Melissa Dribben

is an Inquirer staff writer

As this year of our living abstemiously has drawn to a grateful close

It is fitting to look back at all that has passed, the highs, a few middles and lows.

We started with hope that the new prez would do all he promised and he wasn't joking

Health insurance for all, cleaner air, better jobs (and while he was at it, quit smoking!)

He'd reason with Congress, let's all get along and fix this big mess we are in

You betcha! the GOP said (but they lied) proving partisanship is a sin.

They protested death panels s'posed to kill Granny

Fought vaccines, gay marriage - the logic? Uncanny.

Now on to recession, on second thought, nope. Let's dish first on some good celebrity dope.

Poor Jacko who used anesthesia to sleep, moonwalked off the stage on a dosage too steep.

Cher's daughter, named Chastity came out with pride, I'm a man now, she said, on the out and inside.

Goldman Sachs, who had long paid their top guys obscenely

Borrowed billions from us - bankruptcy's so unseemly.

Bernie Madoff, who ripped all his friends off routinely

Was sent to a prison in Butner, (no really!)

It's in North Carolina and wait, he's still game

61727-054's his name

A dude in New York played that number and won

The lottery, yeah crime pays and spins off such fun!

Kanye dissed Taylor, Monk ended, Glee rocked

Slumdog swept the Oscars, Joaquin went farkakt

Lindsay Lohan's a mess, Aniston's still not wed

Twilight's Jacob v. Edward? Both hot. Enuf said.

Now Philly: Pools closed, so will Cardinal Dock

With no budget, the state put the city in hock

BRT? OMG. A new D.A.'s elected.

Vince Fumo got 55 months, you expected . . . ?

The Phils made the Series, then lost, life's not fair

But Jayson, you're gorgeous, even with facial hair.

The mansion La Ronda was blasted to bits

They broke ground on the Barnes and dean Mark Sargent quit

(If you missed that, he was the dean of Villanova's law school, who resigned when the FBI investigated his link to a prostitution ring. This doesn't rhyme, but it was too juicy to ignore.)

The ice cap is melting, our clunkers are sold

Oral Roberts expired (don't be sad, he was old.)

Air France crashed a plane, 228 died

But US Air's Sully saved 155.

David Letterman got caught sleeping round with his staff

Then Gov. Sanford, his story? a laugh.

"I was off in the woods on the Appalachian Trail."

When in truth, he was in Buenos Aires with tail.

And speaking of Woods, do we need to review?

That golf club through windshield, a desperate rescue?

With Tag Heuer's slogan quote: "What are you made of?"

At least Tiger's imprimatur's now creative.

For Lenore Annenberg, this year was her last

Apartheid's brave critic, Helen Suzman, has passed.

Koko Taylor, Les Paul, Patrick Swayze, adieu

Farrah Fawcett and Claude Levi-Strauss, yes, them too.

Cronkite and Updike and DeLuise, Dom

To pastures much greener, they all have moved on.

Bea Arthur, the Golden Girls' snarky old hen

Kennedy, the lion, and photographer Irving Penn.

Come good news come bad news, the media's to blame

Susan Boyle's a big hit, Blagojevich shamed.

A blond in a sari with hubby in tow

Crashed into the White House, You're famous! Now GO.

Il Jong gave two journalists freedom, good will.

Tehran caught three hikers, they're in prison still.

A shrink at Fort Hood prepped for war went berserk

While a study found those who cut hair love their work!

Karzai's still in Kabul, Iran's brewing nukes

Biggest Loser contestants work out till they puke.

Word has it that some of them cheat just to win.

What, you thought, that the hard way they all got so thin?

You may have lost income, insurance says Nyet

Your kidneys are shot, you're anemic and yet

Have faith, keep on laughing, good wishes to you.

A baby orangutan lives in your zoo!

There's a new year a coming, with promises sweet.

Just be thankful you don't need Propofol to sleep.

E-mail Melissa Dribben at mdribben@phillynews.com.