1989 was a MAJOR year for me. The year was tougher. I was tougher. My eyes grew steely, my pecs perked. My time had come for a power-climb to the top of the decade. I felt like a steroid in a locker room.

Things went well at first. My clothes were big, my hair was erect, my career was on track, and my embryonic kids were snoozing peacefully in a nitrogen bath when . . .

I felt a little chill, a cold draft from the rear. Pesky memories.

I called for a strongman and soon heard from Manuel Noriega. Pumped up and defiant, he assured me that he was in charge and not to worry. I borrowed Mike Milken’s golden parachute and glided into the savings and loan business, and business was good.

I burned and earned, bought a bigger Toyota, leveraged a larger portfolio, and raised a rottweiler the size of a couch. I felt expansive, shamelessly self-justified, like a shopping mall on the edge of a forest preserve. I had become A MAJOR GUY IN THE MAJOR YEAR OF A MAJOR DECADE.

Nice turn of phrase, don’t you think? Actually I got the idea from other MAJOR guys like Rather and Brokaw. They’ve been telling us all along about MAJOR uprisings, breakthroughs, unrest, changes, blowouts, turnarounds, policy changes, drug busts, strategies, celebrities, motion pictures, trends, market fluctuations, health risks, fitness programs, fiber sources, hurricanes, earthquakes, ozone troubles, scandals, witnesses, and even that MAJOR general from Panama. Imagine. A MAJOR general, and he’s a personal acquaintance at that.

I heard a lot about MAJORNESS in 1989.

I’ve pretty well wrapped up the year now, and I’m a bit tired. I’ll spend the early 90s on a fox farm in Wisconsin and get back to nature the way we did in the 70s when the 60s didn’t work out. Except this time I’ll have MAJOR assets, enough for me to rest comfortably until I’m 50. I hope you’ve had a good year, too.

And remember, when you look back at 1989 and recall it as the MAJOR YEAR OF A MAJOR DECADE, think of me. I like to think I played a part in it.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustrations/P.S. Mueller.