2016 has been, by any objective measure, genuinely shite. A couple of days after the election (for real!) of the Comedy American President, I opened the ABC news site to discover that Leonard Cohen had died, presumably of a broken heart. It seemed to me that there was only one reasonable response.
Now if Keith Richards dies between now and December 31, I’m going to be seriously pissed off.
Customer: I wish to register a complaint. Hello? Buddha?
God: What do you mean, “Buddha”?
C: Oh, I’m sorry, you must have shaved. I wish to make a complaint.
G: Ah, we’re just closing for the Sabbath–
C: Never mind that, my Lord. I wish to complain about this year what I purchased not ten and a half months ago from this very boutique.
G: Oh, yes, the Twenty Sixteen. What’s… ah, what’s wrong with it?
C: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my Lord. It’s fucked, that’s what’s wrong with it.
G: No, no, it’s inspirational – look!
C: Look, my Lord, I know a fucked year when I live through one and I’m living through one right now.
G: No, it’s not fucked, it’s inspirational.
G: Yeah, inspirational. Exceptional year, the 2016. Beautiful Olympics, innit?
C: The Olympics are barely even the worst of it. It’s totally fucked!
G: No, it’s inspirational.
C: All right, then: if it’s inspirational, I’ll sing a cheerful tune. [Sings] “I heard there was a secret chord…” “Ground Control to Major Tom…” “I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray…” [breaks down weeping] Nope, not inspirational at all.
G: Well, it’s sombre.
G: It’s a very sombre year. Very serious. Bound to be some sadness.
C: Some sadness? Look, I’ve had enough of this. The year is definitely deceased. When I bought it on New Year’s Eve, you assured me that Justin Trudeau was just the beginning of a sea change in the world’s mood. Now look at us!
G: Well, it may be pining for the sixties.
C: Pining for the sixties? What kind of talk is that? Look, why did David Bowie drop dead of cancer the minute I got it home?
G: Well, he’d had an eventful life. Beautiful Olympics!
C: Look! I took the liberty of examining this year, and I discovered that the only reason that it had been let out of the lab in the first place is that Rupert Murdoch wanted to replace Obama with someone more manageable.
G: Well of course he did! But at least we got rid of Scalia and Phyllis Schlafly. That’s got to count as an improvement, right?
C: Look, Deity. This year wouldn’t be improved if you brought back Martin Luther King and Freddy Mercury! It’s bleedin’ defective!
G: It’s not! It’s sombre!
C: It’s not sombre, it’s shite. This year is abysmal. It gave us Brexit and took away Prince. It killed off Willy Wonka, R2-D2 and Snape. We got Pauline Hanson in the Senate! It’s a disaster! Bereft of highlights, it wallows in the pit. If Keith Richards wasn’t pickled in alcohol, it probably would have killed him off too. ISIS is rising and so is the CO2. This… is the Year of Trump!
G: Well, I’d better replace it, then.
C: If you want to get anything done in this country you got to complain till you’re blue in the mouth.
G: Er … I’ve just looked. We don’t have any more 2016s.
C: I see, I see, I get the picture.
G: I’ve got a 2017.
C: Is it an improvement?
G: Well, Beyoncé’s still looking pretty healthy, touch wood, so I reckon, yeah.
C: Right. I’ll take that then. Do you deliver?
G: Yeah, but there’s a backlog. How does early January suit you?
C: It’ll have to do.