Previous Winners: 1992: H. Ross Perot, 1993: St. Francis of Assisi, 1994: Newt Gingrich, 1995: Cal Ripken Jr., 1996: The Bob Dole Campaign, 1997: Dolly the Sheep, 1998: El Nino, 1999: Belinda Jensen, 2000: The Taco Bell Chihuahua, 2001: Randy Moss, 2002: The Cheapo Newsletter, 2003: Lindsay Whalen 2004: The iPod
It was a tumultuous year for the Newsletter Woman of the Year Committee (NWOTYC). First the chairman's decision to invade Best Buy's Newsletter Woman of the Year Committee's headquarters because of rumored Waffles of Delicious Decadence turned out to be based wholly (holy) on faulty intelligence. Committee members who unanimously backed the decision to invade were left with breakfast egg on their faces and hardly felt safe in their own country. Thus the proceedings were moved overseas to the only country that would welcome the NWOTYC and provide plenty of blueberry flavored maple syrup: England.
Sequestered somewhere in the West Kensington district of London, committee members soon found that being in a foreign land was hardly conducive to come to some sort of agreement on who should be honored this year. At least back home if meetings disintegrated into nonproductive chaos one could always go back to one's room and spend hours surfing the Internet without paying an arm and a leg. In other words, non-productivity, a staple of an American meeting, was much more expensive overseas than it would have been at home. That said, the committee narrowed its choices down to six stellar candidates. Few years have seen as many qualified candidates than in 2005. The finalists:
6) Veronica Mars: TV's baddest woman from TV's coolest show, she ain't no Buffy but that isn't exactly the point.
5) The secret society of American scooter riders: As gas prices rose so high that even a Honda Civic driver found that he could pump in over $20 worth of gas into his fuel efficient but tiny gas tanked car, more and more people took matters into their own hands and hit the streets on stylish scooters. What made what already was an enjoyable ride even more enjoyable was by buying a scooter one automatically enlisted in a community of others who know how lovely a ride can be on a motorized two wheel vehicle. The fresh air is great but the use of all five senses, so dulled in a car, comes alive on a scooter. And it's great that it's obligatory while riding a scooter and passing another scooter rider that one should wave.
4) Harriet Miers: The biggest criticism of George W. Bush's nomination of John Roberts to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court was that Roberts wasn't a woman. Conservatives applauded this anti-affirmative action move. Liberals predictably howled. And even Bush's own wife Laura publicly questioned the move. Bush then proved how foreign a concept affirmative action is to him by next nominating Ms. Miers to replace the late William Rehnquist. If the one qualification needed for this nomination was to be a woman, Bush only had over fifty percent of the population to choose from. That he chose the entirely unqualified Miers shows that he really is a uniter not a divider. Heckava a job G.W.!
3) The Whizzinator: One would have thought that the Vikings' Love Boat scandal would be the team's most unique scandal of the year. But no, running back Onterio Smith getting caught at the airport with powered urine and the Whizzinator, a device designed to pass a drug test, makes the little sex scandal seem somewhat bland in contrast.
2) Cassie Johnson: The skip of the U.S. Women's Olympic Curling Team proves that to be good in the sport requires athleticism and grace. That the Bemidji native is also a babe means that the sport that is about to hit the big time has a photogenic spokesperson for years to come.
Committee members make no bones that the choice for the 2005 Newsletter Woman of the Year wasn't a unanimous decision. Members debated, discussed, and deliberated and their decision evolved into the eventual winner. In a year where the line between religion and politics continued to blur, committee members couldn't believe that they lived in a land where teaching creationism in the guise of something called "Intelligent Design" in science class was an issue. Most of the committee members thought that the Scopes Monkey Trial, so artistically and memorably portrayed in Spencer Tracy's movie Inherit the Wind, had long ago settled things.
Thus the committee split. Some wanted to award King Kong as a gesture towards our monkey friends. But in the end the majority went with the 2005 Newsletter Woman of the Year: Mr. Charles Darwin. That his thoughtful and scientifically proven theories have returned to the controversial after all these years is astounding. If it is our goal to be remembered years after we leave this earth Mr. Darwin surely had to be happy with 2005. It truly was the year of the monkey and the NWOTYC thank God that Darwin was such an evolved monkey.