“I was afraid I was going to die and then I was afraid I wasn’t” – Cormac McCarthy,
2016. Where were you, when you found out I wouldn’t be receiving my present of Christmas turkey from my work?
Up yours, 2016.
It’s all my fault of course, for having the audacity to be away on the only day they distribute the company gifts of holiday-themed former farm animal parts. Here is the email verbatim:
“From: Office Manager
Attn: Staff must present themselves in person at their allotted time to receive their gift. No pick-ups for other staff allowed.regards,”
I went through all five stages while staring at my company phone in a different city.
Denial: What? That can’t be right! We’re a global ad company, not some sort of Soviet bread line!
Anger: Giving me a Christmas present at a time that works for me is too inconvenient?! I’ve put my blood into this company! I slipped and fell in the kitchen when someone spilt kombutcha!!
Fear: My. God… I’m destined to go through this holiday season with only ham! My dad’s visiting! What if there’s not enough leftovers for snacks?!
Bargaining: Maybe with less food in the house it’ll be easier to hit my weight goals for beach season…
Acceptance: LOL LOL nope. Though it may be petty to form a blood feud with an employer who’s promoted me twice in two years, the denial of free food is essentially unforgivable.
My grudges for such transgressions are numerous, deep running, and long lasting.
A former colleague of mine once took both the last two non-vegetarian options from a meeting platter as it was handed around the table, before handing the leftover offerings of wet tofu and limp bean sprouts to me, the last in line.
Without doubt, one day in the future I’ll encounter her in the street and reflexively smash her hotdog in her face (in my mind’s eye she’s always eating a hotdog). It will be without thought or genuine menace, as instictive as blinking. It’s been four years.
So it seems that this Christmas, just as there was no sausage for little Homer, there will be no turkey for little Jeremy. 2016, you have reached your nadir.
It’s tempting to write off 2016 as the worst year ever. No doubt the world has experienced repeated slaps to the face by way of plane crashes, bomb attacks, gun attacks, presidential election results, natural disasters, ongoing wars, and the passing of beloved celebrities, but 2015 had all of these things. 2014 too.
Indeed, Google searches for “Worst year ever” have spiked every December for as long as there’s been Google. Does that mean Google is in any way responsible for our shared sense of tired dismay?
I say “yes”, as before the internet – when I grew up – all sorts of horrible shit would be going down around the world, and we, with our three TV channels and single nightly news show whose reporters ranged as far as 30 mins from the studio for a story, had no clue it was happening.
For example: John Candy, of Uncle Buck and Cool Runnings! died in 1994 and I had no idea until I Asked Jeeves where he was in 1998. It was a sad, sad recess that day.
But it can only get better, right? Since the Chicxulub asteroid hit earth and wiped out the T-Rex and other awesome things, on the balance, every year since has arguably been marginally better.
So, here are my modest, modest hopes for 2017:
January – By the end of week one, several of the world’s collective new year resolutions are not yet fully abandoned. “I thought that the family bucket of KFC I had for lunch had ruined my weight loss goals for the year,” said Jackson Merle, 31. “But the resultant diarrhoea that afternoon put me AHEAD OF THE GAME, BABY!” (dabs.)
February – Facebook debuts its “Fake news” algorithm, which, rather than hide posts from both the Alt Right and your judgemental hippy friends, secretly sends them both into deep, separate Facebook echo chambers closed off from the real Facebook where rescued cage hens are trained to like their statuses. Grown ups are now free to make informed choices.
March – This time, a viral social media hashtag will raise awareness of, and fix, one. Just ONE! Please! Of the world’s problems forever. Surely. (dabs).
April – “Look!” says former President Obama, addressing the crowd at the Washington Wizards first NBA playoff game, pointing to his snowy white head. “Look what you did to my hair! I hope you’re proud of yourself…”. Lebron James starts a slow clap from the Cavalier’s bench, which cascades into Obama being ushered back into office.
May – Trump flips off the assembled media with stubby middle fingers, and says that all the added attention of being president is really getting in the way of him being able to “crush puss so I’m quitting.”
June – Vice President Mike Pence finally finds the last Easter egg the secret service hid around the White House gardens in April. Smitten, he skips merrily to his office to find it occupied by Joe Biden in a Hawaiian shirt and a can of beer. Pence turns sadly and leaves.
July – The American summer movie season passes and, Michael Bay is amazingly not featured at all. Even as a producer. “Man, I found out people hate me…” he says astride a tiger atop a tank inside a battleship.
August – The death of Twitter results in Snapchat taking the mantel of ‘on the spot’ news sources. “So with the butterflies and flowers filter applied, Aleppo doesn’t look so bad! And now Greg with sports” – BBC.
September – The world’s most beloved celebrities, Beyoncé, The Rock, and Sir Patrick Stewart are still alive, lending hope that we’ll see out the year without receiving a huge nut kick. The private jet of Nicky Minaj meanwhile, crashes into Pitbull.
October – Hugh Jackman promises to unretire The Wolverine for a five season Netflix original series, if Netflix agrees to remove its content geo-blocking. Forever. Both Netflix and all the world’s governments and content creators agree. Because he is The Wolverine. November – Sir Ian Mclennan sadly does pass away. But as he is Gandalf, he simply arises again even more powerful than before, forming a stable, peaceful government in Syria using magic. (He smites Al-Assad upon the mountain’s peak and dabs).
December – This blogger, finally, FINALLY, after a whole year of waiting, gets his Christmas turkey.2017! Best! Year! Ever! C’mon!