Ben Whitehair: 30 Years in (roughly) 30 Sentences
1985: DNA is first used in a criminal case.
My DNA is created, proving that the fastest swimmers aren’t always the smartest…or prettiest.
1986: Democrats regain control of the United States Senate for the first time in 6 years.
I regain control of my bowel movements after a disturbing 3-day incident involving my teddy bear and protector, Snuffles, a moldy piece of cheese, and 17 packages of Huggies® Happy Baby diapers.
1987: Prozac makes its debut in the United States.
My brother Jake makes his debut in the United States.
1988: The Soviet Union begins it program of economic restructuring (perestroika) with legislation initiated by Premier Mikhail Gorbachev (though Gorbachev had begun minor restructuring in 1985).
I get drunk on root beer and “restructure” the family room, dining room, and kitchen to the tune of $2,342.17. My mother starts taking Prozac.
1989: In Alaska’s Prince William Sound the Exxon Valdez spills 240,000 barrels (11 million gallons) of oil after running aground.
My brother and I spill 1/2 a gallon of chocolate milk onto the new carpet while celebrating the birth of my sister Nikki by running around the house wearing nothing but towels as capes.
1990: Margaret Thatcher resigns as Prime Minister of the UK.
I don’t care. I’m 5 and have just learned that I can make the vein in my dad’s head pop out if I poop on the floor.
1991: The United Nations Security Council votes unanimously to condemn Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
My family votes unanimously to condemn my treatment of them. I start pre-school.
1992: Windows 3.1 is released by Microsoft.
My days as a nerd begin. On a totally unrelated note, I discover porn.
1993: The papal encyclical Veritatis Splendor is promulgated.
I lose the 2nd grade spelling bee when I can’t spell prumoolgaytid.*
*Editor’s note: Ben still can’t spell promulgated.
1994: In Honolulu, Hawaii, during a circus international performance, an elephant named Tyke crushes her trainer Allen Campbell to death before hundreds of horrified spectators.
I become horrified at what my “little buddy” does when I think about my 3rd grade teacher. My dad explains what a crush is.
1995: NASA loses contact with the Pioneer 11 probe.
I lose relative contact with the rest of the world as I begin homeschooling.
1996: Mission Impossible is released.
To try and make me feel better about the recent divorce of my parents, my dad takes me to see this as my first R-rated movie.
I feel better.
1997: The Detroit Red Wings win their first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years.
They still suck.
1998: The UK abolishes the death penalty.
This angers a bull named Margaret Thatcher, which tries to kill me during my first ever bull ride.
1999: Apple Computer releases the first iBook.
Ben iBooks it to nerd super-stardom as he continues to use his winnings as a cowboy to buy computer parts and build another computer.
2000: The Constitution of Finland is rewritten.
My insides are constantly “rewritten” when I play 8-man football for the local high school.
2001: The world’s first self-contained artificial heart is implanted in Robert Tools.
I leave my cowboy ways behind and implant myself at Littleton High School, immediately joining the soccer team and making my first friend over a game of Trivial Pursuit. Turns out I knew more about the revolving door than I’d realized…
2002: At a Sotheby’s auction, Peter Paul Rubens’ painting “The Massacre of the Innocents” (first version) is sold for £49.5million (US$76.2 million).
My innocence is massacred when I receive my very first kiss when my date would rather make out than watch Kevin Costner’s Dragonfly. Thanks Kevin!
2003: A total solar eclipse is seen over Antarctica.
My love for performance grows as I eclipses Carrot Top as the “Whitest Guy in America,” rapping with Trent Gillaspie about our English teacher for our high school talent show. Somehow, we win Best in Show.
2004: A whale explodes in Tainan City, Taiwan, while being transported through the town to a university for a necropsy.
In similarly awesome news, I gradumatate from Littleton High School at the top of my class, invoking the advice of Christopher Walken in my graduation speech. True story.
2005: The Norwegian parliamentary election results in a victory for the red-green-coalition.
I audition before classes even start and score my own victory, getting cast in my first college theatre production: a kabuki-style adaptation of the Norwegian folk tale Peer Gynt, entitled Peeru Gunto.
2006: Embroiled in multiple scandals, former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay announces he will not seek to reassume his former post.
I find my (now) alma mater CU embroiled in its own scandals, and co-found the Colorado Creed; a social responsibility code with 7 key principles literally set in stone around the campus.
*Editor’s note: This is the same year that Ben was deemed Time Magazine’s Person of the Year
2007: The International Court of Justice finds Serbia guilty of failing to prevent genocide in the Srebrenica massacre, but clears it of direct responsibility and complicity in the case.
Having been massacred by Organic Chemistry, I re-focus on acting, joining the Interactive Theatre Project (ITP). *nerd alert* Becoming so intrigued with this theatre for social change, I eventually write my political science honors thesis on ITP.
2008: An extra leap second (23:59:60) is added to end the year.
An extra unemployed actor is added to the society at large (I graduate CU).
2009: Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay appears on Dancing with the Stars.
I realize the bar to stardom is set low, and move to the City of Angels to continue pursuing my acting career.
2010: Nude, Green Leaves and Bust by Pablo Picasso sells in New York for $106.5 million, setting another new world record for a work of art sold at auction.
Seeing the clear opportunity to make bank by selling art, I re-create the Picasso in the nude, covered in green leaves. It is still available on the free section of Craigslist.
2011: Occupy Wall Street protests begin in the United States. This develops into the Occupy movement which spreads to 82 countries by October.
I protest and occupy the beach front on CSI: Miami, and am recognized again as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.
2012: Researchers successfully perform the first implantation of an early prototype bionic eye with 24 electrodes.
Tuition Specialists, the company I co-founded in college, is on track to save students $30 million.
2013: The European Union agrees to a €10 billion economic bailout for Cyprus.
Due to various economic reasons, we decide to shut down Tuition Specialists. We do not get a bailout.
2014: The Rosetta spacecraft’s Philae probe successfully lands on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.
I land a role in the $1.2MM major motion picture The Summerland Project. It’s the first time in history (probably) that a champion sheep showman is the lead in a movie.
2015: FIFA President Sepp Blatter announces his intention to resign amidst an FBI-led corruption investigation, and calls for an extraordinary congress to elect a new president as soon as possible.
I lead my own investigation as FBI Agent Banks. In a movie. With Matthew McConaughey.
2016: The International Criminal Court finds former Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the first time the ICC convicted someone of sexual violence.
I book my first pilot as 1st Lieutenant Bainbridge on TNT’s Monsters of God. Another epic first for humanity.