Mea culpa: What I got wrong in 2011

It’s a new year, which means a new beginning for those of us in the news media. We are human – or, at least, convincingly human-like – which means that we make mistakes. It is my policy to clear my conscience at the beginning of every year to make way for fresh guilt and new bone-headed errors, and I do so with my annual corrections column.

With no small degree of shame and chagrin and apologies to my mother for ever giving birth to me, the following is a list of what I got wrong in 2011:

Steven Tyler is not the spawn of Mick Jagger and a Florida flathead catfish. I got a bad tip. It happens.

I would not, in fact, rather eat three-day-old clams off a Tijuana sidewalk in August than have to watch Adam Sandler in drag in “Jack and Jill,” though it would be a close call.

Despite of what I reported, the McRib sandwich is technically food.

For the record, a dog would almost certainly not be able to write the screenplay to the latest “Twilight” sequel.

Technically speaking, Zooey Deschanel is a real flesh-and-blood person and not a CGI app created by a team of virgin code writers and manga artists, as I indicated earlier.

OK, so I would not in fact vote for Rick Perry even if he could get NBC to put “Community” back on the air.

In fact, if my house were on fire, I would probably rescue my wheelchair-bound grandmother before retrieving my iPhone, though, if we’re being accurate, I can’t really know until the situation presents itself.

I have no evidence that that UC Davis pepper-spray cop has a brain the size of a pea. I guess an MRI could have settled the question, but, alas, I know of no such procedure having been done on that individual. Neurologists tell me, however, that a brain of that size would exhibit severe cognitive and motor disabilities, and not being able to distinguish violent armed protesters from kids sitting on a sidewalk would, in that case, be the least of that man’s problems. So, the possibilities that I was right in assessing this person’s cranial capacities are close to zero.

Let the record state that, despite my repeated comments to the contrary, I’ve never been mistaken for Ryan Gosling in the grocery store.

The line I wrote that said, “If they make another ‘Pirates of the Carribean’ movie, I’ll eat a mid-sized Toyota Camry,” was not really true, though they won’t, so I’ll never have to prove it.

In truth, Kim Jong Il never, to my knowledge, tweeted that he would give up his nuclear capabilities in exchange for an autographed poster of James Durbin. My bad.

I was not, in fact, live-blogging the Navy SEAL operation that took out Osama bin Laden. It was a Burning Man-theme party in Bonny Doon that got a little out of control. I got the two events mixed up. So sue me.

My wife is, truth be told, not my biggest fan. She is, in fact, slimmer now than she was in college. My biggest fan is Marvin Chambers of Felton who once played right tackle for his high school football team in New Jersey. While we’re being honest, I’m stretching the definition of “fan” here, given that Marvin can’t always remember my name but once admired a wise crack I made about Borat in 2006.

I do not hold the world record for watermelon-seed spitting at 235 yards. I only claimed that to impress girls in my youth, which, predictably, it did not.

I did not, in fact, see Kate Middleton weeping in her car in the parking lot outside Charlie Hong Kong three days after her wedding to Prince William. I sometimes have eyesight issues. Perfectly understandable.

I did not urge readers to sink “every nickel you can find, borrow or steal” in Borders stock … OK, maybe I did, but for legal reasons, I’m denying everything.

I hereby recant my earlier statement that Herman Cain is now my favorite comedian. Mr. Cain is not, technically speaking, a comedian.

The Rapture did not, in fact, come on May 21, 2011. Wait a second, that wasn’t my call. That was somebody else. Whew.

I did not wail, pull my hair out and roll around in a fetal position for three days when I found out that Larry King was retiring. That was sarcasm, which doesn’t always translate in print.

Despite saying so to the contrary, yes, I can, in fact, distinguish Kim Kardashian from a grapefruit. You lose valuable cool points by admitting you know who the Kardashians are, and I just don’t have that many to lose. You understand.

A woman cutting in front of me to take a parking space at the Aptos Safeway was not “the craziest thing I’d ever seen.” It doesn’t even rank in the top 100, in fact. It’s just something you say instead of threatening a stranger with violence. Always the better plan. Besides, nothing is ever going to beat that two-headed baby pig I saw once.

Despite my earlier comments, I have no evidence that Santa Claus does not exist. My sincerest apologies to all readers under 9, to whom I insensitively said, “Santa is probably your dad.” In fact, I don’t even know any of your dads.

I regret the errors.


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