‘98: The Year Ahead From Charles To Jacko, Look Forward To A Wacky 1998
1. Long live the queen
Britain’s Princes Charles continues his efforts to have Camilla Parker Bowles accepted by the public even as the public insists on Charles being passed over as king in favor of Prince William, his elder son by the late Princess Diana. Meanwhile, Sarah Ferguson issues the 377th statement denying that she wants to take Diana’s place in the hearts of Britons.
2. On the big screen
Emboldened by the critical acclaim heaped on James Cameron’s $200 million-plus disaster epic “Titanic,” Joel Schumacher spends $300 million making “American Express and Coca-Cola Present ‘Batman 5: This Time We’re REALLY in it for the Money.’ ”
3. Does not compute
Infuriated by the Justice Department’s order that he cease and desist requiring computer makers to distribute Internet Explorer on all home computers carrying Windows 95, Microsoft founder Bill Gates buys both houses of Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and Buddy, President Clinton’s new puppy. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Windows 98 program requires that all first-time PC buyers sacrifice their firstborn.
4. Paging Oprah Winfrey
In a stunning development, “World That Never Was,” the first novel of Spokesman-Review business columnist Frank Bartel, jumps to No. 1 on the New York Times Best-seller list.
5. All in the family
Tim and Elma Birdsong of Big Splinter, Wash., celebrate the birth of octuplets. By year’s end, the baby Birdsongs, wearing diapers plastered with ads for the fertility drug Metrodin, attend a book-signing of their autobiography, “Never Too Young to Cash In on Fame.”
6. We will rock you
Inspired by the developments in computer animation, the three surviving Beatles agree to go on a worldwide concert tour with a computer-enhanced holographic image of John Lennon. The deal falls through when Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, refuses to sacrifice son Sean at the Altar of Microsoft.
7. Kill the lawyers first
After sitting on its investigation for more than a year, the Boulder, Colo., police department finally solves the murder of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey. Then again, it probably doesn’t.
8. Stage fright
Tired of performing concerts, recording CDs, writing hit songs, making music videos and having a part-time wife bear him children, Michael Jackson follows Paul Simon’s lead and writes a Broadway musical. The plot involves a young black singer from a large, dysfunctional family who grows up to become famous and powerful enough to buy France. His name: Bill Gates.
9. The name is Trump
America’s Tycoon, Donald Trump, shares publicly his regret that he never, so to speak, dated the late Princess Diana. He drops a phony $1 million check in the donation box of a Bronx school. He laughs about the many rock stars who express a desire to, so to speak, date his supermodel-wannabe daughter, Ivanka. And he … hey, wait! That’s stuff he did LAST year.
10. Knock, knock, knocking at Heaven’s Gate
Just in time for another heavenly convergence, Ti and Do return from their ride on the Hale-Bopp comet to confirm that, yes, Betelgeuse does boast a McDonald’s franchise.