Monday, January 4, 1999

1998 Woman of the Year

Previous Women of the Year:
1992- H. Ross Perot
1993- St. Francis of Assisi
1994- Newt Gingrich
1995- Cal Ripken Jr.
1996- The Dole Campaign
1997- Dolly the Sheep

Due to the uproar and outrage that was voiced by protest groups angry with last year's selection of Dolly the cloned sheep as our newsletter's Woman of the Year, committee members met early in 1998 to discuss the selection process. The committee also met with protesters from the most vocal opposition group, People Against the Newsletter's Selection of Dolly the Sheep as the Woman of the Year (PATNSODTSATWOTY).

Protesters of PATNSODTSATWOTY expressed concern that the selection of Dolly did not meet the standards written in the committee's bylaws as to what qualifies as a Woman of the Year. The newsletter committee tried its best to explain the selection citing the criteria for Woman of the Year states that the winner must "meet the high standards" that sets Cheapo apart from its competition. Dolly met this criteria according to the newsletter committee due to the innovation behind her creation and the fact that her "used" DNA was metaphoric for Cheapo's reputation as the finest used music store in the Twin Cities area.

While the newsletter committee stood behind its selection it was agreed there were issues involved that needed to be addressed to alleviate concerns over the fairness of the selection process. These concerns included incidents such as the "erroneous coin flip" and the increase in the number of pass interference calls. To avoid similar problems in the future it was agreed that each committee member look within themselves to examine what could be done to improve the process.

Eventually it was decided that each committee member should devote more energy toward the selection process and thus it was mandated that to serve on the Newsletter Woman of the Year Selection Committee, members had to quit their other occupations and become full time committee participants. The other major improvement was to upgrade the selection committee's computer. Unfortunately the funds were no longer available seeing none of the committee members had any income coming in so the old computer equipment was once again utilized for this year's process.

With renewed vigor and energy committee members ferreted through reams of information about perspective candidates. Hours upon hours were devoted to intensive research, discussion, and debate. Once all the information was fed into the computer, it became apparent Y2K issues were rampant in the hardware and software utilized in the process. For whatever reason no matter what data was fed in, only one name was generated: Susan B. Anthony. While Ms. Anthony's credentials impressed all the committee members, none of the members were too fond of that whole Susan B. Anthony dollar coin fiasco of years back.

Thus the committee resigned itself to manually selecting this year's Woman of the Year. Although there were numerous qualified candidates the committee quickly narrowed its choices down to four. Consideration had to be given to the cast of characters involved in the Washington debacle that occupied so much of our nation's attention this past year. The committee considered Hillary Rodham Clinton for her admirable strength and dignity through the whole ordeal. Either Ms. Clinton has nerves of steel or she hides her turmoil better than any human this side of the Mississippi. Also considered was Linda Tripp because she single handedly focused attention upon the tape industry- an industry our company still has a stake in. After much discussion both women were eliminated from consideration because the scandal involved goes beyond absurdity. Enough already.

The runner up candidate too received far too much attention for the committee's tastes. But of course any year end review consideration had to include Mr. Ventura. Yes Jesse's story was quite remarkable and the next four years should at the very least be entertaining (something government rarely is). Jesse's last bit of publicity was to suggest his wife should be paid for her first lady's duties. The newsletter committee tends to suspect Jesse made the suggestion less out of concern for women's rights issues and more out of concern for the Ventura family pocketbook.

When it came down to the wire the winner was rather obvious because 1998 was nothing if not the year of the storm. It blew. It came. It went. The damage left behind is still a tad indeterminable. But it left its mark. For every disaster there was someone out there who was willing to blame it on our winner. And in that end it all kind of makes sense. We have been told by one who should know that our winner's name is considered offensive by those who speak the language. Still, no name was heard from as much in 1998. Congratulations to the 1998 Woman of the Year: El Nino.

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