to Nicholas Johnson's Coralville Rain Forest Web Site
What to Expect This Year (Is It Almost 2007 Yet?)
Des Moines Register
January 2, 2006
FEBRUARY — Sen. Charles Grassley persuades the U.S. Senate to spend $6.8 billion to turn western Iowa into an enormous desert. "Along with the rain forest, which now will be built on my farm, Iowa will become the nation's leading tourist destination," Grassley said.
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JANUARY — Proclaiming that "it's still too easy to get to," Des Moines city officials build a 20-foot wall and crocodile-filled moat around the new Wells Fargo Arena. "The best things in life are worth working for," an arena spokesperson said. Responding to complaints, officials also said they will install seat belts in some of the higher locations.
FEBRUARY — Sen. Charles Grassley persuades the U.S. Senate to spend $6.8 billion to turn western Iowa into an enormous desert. "Along with the rain forest, which now will be built on my farm, Iowa will become the nation's leading tourist destination," Grassley said. Rep. Steve King praised the move and requested that constituents now refer to him as "Sultan."
MARCH — In a surprising development, the Iowa Board of Regents votes unanimously to require college seniors to purchase Iowa Cubs season tickets before receiving their degree. "Conflict? I don't see a conflict," said Michael Gartner, Regents president and I-Cubs chairman. In addition, the board also votes to have all Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa baseball home games moved to Principal Park in Des Moines.
APRIL — The Iowa Legislature stuns the state by voting to relocate the entire Capitol complex to Waukee, paying $7.5 billion to buy 20 acres of land from developers Bill Knapp and Dennis Elwell. Knapp complains that he barely broke even on the deal.
MAY — Radio station KLYF in Des Moines announces that it will play Christmas music 24 hours a day, from Memorial Day through Dec. 31. Hoping to cash in, area malls announce that children will now have their choice of having their photo taken with the Easter Bunny, Uncle Sam or Santa Claus through the end of the year.
JUNE — Des Moines City officials increase downtown parking rates to $10 per minute. They also replace parking meters with video slot machines that accept credit cards. Also, The Des Moines Register begins publication of RECESS, a free newspaper aimed at that increasingly important first- through fifth-grade demographic.
JULY — On July 11, for the first time in recorded Iowa history, no farmer complains about the weather, crop conditions or the federal farm program. "Things just couldn't be better; we're practically swimming in money," says the Farm Bureau's president, who is impeached the next day.
AUGUST — The Iowa State Fair opens. This year's theme is, "You have money. We want it. All of it." Duffy Lyon, the famed butter-cow sculptor, unveils this year's featured exhibit — an enormous stick of butter. In another development, thousands of RAGBRAI riders suddenly stop in mid-ride and go home, realizing the futility of riding a bicycle the length of the state during the hottest month of the year.
SEPTEMBER — Excited researchers at the Great Ape Trust of Iowa announce they have figured out how to pacify a psychotic, anti-social, waste-flinging orangutan that sat alone in a darkened room and railed at the world to no noticeable effect. The ape now writes an anonymous blog.
OCTOBER — Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle abruptly drops out of the campaign, saying, "I'm tired of shaking hands — too many germs." He is replaced by former Gov. Robert D. Ray, who pledges that, if elected, he and David Oman will build a mountain range on Court Avenue.
NOVEMBER — The University of Iowa's basketball team begins the season by knocking off top-rated Duke, then loses 15 of its next 20 games to finish seventh in the Big Ten. Coach For Life Steve Alford complains about a lack of senior leadership. In addition, for the 54th straight year, somebody on the Iowa State football team misses an important field goal, and the Cyclones happily accept an invitation to play in a bowl game held on a North Dakota parking lot.
DECEMBER — Yale Bagley, 86, a retired farmer from Jamaica, Ia., dies while waiting in line to pay for his Christmas gifts at a popular electronics store. Police said he had stood patiently for two weeks, then succumbed while trying to convince the cash-register attendant that he didn't need the six-year, extended-service warranty for the alarm clock and package of AA batteries he was desperately trying to purchase.