This was written, by the way, before Carrie Fisher passed away.
It was a strange year.
In many ways 2016 was a crappy year, even if you weren’t a Democrat. The weather was so awful that even The Weather Channel had to interrupt its reality programming to report on it. So many celebrities died that it could take YouTube years to replace them all. Even the Cubs winning the World Series was a bad thing, if you’re a goat, or live in Cleveland.
(If you don’t know about the goat curse, then I despair for our education system.)
I was so upset about celebrities dying that I tried to call Doctor Bombay for a sedative, but the guy who played Doctor Bombay died! Then I had to explain to everyone that Doctor Bombay was a character from Bewitched. Then I had to explain that Bewitched was a TV show. Then I went into a week-long funk about getting old, which made the year even crappier.
But at least I survived 2016, which is more than I can say about half the famous people in the world. On January 8th the first woman to compete in a Formula One car race died, and on December 8th John Glenn passed away. Talk about pioneer bookends.
In between, the world population took a detectable dip. I mean, R2D2 died. Come on. I won’t mention the other deaths that made me gasp, because if I have to explain who they are it’ll just put me into another depression.
But mostly 2016 was … weird. Here’s an example: In early December my wife talked me into shoe shopping, which is something men hate almost as much as holding a purse while their wives goes shoe shopping. My previous size 11’s had been demoted to lawn mowing shoes, and now had so little tread that I could ice skate across the grass. Which sounds like fun, unless you’re behind a running lawn mower.
Meanwhile my “good” size 11’s had spent the summer hiking around various state parks … okay, two summers. I told you I hate shoe shopping. It was time for another demotion.
But there was a problem. We spent an hour jamming my feet into new size elevens, then 11 ½, then twelves … until I left the store with size thirteens. My feet had grown two sizes. That certainly explained my puzzling foot pain.
I can’t help thinking such a thing could have only happen to a post-adolescent in 2016—a weird, weird year.
In no way am I suggesting 2016 was all about my feet; they’re just an example. 2016 was also partially about my wife’s foot, which got broken in a car accident. Eventually she got it back, which is more than we can say for the car.
This led to us buying our first ever Electronic Age car, a very strange thing indeed after a nine year old Ford. The new one has a computer screen. And a camera. It tells you how many miles you can go before running out of gas, and it has two of what we used to call cigarette lighter ports, where you can plug in all your other Electronic Age stuff. The other day a voice came out of the seat and told me I needed to lose a few pounds.
The car can also tell you what the temperature is outside, something I used to accomplish by sticking my finger out the window. If it turns blue, it’s too cold; if it gets wet, it’s raining. If I pull it back in and find an icicle, I should have known better. The other day our new car told me it was zero, and also said that on a related note, I should get that garage door fixed.
Welcome to the 21st Century Teens.
I already mentioned the weather, but conversations always get back to that, anyway. Here in Indiana 2016 started with a mild winter and ended with “Ohmygosh just shoot me now”. In between we had summer in spring; fall in summer; summer in fall, and as I write this winter times three.
What do you expect from a year that started with a skyscraper in Dubai burning up while revelers rang in the New Year around it?
Or a year when a 70 year old Indian woman gave birth? When Bob Dylan gets a Nobel Prize for Literature? Or the Cubs? I mean … The Cubs!
I can’t even mention the election … half my readers would boycott me by the second paragraph.
So, yeah, 2016 was weird, and as I write this we still have a couple of more weird weeks to go. Usually in January I come up with a list of predictions for next year, but who could have predicted this year? About all I can say about 2017 is that some people will get paid too much, some too little, everyone who cares about politics will hate everyone else, and the weather will suck.
Which, come to think of it, brings us full circle.