By Garret Leiva, Local columnist
---- — The year 2012 is officially over — and not in a catastrophic Mayan calendar way.
I'd categorize 2012 as a Charles Dickens year: the best and worst of times. However, a literary reference seems too cerebral to sum up the last 365 odd days. I'd call 2012 pure Mad Libs.
Mad Libs use funny, absurd, crass or just plain dumb fill-in-the-blank responses to tell a story.
This past year provided plenty of fodder — too much, really. It was impossible to squeeze all the political, pop culture and world event happenings into so few newspaper columns.
I've decided to rectify the problem Mad Libs style, but with a multiple-choice twist. Below are highlights from several of my 2012 columns with fill-in-the-blank spaces. Simply select a standout 2012 reference to complete the sentences.
n Many miracles percolate in my magic coffee can — Feb. 27, 2012
"Call me nuts or ___, but I'm proud to be a hardware hoarder."
a. Clint Eastwood talking to a chair
b. Patricia "Tanning Mom" Krentcil
c. A NHL season ticket holder
n Hair can mean more than style — May 21, 2012
"My hair is in follicle free fall; it's retreating faster than ___."
a. Lance Armstrong sponsors
b. Gen. David Petraeus
c. The captain of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia
n The trick is to find the treat in a scary world — Oct. 29, 2012
"Deep down I knew the whole thing was as fake as ___."
a. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
b. NFL replacement refs
c. Can't-miss Facebook stock advice
n My inner child finds another shiny object — Jan. 16, 2012
"Proof of the male's brain inability to function on a higher level is found in ___."
a. Mitt Romney's binders full of women
b. Former Congressman Todd Akin
c. Prince Harry's royal member
n Waiting for premium-grade gasoline cologne — Jan. 23, 2012]
"Sometimes life can smell of desperation, ___ or an equally offensive odor."
a. Korean world domination — PSY's "Gangnam Style"
b. Syria civil war
c. Presidential debates
n My Super Bowl is going to be electrifying - Jan. 30, 2012
"Then you helplessly watch chaos ensue — like (a) ___."
a. Kim Kardashian baby shower guest
b. Kate Middleton baby shower guest
c. Fiscal cliff detour sign
n Age-old question: Where to put the leeches — July 23, 2012
"Leeches are compared to lawyers and ___."
a. Jerry Sandusky
b. Hurricane Sandy
c. Detroit Tigers 2012 World Series performance
The New Year offers a fresh start, a new chapter in our lives. Here is to more "best of times" and less Mad-ness in 2013.