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May you relax and enjoy all the good things this season has to offer. I am sure going to try,

Hi everyone, the traditional Scoats Year in Review is back on track. All aboard. Choo choo. All the news and olds that fits on one page. This is the first one to be distributed both electronically, via e-mail and the Web, and traditionally, via USPS and hand delivery. Only difference: the paper version is terser to fit on one page. Much like CDs over LPs, this version has some extra content.

After a disastrous 1995, I decided that 1996 would be my year. After much bleed in from 95, things started getting better around June. The crap from 95 finally tailed off in Nov. Big crap, long tail. 97 looks promising. Enough about me.

It was another long and bizarro year. A big-ass snow storm hit the old east coast... Newt Gengrich vanished for a few months, wasn't missed... Pop N' Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy and longtime Pillsbury spokesman, was relieved of his responsibilities after being outted by a radical homosexual org. Pillsbury also stopped using the slogan "Lovin' in your oven"... after unending media hoopla and extreme overanalysis, the IO and NH Primary Circus would prove to have no relevance whatsoever when states that actually have some population started casting ballots.

The Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore, but the name Browns remains in Cleveland but with no team for two years, the Colts remain in Indianapolis. I am glad to see governments helping these unfortunate millionaires earn even more from their vanity projects... A tire fire under I-95 closed Phila's only north-south highway for weeks, and slowed it down for months... two possibly unrelated items from Scotland, a gunman decimated a small village's population of five-year olds, their teacher and himself. According to the Phila. Inquirer, a new, popular meal in Scotland is a Mars candy bar, coated in fish batter, deep fried and served with a side of chips.

The apocalypse was narrowly averted when Tammy Faye announced that she would be leaving the Jim J and Tammy Faye show... I taught myself HTML and debuted my Web Site in February (http://www.voicenet.com/~scoats now http://www.greylodge.com/scoats). It has back issues of Caves & Cucumbers and Toons from Hell and other stuff the planet can't live without... Bob Dole resigned from the Senate to concentrate on losing the presidency. He said, "Now I have nothing to fall back on". Yeah nothing but a fat government pension for 30 years in the Senate and taxpayer paid health care for life.

Kathy Lee Gifford's line of Walmart clothing was revealed to be made in sweatshops by child labor. Kathy was outraged saying, "I only exploit my own children for financial gain. I would never exploit other people's children unless of course I adopted them first". Husband Frank Gifford was sent to So. America to investigate. Frank got confused and tried to go to Oz looking for a brain... Had the opportunity to see John Tesh - Live, in June, decided to wait for John Tesh - Dead... After destroying Wanamakers, The May Company got it's claws on Strawbridge and Clothier, now called (lower case) strawbridge's.

Bill Clinton managed to consistently co-opt most of Dole's issues leaving him only with tax breaks for the rich... McDonald's intro'ed the Arch Deluxe aimed at adults with a $100 million ad campaign. All that money, you'd think they would be able to make the Arch Deluxe not suck... Homicide: Life on the Street, one of the best shows on TV, was renewed for two seasons(!) by NBC... Mugsy's Tavern got a new paint job, increased it's taps 150% and became The Grey Lodge Pub. The G-Lodge is a great beer bar and pretty cool to boot.

Madonna announced her pregnancy. Luckily for the baby, it was delivered Caesarian... Timothy Leary tuned out, turned off and dropped dead... the Unibomber was caught. To my surprise, not a postal worker... the FBI\ Freemason stand-off lasted months. The Fed Gov't proved it learned something from Waco and handled the situation well.... after 30+ years, Thelma Circus of the Family Circus got a new hair style. It appears she also had her breasts enlarged... lots of new beers continued to appear. Fav's for 96: Yards ESB, Red Bell Black Cherry Stout, Black Dog Honey Raspberry... Bob Dole surprised everyone by actually making a wise political move and picking Jack Kemp as running mate. Dole continued to abandon long his long held beliefs in his desperate attempt to become president by pandering to the American public with supply side justified tax cuts...

Weatherwise, Phila was blessed with best summer I can recall. For the entire month of July, the temperature didn't go into the 90's even once. It rained a lot and I often thought I was living in Seattle instead of Philadelphia... Where countless many have crashed and burned, Rosie O'Donnell scored a hit with her talk show. She also scored big by hitting the lesbian craze at the perfect time. Rosie's new found lesbianism has helped me catch some subtle nuances in her K Mart commercials with Laverne. The commercials suddenly make perfect sense to me.

Bell Atlantic introduced Caller Id in PA. I'm waiting for Caller Superego... Liddy Dole took the floor at the Republican convention with all the slickness of a TV evangelist... Disney DIDN'T buckle into China's demands to disassociate itself from a movie about the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Clinton contined to buckle.

"Resistance is futile". I fell under the influence of the evil empire, embraced Microsoft Access and invested much time teaching myself it. Windows 95 continually trashed my new computer... I became a professional writer when Beer & Tavern Chronicle sent me a check... WDRE finally turned into a radio station that I actually mostly like.. there was mondo hoopla when Michael Kinsey unveiled Slate, the Microsoft owned Web Zine. It debuted free, but supposedly will charge a subscription rate for it in the future (yeah right). Slate seems to have faded into the haystack that is the Web. On the Web, the World's Richest Man and the nation's most coveted editor are on an almost level playing field with upstarts like Feed and Spew. I caught Kinsey on C-SPAN, this guy looks and talks like Floyd the Barber from Mayberry. Kooky.

I puzzled over the meaning of Bob Dole's inability to ever utter a complete sentence with subject, verb and object. Bob Dole, thinking too fast? Maybe insane. Maybe just old. Don't know. FBI files. White House Basement... After gathering dust for 2 years, I finally finished Toons From Hell - Volume 8... more and more people continued to get wired... The Nike Cap mystery remained unsolved. I was disappointed that the accused babykiller wasn't wearing a Nike cap to his arrest. The Gettysburg College student went with a Villanova cap.

With the murder of wrestler Dave Schultz, John DuPont went from "eccentric" to officially "wacko". Nuts with guns, God Bless America! God Bless the NRA!.. For several weeks I couldn't go anywhere without being subjected to that dreadful Olympic TV coverage. The treacly, poorly written, overly-slick-to-the-point-of-absurdity athlete profiles made me gag repeatedly. I found myself troubled by the intense hatred I feel for that high pitched portable gymnast. Maybe my intense repulsion to everything associated with the 96 Olympics (Wheel of Fortune - official Olympic game show, the amazingly don't-get-me-started-stupid-on-so-many-levels AT&T Olympic commercial they played before every movie at the Devon, John Tesh, the inability to avoid it, etc.) is manifesting itself directly on her. Well she deserves it... Saw Lani Guinier on C-SPAN, wants to replace the "testocracy" with a "meritocracy". The GOP was right; any person who uses the word "testocracy" is too goofy for Attorney General... The Corestates Center, new home to the Phila Flyers and 76ers opened. It was built with mostly private funds (as any ego trip for multi-millionaires should be)... "Jesus, please help Evander beat the crap out of Tyson". Evangelical Christians' prayers were answered when Evander Holyfield beat Mike Tyson.

As usual, here are some things to look forward to and/or dread in 1997 - The TV show Grace Under Fire is going to be revamped with Grace getting married. The new title will be Grace Under Charlie... a Vegas style building boom in Atlantic City... the Eagles threatening to leave town if they don't get corporate welfare to build a new football only stadium... work should begin on the redesign of the area surrounding Independence Hall... Michael Jackson will become a father... Stout Season at The Grey Lodge Pub opens in the spring... Philadelphia gets an outlet of the unexplainably popular Hard Rock Cafe... mega mergers between Bell Atlantic and Nynex, and Conrail and ?.. addnl. deregulation of local phone service and electricity... increased awareness of Tibet and the Tibetians' stuggle to save their unique culture and regain their country... we live in a very interesting time of massive change. Being currently in it, we cannot fully understand it. As standards of living around the planet rapidly continue to become more and more balanced, traditionally wealthy nations will have to learn to be happy with less. Inversely, as the average standards of living among nations come into balance, the balance between rich and poor in all nations is going in the opposite direction potentially creating civil tension worldwide.

Text and graphics Scoats 1996. All rights reserved. Most wrongs unintentional. E-mail: scoats@greylodge.com.

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