The mostly (but not entirely) fake Tampa Bay and Florida year in review, Part I:
Jan. 6: Tampa leaders seek to reduce drinking, bawdiness and rowdy behavior at the annual Gasparilla parade. Also among the spectators.
Jan. 6: State lottery sales drop. Lottery officials blame gambling hotline for "working too good."
Jan. 8: Red-faced Publix officials recall their 2010 calendar, which replaced Pearl Harbor Day with an Islamic holiday and July 4 with "We Hope the Terrorists Win Day."
Jan. 21: A record number of manatees are recorded in the annual Florida census. State wildlife officials urge boaters to "try harder."
Feb. 3: Repair guy promises Progress Energy Florida that the fix of its nuclear plant will take "about two weeks."
Feb. 5: State Republicans are embarrassed by a video of former chairman Jim Greer in the basement rolling in a big pile of money. His defense: "It was in my contract."
Feb. 12: Top five U.S. health insurance companies had 2009 profits of $12.2 billion. Their joint statement: "Reform THIS."
Feb. 16: Tampa Bay Water desalination plant running fine. Also, man bites dog.
March 2: Gov. Charlie Crist strongly denies he will leave Republican Party, saying, "That would be a desperate act of a man without any core principles."
March 4: Monkey not caught.
March 6: Hillsborough tries to fire its top three county executives, only to learn their severance contracts entitle them to every firstborn child in the county.
April 3: St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster defends hiring of his campaign manager for a $50,000 city job, saying, "I don't care if he's my illegitimate son." (Editor's note: Inappropriate punch line deleted.)
April 6: Fight at BayWalk complex in St. Petersburg is labeled an "isolated event," mostly because nobody else was there.
April 10: Florida Legislature passes law requiring all public school teachers to line up once a year to be kicked in the seat of the pants.
April 22: Minor incident in Gulf of Mexico.
April 28: Two state regulators who had refused to raise Floridians' electric rates are brutally taken out by the state Senate. Cassius, Brutus seen running from scene.
May 5: George Rekers, the "expert" paid $120,693 by Attorney General Bill McCollum to testify that gay adoption is icky, is caught with a male escort from the website Rentboy.com. No further joke required.
May 16: News conference by U.S. Navy Veterans Association to prove that it really exists ends abruptly when strong winds blow over all the cardboard cutouts.
May 19: Full-body scans begin at Tampa International along with guarantees that passenger privacy will be protected. Nice tattoo, by the way.
May 25: President Barack Obama criticized for lackluster response to oil spill. Swings into action with a nice speech.
May 31: Pam Bondi, a career prosecutor from Tampa, changes her first name to "Sarah" to run for attorney general.
June 2: Clearwater High School replaces books with e-readers, students with e-kids.
June 3: BP chief Tony Hayward apologizes for saying, "On the bright side, oil-covered ducks are easier to shoot."
June 4: St. Petersburg bans street solicitation despite protests from the St. Petersburg Times, advocates for the homeless and Monique "Boom-Boom" LaRue, 24.
June 9: FCAT scores are delayed because the state paid the testing company only $254 million, declining the "get scores on time" extended warranty.
June 15: Pushing and shoving erupts in the Panhandle when the supply of available beachfront is exceeded by the number of politicians seeking oil-spill camera time.