O abandoned listeners, I’ve got a really good reason for producing only a measly four blog posts in 2016. The reason is that 2016 kidnapped me and threw me into a darkened cell with no nourishment or natural light and pelted me with the corpses of baby bunnies until I was stunned into silence.
And I know you believe me. You believe me because that is just the sort of thing that 2016 would do, because 2016 was a dick.
Listeners, I really want to believe that 2016 just cocked up. I want to believe that, at 11.45pm on 31st December 2015, 2016 stood in the wings of the Present and muttered ‘Don’t cock up, don’t cock up, don’t cock up,’ but unfortunately, through incompetence and lack of experience, made a complete balls up of the whole thing.
The thing is, 2016 didn’t just cock up. 2016 knew what it was doing. 2016 was a malicious, calculating badgerfart and, even though it’s left us with an almighty hullabaloo, it’s gone now and we’re well shot of it.
But where did it go, dear listeners? What happened after the evil genius skulked off through the pyrotechnic blaze at the stroke of midnight?
I’ll tell you exactly what happened. First of all, it refused to high-five 2017.
I like to think that an old year high-fives a new year as it passes the mantle in that fraction of a second that their paths cross.
2016 sauntered past 2017 without high-fiving because 2016 was an arrogant weasel.
And poor old 2017 – who received a cold hard stare when it asked during its interview whether there was any truth in the rumours about the job being a ‘poisoned chalice’ – crept past 2016 like a condemned man on his way to the gallows.
And while everyone was trying to gee up 2017 and make it welcome and convince it that it wouldn’t be that difficult to undo the irreparable and potentially catastrophic damage wreaked by its hellish predecessor, 2016 strode into the Great Green Room of Years Past, sat down in the biggest, reddest and squeakiest leather chair, crossed one leg over the other, and lit an enormous spliff.
After a few minutes, 2015 and 2014, who were awkwardly sipping tea and nibbling bourbons, plucked up the courage to speak.
2016 made no acknowledgement of their presence, but merely tilted its head back and exhaled a languid plume of smoke that contained the ashes of our hopes, dreams, and the Great British Bake Off. 2014 and 2015 held their breath and wished they’d never spoken. Eventually 2016 looked straight at them and gave a slow smile.
An audible gasp went round the Great Green Room of Years Past. In a dusty corner, 1347 slowly shook its hooded, scabbed head. Old 1347 has had some bad press for unleashing the Black Death that killed off nearly half the population of Europe, but, you know, it’s had a long time to think about what it’s done.
2016 leant forward and poured itself a glass of scotch and cast a cold eye around the Great Green Room of Years Past, smirking disdainfully at 1929 and 2008, who skulked in the corner clutching the remains of livelihoods and life savings. You see, 2016 thought it was a bad-ass. An unbeatable, immovable tyrant, gobbling up and terrifying all in its path.
Slumped wearily against the wall, 1914 and 1939 drew on damp cigarettes, their eyes ringed with the guilt of shattering the world twice over. They viewed 2016 with the despairing wisdom that comes with age and experience. Slowly, 1914 rose to its tired feet, shuffled over to 2016 and looked down at it like a wizened old gangster over a school bully.
2016 paused, held 1914’s gaze for a few moments, then looked away.
And so 2016 remains, like a despised, despotic aunt who never leaves her room and occasionally yells unreasonable and hateful demands down the stairs.
But what of 2017?
2017, dearest listener, is shitting itself.
I feel for 2017. 2017 has been sold what it thought was a brand new Aston Martin, but has quickly realised that it is in fact an old Astra, the tyres are flat, the windscreen is cracked, and someone has puked all over the back seat.
We must be gentle with 2017. It has a lot to learn. It has two choices: shrug its shoulders and roll with gay abandon into the doomish cesspit created by 2016, spray shit up the walls and then hold up its hands and say ‘Weren’t me, guv’; or, it can learn from its heinous predecessor’s actions, roll up its sleeves, and try to clean up the mess.
I will say this to 2017: if you lay a finger on Julie Andrews, I’ll rip your throat out.