Mike Buzzelli is a stand-up comedian and published author. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

On New Year’s Eve, I remember people cheered the end of 2019. They were very excited to enter the New Year. Yeah. About that. Our current situation makes 2019 look like a walk in the park – without a mask or gloves!

These days the novel coronavirus has taken over the news. It’s almost in every headline, but there are some important stories of 2019 that you may have missed. Since we don’t have a lot of space, I’ll give you the headline and a few details. Google can lead you to the rest of the story.

In 2019, Fox news reported, “An alligator is swimming in a Texas lake with a knife in its head.” In Houston, Erin Weaver spotted the alligator swimming by her home. She said, “It looked like a steak knife was sticking out of its head.” She added, “I feel like somebody did that on purpose.” And I added, “Duh!” as I read it. I am not a violent person, but if I was too close to an alligator and I happened to have a knife in my hand, chances are I’d throw it. Don’t worry, animal lovers; the alligator’s leathery skin (osteoderm) kept it from harm, and gators have thick skulls, just like all Texans, especially Cowboy fans.

In related news, the Miami Herald ran a story about a woman who was pulled over for a routine traffic stop, and when asked if she had anything else on her – proceeded to pull an alligator out of her yoga pants. The alligator was approximately a foot in length. For the record, you will never find an alligator or crocodile in my pants. At least, I hope not.

The Orlando Sentinel (also in Florida because that’s where they keep it) ran this headline: “Five guys arrested for fistfight at Five Guys.” An explanation was not given for why the fight erupted, but I like the way this quintet committed to the esthetics. Four guys fighting at Five Guys just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Oh, Florida. In Titusville, Fla., a man was charged with impersonating a police officer to get a discount at – wait for it – McDonald’s. I’m pretty sure the cop costume cost more than a mountain of McNuggets. I guess he didn’t want to go to Five Guys because of all the fistfights.

Not all the crazy happens in Florida and Texas. The Washington Post reported, “Someone left old TVs outside of 50 homes in Virginia while wearing a television on his head. No one knows why.” Is there a good reason to put a TV on your head? I can’t think of one.

A Canadian newspaper ran the headline: “Teen caught speeding at 106 mph needed bathroom after too many hot wings.” Dude. We’ve all been there. I sympathize with this Canadian teenager, though. Here in America, the police call it the Taco Bell Gambit.

P.S. It doesn’t work. You will still receive a hefty speeding ticket – or so I’ve heard.

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