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Ramp Randoms: A Quick Guide For Someone Who’s Missed The Last 10 Years

Posted November 29, 2012 by Rú Hickson in Ramp Specials

Dear [name redacted]

Congratulations and welcome to 2012! You have successfully awakened from your Frozen-Suspension-Mega-Hyper-Troppo-Sleep-O-Tron-O-Matic-O 2000 after 10 years of dreamless sleep! We hope your subconscious enjoyed the pleasing soundtrack of Chopin nocturnes. Although our engineers tell us that the CD was in fact skipping the whole time, so we certainly hope you enjoyed those four bars on repeat for the last decade!

In order to rehabilitate you into society, we think it appropriate to debrief you with our tried and trusted A Quick Guide For Someone Who’s Missed The Last 10 Years! letter to be digested in your own time – hopefully giving you a crash course on major events that have happened around the world since you started counting sheep back in early November 2002! We have ordered the list as chaotically as possible, so that your brain may adsorb the information gently. Please bear in mind that what follows is by no means comprehensive. There’s just not enough room on two A4 sheets of paper to fill you in on world events for the past 10 years, no matter how much we reduce the font size! Also please consider that some of what you read may shock and awe you.


The United States of America invaded Iraq in 2003 to look for weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). They never found much evidence of weapons of mass destruction. More palatably, imagine if some insane Welsh crusader had invaded Ireland under the pretence that Ireland had lots of snakes, then he found neither snakes nor evidence that they were ever there in the first place, then demanded praise for abolishing snakes from Ireland. It’s pretty much the same thing. Most Americans were pretty upset about it, so they voted in their first African-American President, Barack Obama, who’s a democrat, so they figure he probably won’t invade anywhere. They found the flown Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein sitting on a big barrel of oil in a hidden bunker. He was put on trial and executed by hanging in 2006. The execution was filmed on a phone and published on YouTube shortly thereafter.

‘What in darn-tootin’ is YouTube?’.

Right now you’re probably wondering ‘What in darn-tootin’ is YouTube?’. Well, it’s a video sharing website that was founded back in 2005. It allows anyone from anywhere around the world to instantly access videos submitted by anyone, or make and upload anything of their own, if they so choose. For this reason, almost all of YouTube is a turgid, complete and utter waste of time! The main method of recording these videos is via a webcam or a phone camera, like you would see on an iPhone. The quality of that type of recording was fairly shocking back in 2002, but there have been some great leaps in multimedia technology since then!

Ah yes, the iPhone is a mobile phone created by Apple back in 2007, controlled primarily with a touchscreen. Do you remember the iPod? An mp3 player that was reasonably popular just before you were frozen? Someone thought it would be a good idea to stick a phone in one, and then they kind of went supernova. Seriously, you can download applications that teach you how to do CPR and everything! This shit is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S (2004).

The Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland was completed in 2009 and they have apparently discovered the Higgs boson, a previously unseen theoretical particle which would prove the existence of the Higgs field and the method by which elementary particles acquire mass. It’s best not to read over this particular paragraph too many times.

Justin Timberlake from *NSYNC released his solo album around the same time you went to sleep. He became one of the biggest artists of the last decade, despite only having released two albums and basically totally ripping off Michael Jackson for the first one. Oh yeah, Michael Jackson died in 2009. Timberlake’s crown as pop-God has since been stolen by a happy (approximately) four-year-old called Justin Bieber. Also, nu-metal is dead now too.

Italy and Spain won the World Cups 2006 and 2010 respectively, despite Argentina having the best player in the world in the form of a supermidget called Lionel Messi. The Beijing Olympics went off without a hitch and then London hosted them earlier this year. The star of both of them was a Jamaican runner called Usain Bolt, who seems pretty cool as well as fast. David Beckham helped with the promotion of the London games. He plays for L.A. Galaxy in the MLS now. He left Manchester United in 2003 to go to Real Madrid first though.

There’s been this thing happening for the last two years or so called the Arab Spring, which encompasses a series of demonstrations and revolutions in the Arab world including, but not limited to, uprisings in Libya, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yemen. Despite a lot of public oppression in these countries, organised revolts came to be via the social networks of Facebook and Twitter. Twitter (2007-) is a bit more immediate/useful as a mini-blogging network. It’s like a text message to no one in particular, and now there are over 1 billion users. That may seem like an exponential rise, but consider that the first text message ever sent was in 1992, and you can see how that caught on so fast. Facebook (2004-) is essentially the new Bebo. Oh, scratch that, Bebo has only been around since 2005. Call it the new MySpace (now owned by Justin Timberlake) then. It’s really good for talking about nothing in particular and for stalking your former lovers – an activity totally not endorsed or utilized by anyone at our company.

Pope John Paul II died in 2005. They replaced him with a former Hitlerjugend.

Pope John Paul II died in 2005. They replaced him with a former Hitlerjugend, Benedict XVI. Bad timing for him really, considering that the next few years would be focused on the revelation that the Catholic Church concealed the biggest and most comprehensive ring of paedophilia in history. Priests who were found to have abused children were dealt with internally, and simply moved to a new diocese without informing the police.

Notable deaths since 2002 include Neil Armstrong, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Pryor, Amy Winehouse, Augusto Pinochet, Gerald Ford, Boris Yeltsin, Ingmar Bergman, Luciano Pavarotti, Colin McRae, Marcel Marceau, Evil Knievel, Ike Turner, Benazir Bhutto, Edmund Hillary, Heath Ledger, Arthur C. Clarke, George Carlin, Isaac Hayes, Jorg Haider, Michael Crichton, Patrick Swayze, Dennis Hopper, Leslie Nielsen, Elizabeth Taylor, Osama Bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, Joe Frazier, Kim Jong-Il, Ernest Borgnine and Maeve Binchy. Actually, we just realised you have no idea who Amy Winehouse is.

The Harry Potter franchise ended back in 2007 with the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. They split the book into two films and the last one came out in July 2011. It is currently the fourth highest-grossing film in history. Its thunder at the box office has been replaced by a vampire romance series called Twilight. The Lord of The Rings trilogy ended in 2003 with the release of The Return of The King, and now a prequel trilogy for The Hobbit is coming out, starting next month. As for the word prequel, we use portmanteaus pretty much every other sentence these days.

In your homeland of Ireland, things have changed, but stayed the same, if you get me? They banned smoking in 2004, so I hope those ten years of not-smoking have helped you kick that nasty habit! Just so you know, they also built this weird spire-y thing right in the middle of O’Connell street back in early 2003. Aliens haven’t invaded or anything. You have a new president too: Michael D. Higgins. He’s quite lovable and speaks Irish ever so well.  Ireland still hasn’t legislated for X yet either. Also, something something worldwide financial maelstrom. Sorry if the future is a big disappointment so far.

In light of these updates, we understand that your brain may well be broken and no one would think less of you for jumping straight back in the carbon freezing chamber and staying there for another 990 years or so. If you feel the need to do this, please let a helpful member of our support staff know, and we will deduct the funds from your account without hesitation! Also, we’ll take a look at that CD player for you.


Your friendly time-lapse team,

[name redacted]
[company redacted]
[address redacted]



[contact details redacted]
[watermark redacted]

About the Author

Rú Hickson

Despite initial wealth, Ru bankrupted himself by acquiring every existing second-hand copy of Duke Nukem Forever and placing it in a pile he uses for the express purposes of urinating onto and crying over in an unhealthy, but surprisingly therapeutic, downward spiral.

  • http://twitter.com/Sarklor Ciaran O’Brien

    James Brown died too. I thought he was a pretty big deal. I miss how he would sing about how hotpants can be a very attractive thing for a lady to wear, and nobody would scream BAN THIS SICK FILTH.

  • http://twitter.com/SerialBlogamist Catherine C

    Bravo! *applauds*

  • http://twitter.com/ElleEmSee Laura

    I loved this Ru. Exceptionally good stuff.

  • http://www.ramp.ie/ Lisa McInerney

    If I had been cryogenically frozen for the last decade, what would have surprised me most would have been the news that squeaky-clean Ryan Giggs had been porking his sister-in-law for years. I’d be all, “Day-um, is nothing sacred?!”

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