OK, here's the deal: the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2009 are not to be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2009.
They are as different as night and day. Fire and frogs. Popeyes chicken and ballet fund-raisers. High-rise condo balconies and balsa-wood furniture. Southern Baptist 4th of July church picnics and snow tires.
There were all sorts of heavy-duty stories that impacted the country and the planet. Can't think of any right now, but trust me, there was a bunch. Rather, the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2009 are the accounts that provoked a slow shake of the head and a soft chuckle without having to bear a moral weight larger than Manitoba, owing to the extreme unfunny nature of the death, destruction and gruesomeness inherent in the legitimate news.
So here is the flip side, the stories from '09 most filled with mirthing possibilities:
* 10. Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), and Sen. John Ensign,(R-Nev.), both found to have a bit of a problem in the monogamy department. The GOP breathes a sigh of relief that, at least, they were caught with women.
* 9. Beer Summit. Resolution sounded like the set-up for a joke. A professor, a cop and a president walk into a bar. Because as we all know, beer fixes racism.
* 8. Swine Flu. To keep from defaming our proud American factory pig farms, government attempts to change name to SOIV: Swine Originated Influenza Virus. Fails to catch on.
* 7. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. For David Souter's replacement, the president chooses a Catholic, diabetic woman from the South Bronx, of Puerto Rican descent. Apparently, that search for the albino midget lesbian unwed Bangladeshi mother with a bum leg and lycanthropy fell just a bit short.
* 6. Cash for Clunkers. Upon first hearing about the program, many thought it was about raising the per diem for the Senate. Or a recurring entry on a lobbyist's expense report.
* 5. Nobel Peace Prize. The outcry from the right made you think the president had been caught naked with a goat at a Junkie Hookers for Satan Convention. Glenn Beck so outraged, it's a miracle he didn't pull a Kanye West, rush the award ceremonies and yell how Dick Cheney deserved it more.
* 4. Tiger Woods. Fall from Mt. Olympus is steep and loud. Maybe Nike will give Elin an endorsement deal. Who wouldn't want to buy the clubs that beat Tiger? The two have given a whole new meaning to: "Just do it."
* 3. Somali Pirates. Who knew piracy was a 21st Century career track? What's next: scurvy?
* 2. Sarah Palin. Alaska deserves decisive leadership, which is why she proved she's not a quitter by resigning. More Sarah Logic we city folk just don't understand. Then she writes a book that sells almost a million copies to non-readers. Queen of the Illiterati.
* 1. Teabaggers and Health Care Rioters. Easy to understand why these folks are so leery of public health care when you realize how obviously they've been failed by our public education system.
San Francisco-based political comic Will Durst writes sometimes, this being a sterling example, and expects 2010 to provide him with even richer grist.
Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at email@example.com. Check out willandwillie.com for the latest podcast. Will Durst's book, "The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing," is available from Amazon and better bookstores all over this great land of ours.