'Tis the end of '08 and the start of '09, so why not mark the juncture with dimwitted rhyme?

For a year that has brought out the best and the worst in us, should not end with a verse that is taken too serious.

In the first month, Heath Ledger OD'd, 'twas a sin, and the news broke that Branjie was carrying twins.

Victoria Beckham done posed in the nude, and the price hit a c note for a barrel of crude.

February was ironic, Fidel finally said hasta, and

No Country for Old Men

won best film at the Oscahs.

In March, third-world riots broke out over food and Eliot Spitzer got caught being lewd.

April was cruel, Charlton Heston, that guy who loved guns and played Moses, said his final goodbye. Wesley Snipes went to jail, well now, that was a pity, and the Olympic torch got waylaid some in Ho Chi Minh City.

On the bright side, for some, Hillary won in PA, the Pope came to visit and it was sunny in L.A.

OK, that one's not news, but the bright side's not easy, and I warned you this poem was going to be cheesy.

In May, Jenna Bush went to Maui newlywed, and an earthquake in China left 70,000 dead. While at Yale, Paul McCartney got a new Ph.D., and this doesn't fit in the rhythm scheme, but I got to meet Owen Wilson because he was sitting next to me in my office during the filming of

Marley & Me

.

Now it's June and at four bucks a pop at the pump, all those Hummers and Escalades are harder to dump. In Zimbabwe, Mugabe steals his post from his peeps, and Obama gets closer to choosing a veep.

Amy Winehouse finds out that her lungs are impaired, while Bo Diddley and George Carlin climb the heavenly stairs.

At the end of the summer, Sarah Palin comes a-winkin, and the Democrats think, What was poor ol' John thinking? She wows crowds with her charm, but on substance, she fizzles, and when Tina Fey does her, hysterical, it is.

Skip ahead to November when Obama wins, and bigotry takes a left cross to the chin. The economy's blitzed, even Amex is shook; on the bright side, Toni Morrison's got a new book!

That's the year, in a nutshell, not so bad when you think, that OJ, that expletive, is at last in the clink. Happy '09 to all and to all a good eve. May your stocks be redeemed, and your pardons, received.

Contact staff writer Melissa Dribben 215 854-2590 or mdribben@phillynews.com

To hear Melissa Dribben read her poem, go to http://www.whyy.org/news

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