement, you have to be polite to your landlord, too, talking in this really sweety-pie voice to him, like you'd talk to a cat or something, all about his many wonderful vacations in Europe and his kid whom he's sending to Dartmouth. The good news is that this month, I make my last car payment.

    This Month's Layoffs: Chincabbage.com, Snoutring.com, Snowboardwieldingdolts.com, Annoyinglittlebrotherwhoadoredhrpufnstuf.com.

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  • From the December 27, 2000-January 3, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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